The National frequency agency is a public administrative establishment that was created by the French 26 July 1996 telecommunications regulation Act giving it the mission of managing the French radio spectrum
The establishment was born through the merger of two main missions:
- Inter-ministerial spectrum management, at the time within the remit of the Telecommunications Coordination committee and the Post and Telecommunications senior management;
- The management and control of independent radio networks previously within the remit of the French National Radiocommunications Department.
In France, spectrum management is shared by nine ministries and authorities known as assignees which have exclusive or shared rights over certain frequency bands. The Agency works in their common interest. It proposes the scheduling and distribution of the spectrum, organises suitable procedures to allow users to cohabit in good conditions, controls the use of the frequencies and compliance with the rules.
The ANFR’s work (other than administrative services) is structured into four processes:
- Frequency and prospective frequency band management
- Frequency assignment and site management
- Frequency management on behalf of the assignees
The ANFR is also involved in the GALILEO programme for the future European GPS which should be launched in 2020. During the 2000 World Conference, the Agency contributed to obtaining new frequency bands for the satellite radio-navigation service (SNRS). The Agency also conducted various radio environment studies and measurements.
The ANFR plays an active part in preparing the World Radiocommunications Conferences, international events that are held every four years. The WRCs are the opportunity for all ITU members gathered in one place to arbitrate on new proposals for changes in frequency band uses. If necessary, it is also the opportunity to revise the Radio Regulations, an international treaty governing the use of the radio frequency spectrum and geostationary and non-geostationary orbits. The Agency coordinates the French preparation for these Conferences and is strongly involved in different European and International preparation groups through the chairs and European coordinator positions it holds.
Since 2013, the ANFR has been organising Spectrum & Innovation conferences, which are annual international events aimed at gathering together the many players to discuss subjects related to spectrum news and to raise digital professionals’ awareness of the challenges around radio frequencies.
In 2016, fifteen high level speakers and over 300 participants discussed the future 5G network, the strategy to adopt, its uses and its frequencies. - and on the digital transformation of businesses covered by quality speakers such as François Rancy, the ITU Radiocommunications Office director or Philip Marnick, the chairman of the RSPG.
You can view all the 2015 Conference documents on our web site, the videos on our Youtube channel and the photos on our Flickr account.
On January 1st 2016, the Agency headcount was of 306 agents (equivalent full time).
The ANFR has its headquarters in Maisons-Alfort and has six regional departments (Donges, Toulouse, Aix-Marseille, Lyon, Nancy and Villejuif), two technical centres (Brest and Saint-Dié-des-Vosges), a branch in Boulogne and four branches in French overseas territories (New-Caledonia, Reunion Island-Mayotte, West Indies-Guyana and French Polynesia). Find out more about these centres here.
The Agency’s board of directors safeguards the essential interests of the different spectrum users. It is therefore consulted on all the strategic orientations the Agency proposes and discusses them. All the ministries and authorities that are frequency assignees are represented on the board which also includes qualified persons, in particular who represent the radiocommunications industry’s point of view.