French Outline WLAN Rules

France's Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) adopts the texts allowing the use of wireless LANs and lays out guidelines

November 15, 2002

3 Min Read

PARIS -- Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) has adopted decisions, which will allow to install WLAN ( generally known as Wi Fi networks) systems, to provide high-speed public Internet services, primarily in high-traffic areas (called "hotspots").Today, ART also released its guidelines, which establish the conditions for experimenting with the installation of public WLANs, such as for high-speed Internet access in locations which are currently poorly served by existing networks, in the 2.4 GHz frequency band.This serie of measures answers many of the concerns expressed during ART’s public consultation on this topic.Decisions allowing the installation of wireless terminals in hotspots: train stations, airports, business centres, etc.) In agreement with the Ministry of Defence, ART has adopted two decisions setting the conditions for using wireless LANs in the 2.4 GHz band. One of these decisions has been submitted to the Minister of Telecommunications for approval.These decisions will allow the installation of WLAN access points to provide public services in high-traffic public places.This will allow service providers and licensed operators to install access points using 2.4 GHz band technologies without authorisation, under the following technical conditions:In 38 départements:- The 2400-2454 MHz band can be used both inside and outside buildings using systems (access points and devices) with power* of less than 100 milliWatts (mW)- The 2454-2483.5 MHz band can be used inside buildings using devices with power* of less than 100 mW and outdoors using devices with power of less than 10 mW. On private property, the power may be increased to 100 mW outdoors after approval from of ? the Ministry of Defence.For the time being, in all other metropolitan départements, the conditions remain unchanged. The list of the first 38 départements will be progressively added to from 1st January 2003.As for the overseas départements (DOM), as well as Saint Pierre and Miquelon and Mayotte, the entire 2400-2483.5 MHz band may be used indoors and outdoors using devices with power* of less than 100 mW, except for the Reunion Islands and Guyana where only the 2420-2483.5 MHz band may be used at 100 mW outdoors.ART reminds operators that these frequencies are used with no guarantee of non-disruption and that the installations must respect all measures applying to radio installations (such as urban planning regulations).These decisions also allow the development of private uses. In particular, private networks, such as indoor corporate networks, can be established using these technologies.Guidelines for public WLAN experimentation Networks using WLAN technology will be granted a free authorisation for up to 18 months under article L.33-1 of the Post and Telecommunications Code.These networks may use systems with power* of 100 mW on the entire band, indoors and outdoors. Moreover, in the 2.4 GHz band and provided this power limit is respected, fixed point-to-point links can be established for these networks’ needs or frequencies can be requested in other ad hoc bands.Private and public persons may submit applications to ART, provided legislation and regulations allow them to do so.Applications will be processed in a simplified way, in the spirit of the new "Authorization" Directive. ART will send complete applications to the Ministry of Defence. The Ministry will then check that the projects are not located near any sensitive area and that they are not likely to cause disruptions to military equipments. For each application ART will then submit its report and the draft authorisation to the Minister of Telecommunications.Applications can be sent from 12 November 2002 so that the first experiments may be launched as soon as early 2003. Full reviews are to be sent to ART at the end of the temporary authorisations to determine whether the technology guarantees quality and security to users.*effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP)Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART)

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