ARCEP publishes a status report on 2G mobile coverage in France as of 1st January 2009

Paris, 7 August 2009

In accordance with Article 109-V of the Law on modernizing the economy (LME), which requests that ARCEP produce "an complete inventory of mobile telephony coverage across the country, and including the prospects for eradicating areas not yet covered by all second generation mobile communications operators," the Authority today released a status report on second generation mobile telephony coverage in France as of 1 January 2009.

This status report includes a departmental atlas which provides coverage maps for each operator, département by département, including overseas départements and collectivities. This atlas also includes a map for each département or collectivity depicting those areas where all operators are present, areas where only a portion of operators market their services ("grey areas") and those bereft of coverage ("dead zones").

The report also includes a complete analysis of 2G mobile coverage in France. After providing a description of the methodology used to define the notion of coverage, the report provides an inventory of the status of second generation mobile telephony coverage in Metropolitan France and in the overseas départements and territories, along with the outlook for more complete coverage in the coming years. Particular attention is given to dead zones, grey areas and main transportation routes.

The inventory reveals that around 99.82% of the population in Metropolitan France is covered by at least one mobile operator, which corresponds to 97.7% of the country’s surface area. Dead zones are thus calculated to correspond to 0.18% of the population, or around 100,000 inhabitants. Moreover, 97.8% of the population are covered by all three mobile operators at once, while grey areas (where one or two of the operators are present, but not all three) represent 2% of the population. In three quarters of these grey areas, two operators are present (or 1.5% of the population), and only one operator is present in a quarter of them (0.49% of the population).

This report will be completed by a status report on third generation (3G) mobile coverage, which will be published by ARCEP in autumn 2009.