Communiqué de presse

2.4 GHz radio local area networks (RLAN): limited use on private property

14 April 1999

Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) notes that the conditions defined by regulations for the operation of radio local area networks, also called "RLANs", in the 2.4 GHz frequency band are often poorly understood or even voluntarily ignored by their users. Therefore, ART wishes to remind users of the constraints to which is subject the use of the radio spectrum for the operation of these facilities.


  • Conditions for the use of the 2.4 GHz band by RLANs

The 2.4 GHz band is allocated by the Ministry of Defence, in accordance with the provisions of the national frequency band distribution table. However, the use of certain low-power radio facilities in this frequency band is permitted under certain conditions. These conditions, which aim primarily to avoid scrambling the equipment of the Armed Forces, allow a harmonious sharing of the frequency spectrum and the provision of innovative services to civil radio communications services.

RLANs, which allow various wireless applications (primarily office automation and professional management applications: warehouses, hospitals, etc.), can be authorised by ART within the limits set by the decree dated 24 July 1995.

There are three primary limits:

- frequencies and power: radio transmissions are limited to the 2446.5 – 2483.5 MHz frequency band with equivalent isotopic radiated power limited to 100 MW

- location: the network is limited to the private property of its user

- use: this network can be used only to meet the internal telecommunications needs of the user

Users must request authorisation to establish such networks from ART. In some cases, authorisation may require prior approval of the Ministry of Defence.


  • The operation of RLANs is limited to private property

ART emphasises that RLAN facilities operating in the 2.4 GHz band cannot be used to establish radio links outside the user's private property. Such use could disrupt the radio transmissions of the Armed Forces and may be punished by punitive sanctions.

Such facilities cannot be used to provide telecommunications services to the public, such as Internet access. Such telecommunications services activity via radio waves would require the preliminary allocation of a public operator's licence.


  • ART must ensure these conditions are respected

ART must, as part of its missions, ensure that the radio resources it allocates to operators and for telecoms are used properly.

It is also responsible for defining and suggesting improvements to the rules in force, especially those applicable to radio telecommunications facilities. It constantly studies, with all concerned authorities, the means of modifying the terms of the conditions of use of the radio spectrum in the long term.

As a result, ART cannot accept the development of the illegal use of radio facilities in the 2.4 GHz band which would, on the one hand endanger the systems used by the Armed Forces and, on the other, could distort competition to the detriment of players respecting the rules in force.