Translation with SYSTRAN Links

Coordination necessary for the frontier frequencies

Publication date: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Letter of the CSA n°260 - May 2012


In the peripheral regions, frequencies allotted for television and the radio can already be used by frontier countries. An international coordination is then necessary. Recall of its principles and methods.

The propagation of the radioelectric frequencies not stopping at the borders, it is necessary to coordinate the frequencies planned with the frontier countries. In France, it is the national Agency of the frequencies (ANFr) which of it is charged, in bond with the CSA and agreement with the proper authorities of our neighbors. An international cooperation which for example was put in work this winter at the time of a meeting arranged with the federal Office of communication (OFCOM) Swiss in order to solve problems of restriction of radio frequencies imposed by Switzerland in the zone of Annecy. A case solved among many others.

Agreements of Geneva

The legal basis of international coordination thus rests on two agreements concluded under the aegis of the International union from telecommunications, and independent of the treaties relating to the European Union. For the DVB and the digital radio, it is the agreement of Geneva 2006 - signed by more than 120 countries - which governs the use of the bands III (174-230 MHz), IV and V (470-862 MHz). In the case of the analogical radio, it is the agreement of Geneva 1984 which governs the use of band II (88,5-108 MHz).

These agreements contain each one a plan of frequencies envisaging of the rights to use frequencies as well as procedures to modify these rights. They are intended to protect the use of a frequency and to guarantee an equitable access to the spectrum between the whole of the countries, basic principle of the International union of telecommunications. Thus, when an administration wants to commission a transmitter not corresponding to a right registered to the plan, it must initially seek the agreement of the frontier countries affected by the use of this frequency. Often, this coordination leads to a negotiation making it possible to satisfy the needs for the two administrations.

Many areas concerned

Many regions must be the object of coordination with the foreign countries, as the zones of North and the East, but also, because of the maritime propagations, the large majority of the coastal regions facing another country

For the radio, even if project FM+ of optimization of the plan of frequencies launched by the Council were completed in 2011, the activity of international coordination increased in order to share the spectrum between country equitably. Moreover, the FM spectrum being very encumbered in Europe, it is increasingly difficult to reach agreements with the adjoining countries. This is why France meets all the frontier countries regularly, as it was the case for Switzerland which raised last February four restrictions of frequency to Haute-Savoie. 

For television, many co-ordinating meetings took place with the foreign administrations since the end of 2007 in order to adapt the plan of Geneva of 2006 and to coordinate a new plan of frequencies to eight multiplexing with those of the other countries, while avoiding the band of channels 61 to 69 allotted to services Internet mobiles. This plan was the object of the first three agreements of coordination of the frequencies with Germany (November 18th, 2011), Switzerland (February 8th, 2012) and the United Kingdom (March 21st, 2012). An agreement was to be concluded in March 2012 with Spain, but the negotiations remained blocked on a point, which deferred the signature of it. An agreement with Belgium could be signed in June 2012, after study of the last proposals for this administration. Lastly, the case of Italy is particular because, beyond the research of the signature of an agreement, it is advisable to be vigilant in the respect of the operational requirements of the frequencies by the many Italian diffusers.