Paris, 13th November 2008
On 7th April, the European Commission adopted a recommendation (2008/295/EC) and a decision (2008/294/EC) which aim to harmonise the conditions under which GSM services can be offered on board airplanes in flight in the European Union’s airspace.
With a view to implementing this European measure in French law, ARCEP held a public consultation on two draft decisions from 10th September to 3 October. These decisions define the framework for using frequencies on board aircraft within national airspace at altitudes over 3000 m.
ARCEP received eight contributions in response to the consultation: from operators on board Aeromobile and OnAir aircraft, from the satellite operator Inmarsat, from the company Halys, from the three Metropolitan terrestrial mobile operators Bouygues Telecom, France Telecom-Orange and SFR and from one individual. ARCEP is publishing a summary of these contributions on its website today.
After examining all the contributions it received, ARCEP adopted today these two decisions which will take effect following approval by the Electronic Communications Minister.
Implementation of the European measure will be complete when the Government adopts the decree defining the obligations applicable to electronic communications operators providing mobile communications services on board aircraft registered in France regardless of the country flown over.
At that point, airlines wishing to do so will be permitted to offer GSM services on board their planes.
N.B.: Both decisions will be published in the Journal Officiel de la République française at the same time as the Ministerial approval order.