Communiqué de presse

ARCEP submits a draft decision on authorising the supply of 3G and 4G services on board aircraft to public consultation

The use of 2G frequencies on board aircraft has been authorised inside French airspace since 2008 (1).

New mobile technologies have developed since then, and have resulted in the public’s widespread adoption of the mobile internet. As a result, work was performed at the European level between 2011 and 2013 on the technical conditions necessary to introducing the use of 3G and 4G systems on board aircraft – in particular to protect the aircraft’s other embedded electronic devices and systems from harmful interference.

This work completed, on 12 November 2013 the European Commission adopted a decision (2) that opened the way for in-flight 3G and 4G services.

Today, ARCEP is submitting a draft decision to public consultation whose purpose is to put this European decision into effect. It thus aims to authorise use of the following on board aircraft, at altitudes of more than 3,000 metres above the ground:
-    2G and 4G systems in the 1800 MHz band,
-    3G systems in the 2100 MHz band.

Stakeholders are invited to submit their comments and analysis to ARCEP before 11 April 2014.

Once this decision has been adopted by ARCEP, and approved by the Government, airline companies will thus be able to supply in-flight 3G and 4G services inside French airspace, provided they comply with civil aviation regulations. All airlines will therefore have the option of offering these in-flight services, and will be free to set their own prices.

Linked documents

(1) ARCEP Decisions No. 2008-1187 (pdf - 177 Ko) and No. 2008-1188 (pdf - 159 Ko) of 6 November 2008

(2) Decision 2013/654/EU, amending Decision 2008/294/EC

ARCEP draft decision being submitted to consultation (in French)