Mobile operators are required to publish coverage maps whose reliability will be checked through annual on-site surveys

Paris, 2 April 2007

Renewed GSM licences include new measures which aim to increase the transparency of GSM geographic coverage. These obligations include operator publication of coverage maps which will be validated by on-site surveys.

ARCEP has two objectives:

- to inform the public

- to encourage operators to invest in geographic coverage

ARCEP explained these obligations in a decision which indicated the means of publishing information on regional coverage and establishes the protocol of mobile network coverage surveys:

1/ Every operator must publish a coverage map with 1 / 50 000 precision

These maps must be consistent with the results of on-site surveys performed in compliance with the protocol stipulated by the decision, which is identical to that established by ARCEP in 2001 for evaluating mobile coverage within the framework of devising the "white zone" programme.

2/ Operators must perform on-site surveys each year to check the coherence of their maps

In 2007, these measurement campaigns will have operators testing their network coverage in 250 districts located in 11 metropolitan regions (cf. map). The list of these districts was drawn up by ARCEP. By 1st October 2007, the coverage maps published by operators must take into account the results of these on-site surveys. A new measurement campaign will be done in 2008, on 250 new districts in the other 11 regions.

3/ Because the on-site survey protocol is of a public nature, any interested person or authority may conduct a coverage survey

ARCEP will closely monitor these operations, as well as the implementation of the coverage maps.

Linked documents

Smiley Decisions n° 2007-0178 (pdf - 131 Ko), containing the on-site survey protocol, and n° 2007-0230 (pdf - 74 Ko), containing the list of the 250 districts to be audited in 2007 Smiley Smiley

The implementation of the coverage maps (pdf )