The French Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ART) launches a call for comments

Paris, 19 December 1997

The French Teleommunications Regulatory Authority (ART) has received two applications from the companies Tesam and Iridium Italia for licences to provide satellite personal communications services (S-PCS). The consortia, Globalstar and Iridium respectively, have granted the two companies exclusive rights to provide this service in France. Tesam is 51% owned by France Télécom and 49% by Alcatel; and Iridium Italia is a subsidiary of Telecom Italia (30%), Telecom Italia Mobile (35%) and Nuova Telespazio (35%).

ART launched a public call for comments on the processing of these two licence applications in the French Official Journal of 7 December.

What is the aim of the call for comments ?

The aim is to enable all interested parties to submit their remarks to ART. Comments must reach ART by 12am on Friday, 26th December 1997.

ART is currently processing the applications submitted by Tesam and Iridium Italia and envisages proposing that the minister grant the two companies licences to operate and provide public networks and services.

The licences issued will grant the companies rights to the various components necessary for the operation of their systems:

. the provision of telecommunications services;

. the use of a frequency band;

. the operation of earth stations, if necessary.

What are the implications of these satellite systems ?

These first generation personal communications systems, which should be operational from 1998-99, will provide a global range of services equivalent to those provided at present by terrestrially-based cellular networks (telephony, fax, paging, electronic mail, low-speed data transmission), while giving their customers the benefit of much wider coverage.

Press Contact:
Jean-François HERNANDEZ
tel : 33 1 40 47 70 33 - fax : 33 1 40 47 71 98
email : Jean-Francois.Hernandez@art-telecom.fr
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