4 February 2003
On 28 June 2002, Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) received a request from Dolphin Telecom to modify its authorisation to establish and operate a professional mobile radio network. The company no longer wishes to use the Tetra standard, which it had initially chosen, and which had therefore been stipulated in the specifications appended to the authorisation. Dolphin Telecom considers that this standard will not permit it to upgrade its services to high speed rates.
Because the request for licence modification would concern the change of the standard specifically stipulated in the authorisation and given the potential scarcity of frequencies, which was the reason for the first call for tenders, ART considered that a public consultation should be held to give all market players the opportunity to express their opinion, before Dolphin Telecom's specifications could be modified.
Therefore, on 22 October, ART launched a public consultation in order to receive comments on the possibility of such a change.
Having taken into consideration the comments received in the 564 contributions and the additional analyses and information collected-in particular on the state of advancement of the international standardisation process-ART concluded that a change of the authorisation as requested by Dolphin Telecom was premature and not currently justified.
In particular, ART's position was based on the fact that, by and large, users of mobile professional radio services do not express any short-term need for medium- or high-speed services, and on the insufficient maturity of the standards which in the future might be used to provide these services.
Therefore, ART recommended that the Minister of Industry not modify Dolphin Telecom's licence because it does not have sufficient elements to evaluate, in accordance with legislation, the operator's ability to durably meet its obligations related to the deployment (in this case) of a new network in order to provide new services.
It also observed that accepting a new standard would have to take into account the impact its implementation might have on the use of adjacent frequency bands by other governmental agencies or user companies, as well as its ability to meet the needs of the PMR-PAMR market.
The Minister of Industry informed ART that she had taken a decision in agreement with ART's opinion on 20 January 2003.
A summary of the contributions to the public consultation is available for consultation and downloading on ART's Web site: