The French Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has announced its plans to make the conditions for the establishment of wireless networks using the 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) and 5 GHz radio frequency bands more flexible. These networks include, in particular, wireless fidelity networks in high-traffic areas (eg, airports).

According to the authority's action plan, the provision of high-speed internet access services using radio local area network technologies in high-traffic areas should be permitted before the end of 2002. In addition, the authority will engage in discussions with the competent authorities for better use of the 2.4 GHz radio frequency band and publish guidelines for carrying out experimental high-speed internet access services in geographical areas that lack adequate network coverage.

The authority's action plan should be warmly welcomed by French market players as only the 2.4 GHz radio frequency band is currently open for use in France, such use being limited to independent networks and subject to strict conditions.

For further information on this topic please contact Eric Morgan de Rivery or Carole Arribes at Lovells by telephone (+33 1 53 67 47 47) or by fax (+33 1 53 67 47 48) or by email ([email protected] or [email protected]).