Today Arcep is publishing its first scorecard on the New Deal for mobile which will make it possible to track the progress, on a quarterly basis, of the commitments that operators made to the Government and to Arcep under the New Deal for mobile.
Arcep carries out three kinds of action with respect to mobile coverage:
- Proposes operator rollout obligations to the Government when allocating mobile frequencies through its calls for applications;
- Monitors operators’ compliance with their rollout obligations;
- Informs citizens on mobile network coverage and quality of service: www.monreseaumobile.fr
An historic agreement
In 2017, at the Government’s request, Arcep began working with mobile operators and local authorities on achieving the goal of accelerating the pace of regional mobile coverage, notably for 4G networks. Once this work was complete, an historic agreement was announced between the Government, Arcep and operators.
Among other things, this New Deal for mobile will result in ubiquitous 4G coverage across Metropolitan France by the end of 2020, and introduce a targeted coverage scheme designed to improve coverage significantly in specific areas where local authorities and the Government have identified a need for regional digital development: each operator will be required to ensure coverage of 5,000 new locations as part of this scheme.
Making the transition from commitments to legally binding, verifiable and enforceable obligations
Arcep has been working to give shape to the New Deal since January 2018:
- The Authority will make mobile operators’ commitments for 2018 to 2020 legally binding, starting this summer, by amending their current frequency licences for the 900,1800 and 2100 MHz bands to include their new obligations.
- Arcep will also submit a procedure to the Government for approval this autumn for reallocating these frequencies whose licenses will begin to expire in 2021, and obtaining additional obligations.
The scorecard: a monitoring tool
Arcep has the power to impose penalties should an operator fail to meet the obligations listed in its frequency licences. The Authority is thus responsible for ensuring that operators properly implement and comply with the New Deal.
As the President of France announced in Bastia on 7 February of this year, this monitoring process will include a scorecard produced by Arcep that measures whether these commitments are being applied properly.
- 4G for all
- Targeted coverage
- Indoor coverage
- 4G in cars
- Mobile network status (forthcoming)
- Fixed 4G (forthcoming)
The purpose is to provide elected officials and all market observers with the information they need to have a clear snapshot of the progress being made on these commitments at both the national and regional level. This scorecard therefore includes interactive maps that make it possible, for instance, for a given department or municipality to view rollouts taking place in new locations (including those requested by local authorities under the New Deal for mobile).
To enable these national and local data to be widely reused, particularly by the regions, they are being made available as open data files.
All of these data and the interactive scorecard can be accessed at the following URL: www.arcep.fr/new-deal.
Arcep will publish this scorecard on a quarterly basis, and include updates on any procedural controls being conducted with operators.
For the record, Arcep also provides citizens with a tool for obtaining information on mobile coverage in France: www.monreseaumobile.fr. This tool will be further expanded in mid-July to include coverage information on the French overseas departments, and before the end of the year to include information on data services. In addition, Arcep has a partnership policy to encourage the use of crowdsourcing tools.