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Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) networks

Last update 10th March 2016

Since 26 August 2013, the department responsible for managing professional networks has moved, and PMR authorisation application forms have been updated.

Licence applications must now be completed using the new forms, available here, and sent to the following address:

Agence nationale des fréquences
Service de gestion des réseaux professionnels
A l'attention de l'ARCEP
78 avenue du Général de Gaulle
94704 Maisons-Alfort cedex

PROFESSIONAL MOBILE RADIO NETWORKS: A WIDE RANGE OF USERS

Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) networks are systems that are independent from the cellular mobile service, generally local or regional in scale and used for professional purposes.

These professional radio networks are used by companies of all sizes (ranging from freelance workers to large conglomerates) and different sectors, such as:

- transport (road transport companies, bus companies, taxis, airport services, motorway companies, ambulance, etc.);
- security and guarding;
- construction and public works;
- energy (electricity utilities);
- industry;
- sport and leisure associations.

PMR networks are also used by certain State agencies and services, hospitals, local authorities and some public institutions. As other use of spectrum for electronic communication services, PMR networks require an authorisation issued by Arcep. This is not, however, the case with those operated by the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Defence which, like Arcep, are themselves responsible for allocating and assigning spectrum.

A very large number of installations employ PMR networks. As of January 2012, there were 25,840 individual PMR authorisation issued by Arcep. Added to this are the many uses made of "open spectrum", in other words those that do not require an individual authorisation to use the frequencies.

AUTHORISATION FRAMEWORK SET BY ARCEP

As with all radiocommunications services, PMR networks can be issued an authorisation under one of several regimes.

In the 50 MHz, 60 MHz, 80 MHz, 160 MHz and 400 MHz bands, whose allocation is under the Arcep responsibility, users must be granted an authorisation by Arcep. Under this individual licensing system, Arcep applies three distinct schemes for spectrum use, adapted to PMR networks' different needs.

Individual authorisation by allotment:

An authorisation is granted for the use of a block of frequencies in a given geographical area, without specifying the location of the user base stations. The authorisation carries a protection guarantee against harmful interference. This type of authorisation does not specify in any detail how the authorised network is engineered, which the user is free to alter within the limits set by the authorisation provisions.

Find out more about allotments

Individual authorisation by assignment:

An authorisation is granted for the use of a frequency in a given location and under technical terms and conditions that are detailed specifically in the authorisation, which implies prior frequency coordination, site by site. . The authorisation carries a protection guarantee against harmful interference. If the user wants to modify the location of the sites or the technical terms and conditions attached to its licence, the user must request permission from Arcep to make these changes.

Find out more about assignments

Individual licences for shared use, with no guarantee of protection:

The licence is issued for the use of frequencies on an individual, but non-exclusive basis, with no guarantee of protection from other users.

Find out more about shared licences

In some channels of the identified frequency bands, whose allocation is under the Arcep responsibility, a PMR network does not require a prior authorisation from Arcep to operate: these sub-bands are subject to a system of general authorisation. Users can therefore employ these frequencies for free, provided they comply with the technical terms and conditions set out in the Arcep decision, which may include restrictions on the type of equipment, network or technology that can be employed in the frequency band.

Find out more about the general authorisation system

AUTHORISATION APPLICATIONS FOR PMR NETWORKS

All applications for frequency licences must be submitted using the downloadable form, whether for allotted frequencies, assigned frequencies or for shared use.

Applications must be sent to the National Frequency Agency (Agence nationale des fréquences - ANFR), which proceeds those request on behalf of Arcep. Applications must be sent by the post to the following address:

Agence nationale des fréquences
Service de gestion des réseaux professionnels
A l'attention de l'Arcep
78 avenue du General de Gaulle
94704 Maisons-Alfort Cedex

Further information about licence applications is available on the ANFR website