Communiqué de presse

A new and decisive change for wireless local area networks

Paris, 24 July 2003

Two new elements will simplify the wireless LAN regulation from July 25th 2003 an easing of the technical conditions for the 2.4 GHz band by the Ministry of Defence and the application of the new European framework for electronic communications and the RLAN EC recommendation of March 20th 2003.

Thanks to negotiations conducted with the Ministry of Defence, the technical conditions which had applied to 58 Metropolitan départements since 1st January 2003, are now applied to all of them.

Thus, in all Metropolitan départements, wireless LAN frequencies can now be used under the following conditions, either for public or private use:

· Indoor use :maximum power (EIRP*) of 100 mW for the entire 2400-2483.5 MHz frequency band

· Outdoor use : maximum power (EIRP*) of 100 mW for the 2400-2454 MHz band and with maximum power (EIRP*) of 10 mW for the 2454-2483 MHz band

The technical conditions for overseas départements (DOM), which were already highly favourable (CEPT levels), remain unchanged. The technical conditions for the 5 GHz band also remain unchanged.

Private use (independent networks, private uses) does not require any authorisation from Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) as until now.

From July 25th 2003, public services providers will inform ART, conforming to the new European framework : notification will replace individual authorisation for public networks (the notification form is available on ART web site). Thus, ART modified the "Guidelines regarding the experimentation of public networks using the wireless LAN technology".

Experimentations will be maintained for public wireless LANs until the end of 2004, in order to enable new services on this emerging market. ART will survey these experimentations in order to define whether experimental status shall be maintained after 2004 or not .