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2G, 3G and 4G mobile services in French overseas territories

The West Indies islands are located in ITU region 2. Several of them are nevertheless European territories and, as a result, use frequency plans that are characteristic of Region 1 (Europe, Middle East, Africa).  This is especially the case for the French overseas departments located in this region (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy). Now, the frequency blocks between Region 1 and Region 2 do not always have the same uses, especially for mobile phones, and the geography of the West Indies (archipelago, warm seas) favour the propagation of signals between the islands. Therefore, in these departments, French operators are faced with border interference that can occur at distances of several hundred kilometres.

In cooperation with the ARCEP and the operators, the ANFR draws up coordination agreements with neighbouring countries for the mobile service in order to prevent or solve these cases of interference.  The next requests for proposals announced by the government for 4G services in Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy, Martinique and Guadeloupe require the extension of the existing agreements. 

 

The ARCEP issued the last authorisations to mobile operators to deploy 4G in Overseas Territories on 22 November . These decisions conclude the frequency assignment procedures launched in January 2016.  

Parallel to this assignment procedure, the ANFR conducts negotiations at the borders and signs coordination agreements with neighbouring countries making it possible to properly use the frequencies assigned by the ARCEP. 

Especially in the West Indies, the coexistence of European and American frequency plans at the borders can be difficult. The geography of the West Indies (archipelago, warm seas) favours the propagation of signals between islands. Thus, in these departments, French operators are faced with border interference that can occur at distances of several hundred kilometres.

 

 

In order to avoid prejudicial interferences between neighbouring West Indian islands that have impacted mobile operators in the past, the administrations have decided to resort to a frequency sharing solution.  It consists in identifying preferred frequency blocks in bands identified as being incompatible

The new agreement signed in 2016 between the administrations of Anguilla, Sint-Maarten and the Dutch West Indies (Saba and Saint-Estatius) for the use of the 694 to 3600 MHz frequencies in Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy is based on this principle.   Changes are planned in the context of this agreement, in particular in the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz bands for the islands using this band. These changes must be finalised at the end of March 2017 at the latest. 

Similarly, during a multilateral meeting organised in Antigua in June 2016, the Antiguan, French (Guadeloupe and Martinique) and ECTEL (Dominica and Saint-Lucia) administrations defined the preferred frequency blocks in the 850, 900, 1800, 1900 and 2100 MHz frequency bands and a draft technical agreement is currently being finalised.  Discussions have also been started with the Montserrat administration to draw up a draft agreement. 

Finally, the agency is awaiting feedback from the Surinam administration on preferred frequency distributions in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands. 

 

In each French overseas territory the different information for players in the overseas departments is provided:

  • The applicable border agreement or agreements between the French administration and the neighbouring administrations
  • The frequency bands for which the neighbouring administrations have issued authorisations. These elements have been provided by the representatives of the neighbouring administrations and are subject to change.
  • The measurements made by the ANFR for the purpose of quantifying the emissions from neighbouring countries.

 

In the case of Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Mayotte and Reunion island, as the risks of interference are considered very low considering their geographical location, there are no border agreements.

This information is the status of current knowledge and is not binding on the ANFR and the ARCEP in any way.

GUADELOUPE

GUADELOUPE

Border agreement(s)
Discussions are ongoing with the administrations of
Antigua and Dominica (ECTEL) in order to draw up border agreements making it possible to define the resource sharing rules.

Licenses issued in neighbouring countries for the 700/800/850/900/1800/1900/2100/2600 MHz frequency bands

 

Update in progress...

 

Measurement campaigns in Guadeloupe

 

In May 2014, the Agency’s West Indies-Guyana office took action in Guadeloupe to assess the frequency use of the countries at its borders (Antigua and Dominica) as part of the request for proposals for the launch of 4G by the ARCEP in French overseas territories.

These measurements are used to understand the risks of interference between heterogeneous frequency plans.

MARTINIQUE

MARTINIQUE

Border agreement(s)
Discussions are ongoing with the administrations of Dominica and Saint Lucia (
ECTEL) in order to draw up border agreements making it possible to define the resource sharing rules.

Licenses issued in neighbouring countries for the 700/800/850/900/1800/19/2100/2600 MHz frequency bands

Update in progress...

Measurement campaigns in Martinique

In May 2014, the Agency’s West Indies-Guyana office took action in Martinique to assess the frequency use of the countries at its borders (Dominica and Saint Lucia) as part of the request for proposals for the launch of 4G by the ARCEP in French overseas territories.

These measurements are used to understand the risks of interference between heterogeneous frequency plans.

 

 

 

 

 

SAINT-MARTIN and SAINT-BARTHELEMY

SAINT-MARTIN and SAINT-BARTHELEMY

Agreements signed between the administrations of Anguilla, France, Sint Maarten and the Dutch West Indies (Saba and Saint-Eustache)

Following a multilateral meeting that was held in Anguilla from 8 to 10 June 2016, the Agency signed three border agreements for the FM, DTT and 2G/3G/4G mobile networks with the administrations of Anguilla, Sint Maarten and the Dutch West Indies (Saba and Saint Eustache), as well as a protocol covering spectrum control.

Licenses issued in neighbouring countries for the 700/800/850/900/1800/1900/2100/2600 MHz frequency bands

Update in progress...

 

Measurement campaigns carried out in Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy

In November 2013 and April 2014, the Agency’s West Indies-Guyana office took action in Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy to assess the frequency use of the countries at its borders (Anguilla and Saint Kitts and Nevis) as part of the request for proposals for the launch of 4G by the ARCEP in French overseas territories.

These measurements are used to understand the risks of interference between heterogeneous frequency plans.

 

 

[Translate to Anglais:]

 

FRENCH GUYANA

FRENCH GUYANA

Border agreement(s)
Discussions are ongoing with the administration of
Surinam in order to draw up border agreements making it possible to define the resource sharing rules.

Licenses issued in neighbouring countries for the 700/800/850/900/1800/1900/2100/2600 MHz frequency bands

 

Update in progress...

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