WLAN regulatory update

3 February 2003

Autorité de regulation des telecommunications (ART) decision N° 02-1008 was approved on 23 December 2002 by the Minister of Industry. This decision allows to provide public services with WLAN (commonly called Wifi) 2,4 GHz equipment. This new progress completes a process launched in December 2001 by the ART’s WLAN public consultation.


Users can connect WLAN equipment to existing public networks without any authorization, under the required technical conditions.


In addition, as announced by ART in its press release of 7 November 2002, the list of départements in which the conditions of use for WLAN have been made more flexible, has been extended to include 20 new départements, as proposed by the Ministry of Defence.


So, WLAN frequencies can now be used in 58 départements under the following conditions:


  • Indoors with maximum power (EIRP*) of 100 mW across the entire 2400-2483.5 MHz frequency band


  • Outdoors with maximum power (EIRP*) of 100 mW for 2400-2454 MHz and maximum power (EIRP*) of 10 mW for 2454-2483 MHz


New lists of départements will be published in July 2003 and in January 2004.


ART hopes that the loosen of conditions will facilitate the development of high-speed public Internet services for the public, particularly in hotspots. Private users, companies and individuals, can install terminals for their own use.


The general conditions of use for the frequencies in the 2.4 GHz band remain unchanged in other départements. However, exemptions are possible, in any département, by the mean of experimental public network licences. Subject to prior approval, granted on a case-by-case basis, experimental networks can be established with maximum power (EIRP*) of 100 mW across the entire 2.4 GHz band with agreement of the Ministry of Defence. Information on requesting an experimental licence has been provided in the guidelines published by ART on 7 November 2002.


The first requests for experimental licences, as defined by the guidelines, have been granted by ART.For instance :


  • a 2.4 GHz network, developped on an island, to provide members of a community with high-speed access using WiFi connections and satellite access.


  • another for a company planning to deploy WLAN networks in hotspots.


* EIRP = effective isotropic radiated power (including antenna gain)



List of metropolitan départements in which the WIFI conditions of use have been eased



Départements marked in grey are new to the list.

This list will be updated in early July 2003 and again in early 2004