ARCEP launches a public consultation on the use of open spectrum.

Paris, 25 July 2014

As the internet and mobile devices continue to develop, Wi-Fi has become one of the most widely used wireless access technologies, both in the home, at work and in public spaces. Its success can be attributed in part to the simplicity of the regulatory framework governing the use of radio frequencies that are open to Wi-Fi, chiefly the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

Wi-Fi is indeed a characteristic, and perhaps the best known example of open spectrum use, in other words the use of frequencies that require no individual licence or prior declaration. This flexibility is made possible by the operating characteristics of Wi-Fi. It helps encourage simple deployments of innovative and efficient systems.

As underscored in the recent report by Joëlle Toledano, entitled, "Dynamic spectrum management to bolster innovation and growth," which was submitted to the French government on 1 July, a number of wireless applications other than Wi-Fi rely on the use of open spectrum. These applications can involve a range of sectors, as much for consumers as businesses, and are bound to develop further still as the internet of things begins to flourish.

It is within this context that, today, ARCEP is launching a consultation on the use of open spectrum to obtain feedback from stakeholders. The aim of the consultation is twofold:

- to propose the ARCEP draft decision enabling the use of a wide array of open frequencies by short-range devices, notably through the transposition of a set of provisions that have been harmonised at the European level;

- and to deepen ARCEP's forward-planning on the future use of and need for open spectrum, particular in view of the upcoming development of the internet of things.

The public consultation will run 15 October 2014.

Linked documents

The consultation (pdf - 0.98 Mo) (pdf - in French only)

ARCEP draft decision (pdf - 681 Ko) (pdf - in French only)