Paris, 25 July 2011
Twenty five companies are licensed to use the wireless local loop in the 3.4 -3.6 GHz frequency band.
These licences allow them to deploy broadband wireless access services, for both mobile and roaming use. They also contain wireless local loop (WLL) network rollout obligations that correspond to the commitments that each licence-holder made voluntarily in their application, which led to the award of these licences in 2006. The first deadline for a verification of these obligations by ARCEP was on 31 December 2010.
ARCEP’s verification of compliance with rollout obligations
The finding of this verification was that rollout levels were modest compared to the commitments that licence-holders had made. Most deployments correspond to projects carried out as part of public-initiative networks whose purpose was to bring broadband access to areas that are not currently covered by wireline networks.
It was as a result of this process that ARCEP launched a public consultation on 23 May 2011 whose aim was to obtain clarification from stakeholders on the issues surrounding the development of the wireless local loop in the 3.4 – 3.6 GHz band.
The public consultation helped establish an updated status report on the development outlook for WLL
The purpose of this consultation was to obtain an updated view of the wireless local loop market and its development possibilities, and of the progress that the technologies were making and the frequency requirements for this type of project.
The consultation ended on 23 June 2011, and elicited 26 responses from a wide variety of parties (local authorities, carriers, service providers, central administration, etc.) which ARCEP is publishing today, along with a summary it has drafted of these responses.
Some players stated that they were satisfied with WiMAX technology and wanted to continue to deploy wireless local loop networks as a short and medium-term solution for supplying fixed broadband access.
Their responses were accompanied by both requests for additional spectrum for their existing networks, to be able to provide users with faster connections, as well as requests for less precarious conditions to be attached to the procedure for making frequencies “available for use”.
Meanwhile, other players confirmed their plans for large-scale network rollouts for supplying roaming access, but state that they are part of more long-term projects that include the deployment of the LTE standard.
Launch of procedures provided for in Article L. 36-11 of the French Postal and electronic communications code (CPCE) against certain operators
As part of ARCEP’s ongoing verification of operators’ compliance with their rollout obligations, the Director of the Authority’s Legal Affairs Department has notified 16 operators of the launch of a procedure provided for in CPCE Article L. 36-11, concerning their possible failure to comply with the obligations to which they are subject under the terms of their licences.
La synthèse de la consultation publique (pdf - 71 Ko) (pdf)
Les contributions des acteurs (zip - 10.17 Mo) (Air France, Alsatis, Altitude Infrastructure, Alvarion, Avicca, Axione, Bluwan, Bolloré Télécom, CETE Ouest, Conseil Général Haute Garonne, Conseil Général Meuse, Digiweb, France Télécom Orange, Gitep TICS, Huawei, Lionel Seydoux, Manche Numérique, Motorola Solutions, Niverlan, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nomotech, SHD, Syndicat Mixte Dorsal, Wibox, WiMAX Forum, XiLAN) (zip - 10,2 Mo)