Paris, 11th April 2008
Today, mobile networks cover the vast majority of our country. People expect access to everyone everywhere and this possibility is essential for regional development.
In March 2006, ARCEP introduced new measures to operators’ renewed GSM authorisations in order to encourage greater transparency in regional coverage to consumers’ benefit; operators are now required to publish their coverage maps and to check them through on-site surveys according to means established by Decision no. 2007-0178 dated 20 February 2007.
ARCEP is presenting the initial results of these new measures, which are available today.
Operators have been publishing precise coverage maps since October 2007, the reliability of which can be checked through on-site surveys, conducted according to a public protocol.
These maps area available on the following web sites:
The operators are responsible for guaranteeing the accuracy of the maps published. The on-site measurement protocol is accessible and can therefore be applied by any person or municipality wishing to do so.
In 2007, Orange France and SFR conducted measurements on 11 metropolitan regions to measure the consistency of their maps with the actual situation
Orange France and SFR applied the public protocol to test the consistency of their coverage maps in 242 cantons, in 11 regions.
During the first quarter of 2008, these two operators submitted the results of these surveys to ARCEP, which are attached to this press release.
These surveys seem to show that, overall, the published maps are reliable, since SFR's maps are 95.9% consistent and Orange France’s maps are 95.6% consistent with on-site measurements.
Still, the maps and measurements showed clearly insufficient consistency in four cantons for SFR, and 12 for Orange France. ARCEP asked that the maps be corrected and that these cantons be resurveyed in 2008.
The 2007 surveys are but a first step in a process which is to be repeated each year, and improved over time.
Coverage surveys must be conducted by operators in the other 11 regions in 2008
In its Decision no. 2008-0288 dated 11 March 2008, ARCEP drew up a new list of 250 cantons to be surveyed by operators in 2008, in the 11 regions not surveyed in 2007. These surveys must be completed by the end of October 2008. This time, they will involve all three operators, since Bouygues Telecom has committed to conduct on-site surveys beginning this year, in advance of the renewal of its GSM licence at end 2009.
The list of the cantons and the map are attached to this press release.
Results of the coverage map consistency measurements performed by operators in 2007 / Decision no. 2008-0288 dated 11 March 2008 (list of cantons to be surveyed in 2008 and the corresponding map) / Evaluation protocol of mobile network coverage in a canton (appendix to Decision no. 2007-0178 dated 20 February 2007) (pdf - 726 Ko) - pdf