Radio wave stations and sites

Why check radio conformity, what for?

Site inspections and station checks help limit the risk of interference, contribute to proper spectrum management and to updating the ANFR databases.

In line with the provisions of article L.43 of the French Postal and Electronic Communications Code, the Agence nationale des fréquences (ANFR) is in charge of monitoring the use, including private, of radio frequencies throughout mainland France and the French overseas territories.  subject to the jurisdictions of the government departments and authorities that can assign radio frequencies. 

For the ANFR, these checks are also an effective means of checking the data in the national databases that the Agency is in charge of keeping updated, including installations and frequency use on sites.

Checking radio sites: how is it done?

The Agency relies on its regional organisation to carry out its checks. This may involve site inspections or site or network checks.

Site inspections require precise and rigorous organisation. They require different steps, as detailed below:

Step 1: choosing the site to inspect and scheduling the inspection: this is part of a timetable drawn up by the ANFR. Occupants are systematically invited to take part in site inspections. Such requests to attend make it possible for the ANFR to make sure the occupants are present and that it has access to their installations and equipment. A site pre-visit often facilitates the inspection.

Step 2: the actual site inspection involves the following actions:

  • the organisation of a coordination meeting with the participants by the person in charge of the inspection to facilitate the actual inspection;
  • the recording of the geographical coordinates of the various supports to guarantee their precise location;
  • the identification of the antennas used (or not used) by each frequency user;
  • the measurement of the main radio parameters registered with the Agency's Sites and Easements Consultation Committee (COMSIS) and the Agency’s Frequency Assignment Consultation Committee (CAF), either by direct measurement by the Agency using its own equipment, or by recording the characteristics on user terminals;
  • verifying, where necessary, compliance with public exposure to electromagnetic field limit values, either by measurement carried out by the agency itself in accordance with the protocol it has established, or by mandating accredited companies;
  • the possible organisation of a meeting to conclude the inspection.

Step 3: at the end of the inspection, the results are recorded in an electronic inspection file. They highlight any non-conformities and discrepancies found on the site for each installation relative to the frequency use authorisation specifications issued by the bodies that assign the frequencies and relative to the declarations or applications filed with the CAF and the COMSIS. 

Step 4: the inspection department makes the results of its inspection, including the list of actions to be taken with regard to COMSIS and CAF, available to the participants electronically. In the most serious cases, it may impose a non-compliance charge of €450, which the offender must pay. If the ANFR wishes the case to be prosecuted, it can also draw up a breach ticket, which it forwards to the Public Prosecutor’s office.

Step 5: the body that assigns the frequencies and the user receiving the file and the list of actions must correct the elements identified by the inspection on site or in the databases to return to compliance. The inspection file is closed once all the actions to be taken have been completed by the different stakeholders.

Site inspections are carried out after the different entities operating on the site have been informed, their presence being required on the day of the inspection to help locate their respective antennas.

The Agency also carries out spot inspections of radio sites and networks.