Paris, 28 June 2004
Following its call for comments on the reallocation of those frequencies formerly assigned to Dolphin Telecom, and in accordance with its announcement of 23 December 2003, Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) has established a new procedure under which authorisations will be issued for professional mobile radio (PMR) networks in the 410-430 MHz and 450-470 MHz bands.
In preparing for this new procedure, ART is initiating two simultaneous actions:
- it is starting up a study on the introduction of a wideband public access mobile radio (PAMR) network in the 450 MHz band
- it is launching a public consultation for those players who wish to deploy a narrowband PMR network in the 410-430 MHz band, in order to prepare for the frequency allocations issue as soon as the procedure is in place
The new procedure concerns the 410 MHz and 450 MHz bands
ART has set up a schedule for the 410-430 MHz and 450-470 MHz frequency bands which will allow it to meet the needs expressed by all players while guaranteeing an efficient and harmonised planning of the frequency bands identified at the European level to be used for networks offering PMR features. This project implements European decision ECC/DEC(04)06 dated 19 March 2004 of the CEPT.
Under this decision, the part of the 410-430 MHz band which ART is entitled to assign will be reserved for networks using narrowband PMR/PAMR technologies with frequency carriers not exceeding 100 kHz, and the 450-470 MHz band will be used by narrowband or wideband networks.
The adoption is part of a procedure lasting at least three months, which includes a phase for the preliminary notification of the European Commission. Upon completion of this phase, the decision should be formally adopted by ART and submitted for the approval of the Minister of Industry. On a more formal level, if no observation is made by Member States, the decision may come into force this autumn.
Under these conditions, the draft decision submitted for notification, will provide a legal framework for the needs expressed. It already makes it possible to initiate preparatory work for the allocation procedures which will be conducted separately for the two bands, i.e.:
=> A study on introducing a wideband PAMR network in the 450 MHz band
ART starts up a study on the introduction of a public wideband mobile network offering PMR functions in the 450-470 MHz band. It expects to present its initial conclusions in early 2005.
=> A public consultation on narrowband PMR networks in the 410 MHz band
ART is launching a public consultation on the 410-430 MHz band to allow it to issue authorisations as quickly as possible once the decision comes into force.
The goal is to determine a means of assigning frequencies for narrowband networks under transparent and non-discriminatory conditions, for each of the 22 administrative regions of Metropolitan France.
The consultation must identify those regions where demand for frequencies may be high with respect to available resources. Players interested in deploying a narrowband PMR network in the 410-430 MHz band are invited to send their contribution to ART before 30 September 2004.
First come first served frequency allocation in the 150 MHz VHF band
Moreover, given the responses to the call for comments (a summary was published in late December 2003) and the work which followed it, ART has decided to reallocate, on a first come first served basis, the 150-170 MHz VHF frequencies which had previously been assigned to Dolphin Telecom.
Players having projects in these bands may now submit their requests to ART which will assign the frequencies on a site-by-site basis.