Paris, 23 December 2003
On 12th June 2003, the Nanterre commercial court declared the liquidation of the Dolphin Telecom company. As a result, the frequencies previously attributed to Dolphin Telecom were returned to ART, both for the 3RP analogue network in the VHF band and for the Tetra digital network in the UHF band.
ART launched a public consultation of sector professionals in September in order to determine the means of reallocating these frequencies under objective, transparent and non-discriminatory conditions.
Today, ART released the summary of the contributions to this call for comments, to which 41 contributions were received. This large number of responses reflects how important sector players consider the frequency allocation process.
Contributors expressed their needs for professional radiocommunications. These needs varied in terms of frequency band and geographic area, and were particularly great in the UHF band and in the Ile-de-France region.
The needs expressed focus on applications integrating all PMR features and frequently include service permanence requirements and security issues for civil radiocommunications.
This type of concern, the importance of which had already been mentioned during the call for comments on Dolphin Telecom in 2002, was also raised for PPDR (Public Protection & Disaster Relief): ART recently drew the attention of concerned public players to PPDR uses for which an approved band had been identified by the World Radiocommunications Conference for 2003.
Furthermore, on the question of the viability of a national PAMR network, all contributors (except one) consider that there is not currently a sufficiently large market to make a national PAMR operator viable, regardless of the frequency band. Still, several of them feel that there could be viability on the local or regional level.
Given the complexity of the broad range of needs expressed in this consultation and the issues concerning PPDR uses, ART will continue to work with players in coming months in order to establish the means of reallocating frequencies during the first half of 2004. These could be defined in several stages according to the bands and/or areas considered.
In this context, ART is prepared to extend to 30th June 2004 the temporary frequencies that it allocated when Dolphin Telecom ceased to operate its networks, in order to ensure continuity of service for the operator's previous customers, whenever security missions or issues were at stake, and if an alternative solution could not be found.