Identification at the heart of communications: we want to know who we’re talking to!
Back in the day, our phone numbers let others know where we were and who we were. Now, with our mobile phones, the notion of location has vanished and given rise to the perpetual question: “Where are you?”. And online apps have done away with phone numbers: the original “06” prefix assigned to mobiles in France has been replaced by the app ID. And the process of calling is more and more feature-rich, with video, end-to-end encryption, and so on. Today, new applications allow users to have several numbers on a single phone, a direct line to a single party, etc.
It nevertheless remains that the “classic” telephone offers the real advantage of interconnecting different systems, whereas apps still require every user to be employing the same application. Which, in turn, gives us a range of identities: Skype, WhatsApp, G-hangout, Facebook…
Why not then examine the means used to communicate these identities, and thereby keep the old systems’ good qualities, before declaring them obsolete?
Serge Abiteboul, Arcep Board member
Regulation in action
5G in France: Arcep takes up its role of architect to prepare for rollouts
International standardisation efforts are required to enable 5G rollouts, along with the coordinated availability of appropriate frequency bands (3.4-3.8 GHz and 26 GHz) across Europe. Without waiting for the existing 2020 deadline, Arcep is already working on freeing up these frequencies, notably by migrating certain uses to other bands. The allocation of these dedicated 5G frequencies will thus be possible by the end of 2019 or sometime in 2020. The Government has already begun working on facilitating 5G rollouts.
But 5G is not simply an extension of 2G, 3G and 4G. It will only be able to fully keep its promises if businesses, manufacturers and infrastructure stakeholders take up the mantle and come up with innovative uses. To help galvanise the momentum, Arcep opened up a “5G trials” window in January that makes spectrum available to conduct full-scale 5G trials (ports, hospitals, connected roads, etc.) and explore future business models for non-telecoms players. Arcep Chair, Sébastien Soriano, also appealed directly to the heads of leading corporations to lend their support to this new major competitiveness challenge, in a letter addressed to some 40 CEOs, and by calling on businesses to mobilise during a talk at the MEDEF Digital University.
Sébastien Soriano interview in NextInPact: “We cannot afford to fall behind with 5G” (in French)
Sébastien Soriano speech at the MEDEF Digital University
On our radar
Virginie Beaumeunier, Director of the DGCCRF
Since January 2018, Virginie Beaumeunier has been the new Director of France’s General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF). Prior to this, she was the Competition Authority’s general rapporteur.
On 15 March, which marked the 50th anniversary of the National Institute of Consumer Affairs (INC), she announced the creation of a new consumer reporting application called “J’alerte la DGCCRF” – which was modelled on the “J’alerte l’Arcep” reporting app.
News from around the world
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018, the mobile industry’s largest annual trade show, was held in Barcelona in February. In the spotlight this year: 5G, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
Confirmed: virtual assistants’ growing prominence in the consumer market, the widening array of connected products… Like ever year, there were sneak peeks of new smartphones from heavyweights such as Samsung, Nokia and Sony.
One key area of focus on the manufacturer side: 5G. MWC was an opportunity for them to showcase their upcoming equipment and provide an update on network rollouts and their applications: smart cities, factories of the future, connected cars… Several manufacturers announced pioneer trials of 5G chipsets, thus paving the way for the launch of compatible smartphones by early 2019.
Arcep’s Chair and teams were in attendance. The Authority’s work on 5G, devices and mobile coverage attracted a great deal of attention, and were very well received by the many stakeholders they met with.
‘The Web is under threat. Join us and fight for it!’ A call to action from the internet’s inventor, Tim Berners-Lee
29 years after the invention of the Web, its founder Tim Berners-Lee has drafted an open letter that delivers a mixed appraisal of its evolution: ‘What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms.’ In the crosshairs: internet heavyweights such as Facebook, Google and Twitter which, according to Berners-Lee, need to be regulated through, ‘strong standards that balance the interests of both companies and online citizens’.
He nonetheless seeks to draw an optimistic conclusion, and issues a call to action: ‘Let’s assemble the brightest minds from business, technology, government, civil society, the arts and academia to tackle the threats to the web’s future’.
