23 April 1999
The introduction of the wireless local loop is of major importance for telecommunications in France, as it will contribute to the growth of effective competition on the local loop.
In April 1998, at the request of players, Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) adopted a pragmatic and progressive approach to introducing these systems, starting with an experimental phase which will continue until 31 December 1999 1. Nineteen projects in the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands are currently underway across France 2.
When expressing their interest in these technologies, operators emphasize that the rapid provision of sufficient frequencies to provide high-speed services is an essential condition for the wireless local loop to success.
In order to meet this expectation, ART proposes opening, as part of a future call for applications, the 26 GHz frequency band to the wireless local loop.
This adaptation immediately takes into account the new elements which have come into play since last year. Indeed, the market for these types of systems offers greater prospects for growth in the 26 GHz band, open in several European countries to point-to-multipoint technologies, than in the 28 GHz band, whose future technical organisation is still being studied in working groups at the Conférence européenne des postes et télécommunications (CEPT).
This measure was well received by the Commission consultative des radiocommunications. It does not affect the trials currently underway for the 28 GHz band, where the results can be transposed to systems operating in the 26 GHz band.
Still, 26 GHz band, which is shared with the Armed Forces for fixed service, offers fewer frequency resources than the 28 GHz band. This is why ART has approached the Armed Forces in order to examine the conditions under which it could receive additional channels in the 26 GHz band.
A final plan taking into account the needs of point-to-multipoint systems for public networks, and point-to-point systems for public systems and independent networks, will be defined by the summer. This plan will stipulate the conditions for progressively making available frequencies in the 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands.
1- Press release dated 23 April 1998 and decision no. 98-242 of Autorité de régulation des télécommunications dated 8 April 1998 regarding the conditions of allocating radio frequencies in the 3.4-3.6 GHz and 27.5-29.5 GHz bands for wireless local loop point-to-multipoint system trials, modified by decision no. 98-1010 dated 4 December 1998. 2- Cities concerned: Bussy St Georges, Cergy St Christophe, Champs sur Marne, Grenoble, Lannion, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Rennes, La Roche sur Yon, Strasbourg, Vélizy and Fort-de-France.