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Launch of a public consultation with a view to opening new frequency bands
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Launch of a public consultation with a view to opening new frequency bands

Arcep and France’s National Frequency Agency, ANFR, are launching a public consultation to gather feedback from stakeholders on “new opportunities for using the 862 – 870 MHz, 870 – 876 MHz and 915 – 921 MHz bands” to meet the growing needs of the Internet of Things.

The Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, Ms Axelle Lemaire, has identified this sector – which is attracting initiatives and investments at both the national and international level – as an important vector for innovation and growth in France.

Arcep shares this view, and in its recent strategic review identified the Internet of Things (IoT) as one of its top 12 priorities for 2016 and 2017. The Authority began working on the matter back in autumn 2015 in concert with several public organisations, including ANFR. This work has revealed a very strong need for new frequencies, notably just below 1 GHz.

In a parallel measure, to stimulate the development of the Internet of Things, the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs has tasked ANFR with examining the technical and regulatory terms and conditions that would enable the development of low-power devices in the 863 – 870 MHz, 870 – 876 MHz and 915 – 921 MHz bands, which are currently reserved essentially for the Ministry of Defence.

At this stage, the public consultation is focused on requirements in these three frequency bands. It will enable the National Frequency Agency, in tandem with Arcep and the Ministry of Defence, to guide the work being done today in France and in Europe on laying the groundwork for the IoT’s future development, and on supporting innovative French companies in this sector. It will be followed by a broader consultation on the Internet of Things, which Arcep will be conducting this summer.

The present consultation will run until 18 July 2016.

> The public consultation (in French only)