WLAN regulatory update

3 February 2003

<font size="3">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.</font>


<font size="3">Users can connect WLAN equipment to existing public networks without any authorization, under the required technical conditions.</font>


<font size="3">In addition, as announced by ART in its press release of 7 November 2002, the list of <em>départements</em> in which the conditions of use for WLAN have been made more flexible, has been extended to include <strong>20 new <em>départements</em></strong>, as proposed by the Ministry of Defence.</font>


<font size="3">So, WLAN frequencies can now be used in <strong>58 <em>départements</em></strong> under the following conditions:</font>


  • <font size="3">Indoors with maximum power (EIRP*) of 100&nbsp;mW across the entire 2400-2483.5 MHz frequency band</font>


  • <font size="3">Outdoors with maximum power (EIRP*) of 100&nbsp;mW for 2400-2454&nbsp;MHz and maximum power (EIRP*) of 10&nbsp;mW for 2454-2483&nbsp;MHz</font>


<font size="3">New lists of <em>départements </em>will be published in July 2003 and in January 2004.</font>


<font size="3">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.</font>


<font size="3">The general conditions of use for the frequencies in the 2.4&nbsp;GHz band remain unchanged in other <em>départements</em>. However, exemptions are possible, <strong>in any <em>département</em></strong>, 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&nbsp;mW across the entire 2.4&nbsp;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.</font>


<font size="3">The first requests for experimental licences, as defined by the guidelines, have been granted by ART.For instance :</font>


  • <font size="3">a 2.4&nbsp;GHz network, developped on an island, to provide members of a community with high-speed access using WiFi connections and satellite access.</font>


  • <font size="3">another for a company planning to deploy WLAN networks in hotspots.</font>


<font size="2">* EIRP = effective isotropic radiated power (including antenna gain)</font>



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

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