ARCEP - Authority for regulation of the electronic communications and postal sectors of the French Republic

07/13/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/17/2017 14:58

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In-flight internet access: Arcep launches a public consultation on its decision to authorise Inmarsat to deploy complementary ground components

Paris, 13 July 2017

In 2008-2009 the European Commission carried out a selection and authorisation procedure (Decision No. 626/2008/EC) with a view to awarding frequencies in the 2 GHz band - aka the MSS (Mobile Satellite Services) band - for the pan-European deployment of mobile satellite services. Two applicants were selected, one of which was the firm Inmarsat Ventures Limited (Inmarsat). Through its decision of 21 October 2014, Arcep thus authorised Inmarsat to use 1980 - 1995 MHz and 2170 - 2185 MHz band frequencies to establish and operate a mobile satellite network in Metropolitan France.

As part of its EAN (European Aviation Network) project, and having launched its satellite on 28 June of this year, Inmarsat is now planning to deploy and operate relay towers on the ground to complete its satellite service. The possibility of deploying ground-to-air towers is covered by the European regulatory framework, under the heading of complementary ground components (CGC). Inmarsat thus plans to enable in-flight internet access through a system of dual connectivity: via satellite and through the use of these complementary ground components.

Today Arcep is publishing its draft decision on authorising Inmarsat to deploy and operate these relay towers for consultation, and invites all interested parties to submit their contributions before 8 September 2017.