ARCEP releases the findings of the public consultation on the use of high frequency bands for providing fixed service point-to-point links.

Paris, 28 April 2010

Making spectrum available for the deployment of wideband radio relay systems is an important stage in the development of high-speed electronic communications networks and services.

It was with this in mind that ARCEP launched a public consultation in February 2010 on making new resources available: this spectrum situated in the very high frequency ranges provide ultra wide bands that are capable of supplying capacities of around a Gigabit/s for point-to-point links over a short distance (under 5 km).

ARCEP is making the responses to the consultation public, along with the main findings to emerge from it.

More than 20 responses were received, which confirms the market's interest in seeing these frequency bands made available in the very near future, particularly those in the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz range.

Opening up the 71-76 GHz band and its 81-86 GHz duplex, in accordance with European Recommendation ECC/REC/ (05)07, applying the CEPT FDD channel arrangement derived from Annex 4 (250 MHz separation up to 1250 MHz obtained by channel pairing and duplex spacing of 10 GHz between bands) has attracted a great deal of interest from stakeholders who have expressed their views on the matter.

On the other hand, too few responses make it possible to support the use of the 60 GHz band, and particularly the 64-66 GHz sub-band. Moreover, it appears that further study will be needed before opening up a portion of the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz bands in a TDD configuration. This issue will be addressed at a later date.

The consultation also confirms the suitability of making the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz bands available for enabling operators of both networks open to the public and of independent networks to provide point-to-point links, according to a system of individual licence assignments that will be delivered over time.

Drawing on the findings to emerge from this public consultation, ARCEP is currently drafting a decision that is general in scope concerning the actual release of the 71-76 GHz and 81-86 GHz frequency bands in FDD mode. It will be adopted after consultation with the Advisory committees for electronic communications.

The terms and cost of the licensing fees will be defined in accordance with Decree No. 2007-1532 of 24 October 2007 and the Order of 24 October, amended in 2007. These texts provide for fees that are adapted to the specific properties of the high frequency bands.