Communiqué de presse

Autorité de régulation des télécommunications has launched a public consultation process to examine the conditions for using frequencies currently assigned to private networks in view of providing in the future short range broadband Internet access in public facilities

Paris, December 12 2001

The Authority launched a public consultation process to examine the possibility of supplying telecommunications services using frequencies in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands to the public. These bands are currently reserved for private networks.


  • Frequencies currently reserved for private networks


These networks actually use frequencies in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands that are not specifically assigned to their users. This means that there is no protection or non-interference guarantee.


These networks are currently used by companies and territorial communities to implement point-to-point and point-to-multipoint access services for internal wireless communications.


Within the European Union, the use of bands 2,4 and 5 GHz is largely restricted to private networks or networks that are exclusively used by their owners or a closed group of users. In France, these networks are authorized by the ART.


  • Requests for services available to the public - 802.11a, HyperLAN II, 802.11b (Wi Fi)


The possibility of using these frequencies to supply telecommunications services to the public has already been planned in other European countries. Furthermore, MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) type networks were created on an experimental basis in some countries to provide high performance access to the Internet.


Many requests for information on this subject were sent to the Authority by the industry including manufacturers, consultants and operators over the past few months. This involves 802.11a, HyperLAN 2 and 802.11b (Wi Fi) standards

  • A topical and important issue


In order to take full account of the interests of the players, the Authority wish to analyze the numerous issues raised by the development of WLANs for the telecommunications sector. It therefore encourages comments on the evolution of the framework currently applicable for the use of 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies, on the use of these frequency bands and on the regulatory consequences that could result from this.


All of the parties in the telecommunications, information technology, services and multimedia sectors, as well as users, are invited to participate by expressing their views on these issues over the medium and long term.

- growth in demand and scope of the growth

- technical issues

- provisions that may be made by the public authorities on this topic


Contributions may be sent to the Authority until February 15, 2002.

Linked documents

 The consultation document  fr