The open letter
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Arcep, telling it like it is
Catherine Gallet-Rybak, Secretary-general, Céline Bredèche, Head of the Human Resources unit, Isabelle Hagnéré, Head of the Finances unit
The Court of Auditors recently commended* the vital role played by Arcep, and its technical expertise, but also its rigorous and dynamic human resources management. It also pointed out that all of the French administrative authorities it had audited had increased their staff between 2011 and 2016, with the exception of Arcep.
Arcep has indeed always sought to perform its new duties by minimising job creation: by mobilising in-house resources, through redeployments and training, increasing the scope of staff’s responsibilities, by pooling resources or by using outside service providers.
Today, this proactive policy appears to be reaching its limits: Arcep will request the creation of new positions if it is assigned new duties.
A few figures on Arcep’s budget and staff:
- 22.9 million euros in 2017 (wage bill: 15.7 million euros/operating budget: 7.3 million euros) managed by the Secretary-general;
- 172 full-time equivalents working (maximum authorised positions);
- 30 new hires in 2017;
- A full budgetary calendar, punctuated by numerous deadlines, both for submitting credit claims as part of the Budget bill, and improving forecasts for the current year and reporting on execution to the budget programme’s manager;
- “Cerbère” (Cerberus) is the doggish name given to a wage bill forecasting and enforcement tool, which is not a three-headed monster but a multi-tab table that the HR team has to fill out as part of the ongoing management dialogue!
*Court of Auditors report on administrative and independent government authorities’ wage policies.
Mark your calendar
Come meet Arcep experts at French Tech Central, at the heart of Station F
Find out more
Start-ups, entrepreneurs… do you need more information on how to use frequencies for your telecoms innovations? Arcep’s experts are here to help: at French Tech Central, at the heart of Paris’s Station F incubator.
Arcep is offering entrepreneurs:
- A regulatory sandbox: under certain conditions, Arcep can temporarily relax the obligations imposed on operators;
- Help with the procedures required to obtain long-term licences and authorisations (notably frequency licences);
- Detailed information on changing connectivity standards, and the international regulatory framework governing frequencies and numbers, to help you plan your future business.
So, come see us, with or without an appointment!
4 April 2018 in Paris
Arcep and local authorities: technical meeting (GRACO)
The next GRACO (discussion forum between Arcep, local authorities and operators) technical meeting will be held on 4 April in Paris. The morning will focus on local authorities and federal government departments, to take stock on the latest developments in the sector: implementation of the France’s superfast rollout scheme, the mobile agreement… On the agenda in the afternoon: a roundtable to draft recommendations on coordinating FttH rollouts, and a roundtable open to operators and firms providing project management assistance.
The programme (in French)
4 and 5 April in Lyon
SIDO trade show – IoT showroom
The international, Internet of Things showroom (SIDO) will be taking place on 4 and 5 April in Lyon. Two days of conferences, demonstrations and discussing future uses of the Internet of Things. Arcep Chair, Sébastien Soriano, will be on hand and will be speaking at a conference called: “IoT Connectivity: 5G, the stakes of a technology tailored for the IoT”.
Find out more
From 9 to 13 April 2018 in Canada and the United States
BEREC Study Trip
Every year, BEREC organises a fact-finding mission outside the EU. This year’s destination: Canada. The goal: to obtain an overall view of Canada’s telecoms market, meet with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission and to discuss the topics of 5G, internet openness, IoT. A stopover in Washington is also planned. It will provide an opportunity to meet with the Chairman of FCC and the Chair of the FTC. The delegation will be headed up by Austria’s J. Gungl, BEREC Chair in 2018, who will be accompanied by 5 heads of European NRAs, including S. Soriano, BEREC Vice-chair.
From 23 to 27 April 2018 in Lyon
The Web Conference
Lyon will become the “capital” of the web for five days, from 23 to 27 April 2018 as it hosts The Web Conference, this year devoted to the topic of, “Bridging natural and artificial intelligence worldwide”. For 24 years, this conference which is recognised for its scientific excellence, brings together Web aficionados (researchers, developers, users, businesses…) to discuss its ongoing evolution, technology standardisation and its impact on society.
Find out more