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FRANCE

  • "The Licensing Regime in France within the New European Regulatory Framework" by Bernard Celli, Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART), September 2003 in English.
  • ARCEP Decision No. 2012-1184"> (18 September 2012) authorized INFOSAT Telecom to test "super Wi-Fi" equipment in the TV white spaces of 590-598 MHz in the Département Seine-Maritime for a period of one year.
  • "Face aux zones blanches, l'Arcep se tourne vers le Super-WiFi," par Julien L., Numerama, 6 October 2012: background on ARCEP Decision No. 2012-1184.
  • "Les Français préfèrent des zones de WiFi public à une piscine municipale," [The French would rather have public Wi-Fi zones than a municipal swimming pool], La Provence, 20 November 2013 (in French): 88.3% of French voters surveyed believe that free WiFi should be deployed in all public spaces.
  • FRATEL: Réseau francophone de la régulation des télécommunications - 53 members including Algeria, Belgium, Benin, Canada, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, etc.
  • "In November 2002 The French government ruled that it would allow W-LAN hot-spot services on the 2.4GHz frequency, giving operators access to unlicensed spectrum specifically for the provision of broadband internet services. In an attempt to kick-start development in the sector the ART passed legislation governing the installation of public W-LAN networks based on the WiFi (or 802.11b) standard. Service providers are permitted to offer services in 58 'departements' without a licence; in all other metropolitan areas conditions remain unchanged for the time being, although more regions will be added in 2004..." ---"ART reports 41.7 million mobile users," TeleGeography, 27 January 2004.
  • Footnote 5.397 of the International Table of Frequency Allocations says: "Different category of service: in France, the band 2450-2500 MHz is allocated on a primary basis to the radiolocation service..."
  • "Décision N° 03-909 de l'Autorité de régulation des télécommunications" (issued 22 July 2003): negotiations with the Ministry of Defense have enabled the "experimental authorization" of RLANs in all metropolitan areas from 25 July 2003. However outdoor emissions by RLANs in the 2454-2483.5 MHz band are still limited to 10mW in all metropolitan areas. That part of the band is expected to become fully available for RLAN use by 2011. Private RLANs require no permission from ART; for networks open to the public, a simple declaration to ART replaces an individual license. The results of the "experimental authorization" will be evaluated in the second half of 2004.
  • "Evolution du régime d'autorisation pour les RLAN à compter du 25 juillet 2003," (Evolution of the RLAN authorization arrangement after 25 July 2003), ART: RLANs for public use that are directly connected to already authorized public networks do not require permission from ART, although they still must be "declared."
  • According to Approval News (March 2006), "On 13 December 2005, ARCEP released two decisions regarding to 802.11a technology in the 5 GHz frequency band. Decision N° 2005-1080 and Decision N° 2005-1081 were published in the French Official Journal on 8 February and 22 January 2006, respectively. These decisions allocate 5 GHz band and establish the conditions of use for wireless access systems, including RLANs. With both decisions France adopts ECC/DEC/(04)08... Most important change from previous status is the opening of the 5470 - 5725 MHz frequency band..."
  • "5 Free GHz!" ---by Thomas Gee, in French, Le Canard WiFi, 31 January 2006: "To conform with European laws and texts, Decision N° 2005-1081 was published in the Official Journal 22 January 2006, allowing free use of the 5 GHz band subject to respect for the conditions of use. Any apparatus functioning in the frequency band 5150-5350 MHz can be used inside buildings. Any apparatus functioning in the frequency band 5470-5725 MHz can be used inside or outside. ARCEP does not require any individual authorization to use these frequencies!..."

    "Le 5 GHz libre!!! Afin de se conformer avec les textes et lois européens, la décision n° 2005-1081 a été publiée dans le Journal Officiel le 22 janvier 2006 permettant l'utilisation libre de la bande de fréquences 5 GHz sous réserve du respect des conditions d'utilisation. Tout appareil fonctionnant dans les fréquences 5150-5350 MHz pourra être utilisé à l'intérieur des bâtiments. Tout appareil fonctionnant dans les fréquences 5470-5725 MHz pourra être utilisé à l'intérieur comme à l'extérieur. Aucune autorisation individuelle d'utiliser ces fréquences n'est à demander à l'ARCEP!"

    "Update: According to ETSI standard EN 301 893 (V1.3.1), the maximum average EIRP (equivalent isotropic radiated power) in the frequency band 5150-5350 MHz is 200 MW (indoors) and 1 W in the frequency band 5470-5725 MHz (indoors and outdoors).

    "New update (1 February 2006): 802.11a exploits the frequency band from 5.150 to 5.350 GHz. Thus 802.11a is to be used exclusively inside buildings. On the other hand, technologies such as Hiperlan/2 (802.11h) exploiting the frequency band 5.470 to 5.725 GHz can be used outdoors the same as indoors.

    "Newer update (2 February 2006): This table from ARCEP summarizes the frequency situation well concerning 802.11b, 802.11a and Hiperlan/2."

    Even newer update: from "Could the French hinder Draft N in Europe?" by Peter Judge, Techworld, 2 April 2007: "Over Europe as a whole, regulations in the 5 GHz are supposed to become identical, according to the EC's decision 2005/513/EC. France's regulatory authority, however, decided to demand compliance with [ETSI standard EN 301 893 (V1.3.1)]... sooner than the rest of Europe, in a decision dated December 13 2005... As a result, equipment complying with 1.2.3 of the DFS specification - essentially all current 5GHz WiFi equipment - cannot legally be sold in France... 'EICTA is of the view that the position from France is in conflict with Community law,' says [Tony Graziano, EICTA's director of technical and regulatory affairs]... The problem with the newer version [of the DFS specification] is that current silicon can't support it. Firmware bringing today's chips into line results in false positives, according to Michael Coci, director of technical marketing at Trapeze. The only practical fix is to disable many of the 11a channels, which ends up reducing the 11a band to around 3 channels, so the equipment ends up with the same performance issues as the 2.4GHz band. Chips that can handle the new DFS specification, without this problem, will be available next year..."

  • According to EPCGlobal's 24 November 2006 update on national RFID regulation in the UHF band, on 6 September 2006 ART adopted new rules for RFID in the 865.6 - 867.6 MHz band, allowing 2W erp throughout the country except in 20-km-radius zones around 13 military bases.
  • "Libres réseaux de voisinage" par Olivier Zablocki, RadioPhare.
  • "Wi-fi et responsabilité" par Laure-Anne Cornelie (Septembre 2003).
  • alt.fr.comp.reseaux.wifi - Usenet group for French-language discussions of wifi technology.
  • Wireless LAN Francophone.
  • WiFi Wiki.
  • Bruno Forni's excellent MunicipalNet blog offers global news and analysis of city-net developments in French.
  • Paris Sansfil promotes free/community networks in Paris.
  • "Paris, the wireless wonder?" by Lee Dembart, International Herald Tribune, 5 May 2003.
  • "Paris France is already a Wi Fi City" by Aurelia Lu, OhMyNews, 28 November 2005, describing OzoneParis, a "pervasive WiFi" network being built by a firm owned by telecom entrepeneur Rafi Haladjian.
  • "Paris makeover climbs a notch with 'le Wi-Fi'," by Alissa J. Rubin, Los Angeles Times, (via the Kansas City Star, 26 November 2006).
  • WLAN.REF-union - promotes WLAN experimentation and hardware development among French radio amateurs; manages the HamLAN email list.
  • "Radio: Libérez le Spectre de Fréquences" par Gilles Guénette, Le Québécois Libre #114 (23 November 2002). A French-Canadian perspective.
  • "Wi-Fi in France: No Mass Commercial Rollout of Hotspots Yet, More Hope for Municipal Wireless Deployments" by Philippe Montubert (21 August 2003) in English. Prepared for the Lyon Summit of Cities and Local Authorities on the Information Society.
  • Fédération France Wireless - promotes municipal-area networks.
  • "Mesh wi-fi et réseaux ad-hoc" par Cyril Fiévet, 20 June 2004.
  • InfRadio: "aborde plusieurs priorités de l'appel d'offre: réseaux spontanés, qualité de service et sécurité des ces réseaux, routage et configurabilité, mise en oeuvre et test de service innovants, observation des usages."
  • "AFSCM and GlobalPlatform to cooperate on NFC specifications," by Julien Happich, EE Times Europe, 29 June 2010: "Association Francaise pour le Sans Contact Mobile (AFSCM), which facilitates the technical development of NFC and promotes contactless mobile services, has entered into a contribution agreement with GlobalPlatform. The partnership will result in AFSCM contributing its business processes and end-to-end system architecture to GlobalPlatform for integration into its specifications, which will enable greater access to AFSCM use case materials and assist the advancement of the NFC ecosystem. AFSCM has defined the required business processes between actors for real, mass market NFC deployments in France, with the technology now fully operational in Nice..."
  • Institut Eurécom's Open Software Radio Platform (description in English).
  • Fondation Internet Nouvelle Génération - "un projet collectif et ouvert de veille, de recherche-développement et d'expérimentation dont l'objet est de stimuler et faire connaître l'innovation dans les services, les applications et les usages de l'internet de demain..." (New Generation Internet Foundation - the collective and open project of research, development and experimentation whose aim is to stimulate and make known tomorrow's innovative Internet services, applications and uses.)

Europe - Regional Overview