France - Regulation and Spectrum - History

16.12.2019

DAB+ was added to the French standards in August 2013

  • Band III
  • Commercial services for 6 cities (Paris, Nice, Marseille, Lille, Lyon, Strasbourg) in Band III
  • Further cities tenders will use the learning of Paris, Nice, Lille and Marseille broadcast 
  • No analogue switch-off date has been determined as of yet

Analogue and digital licences are both issued free of charge. There is a quota for French music and new artists and the current analogue rules which govern advertising and sponsorship will also apply to digital radio.

On 19 December 2018, the French regulator CSA announced that following the launches of DAB+ in Strasbourg and Lyon, 21.3% of the population of France was now covered by DAB+, therefore triggering the French receiver law requiring all new radio receivers to be equipped with DAB+ capabilities.

 

 

 

As of 19.12.2018, new receivers able to display multimedia content are to integrate DAB+ capabilities within three months [end of March], while all radio receivers have 12 months to include digital capabilities [end of December], aside from in-car receivers which have 18 months to comply with the law [end of June]

In December 2019, a proposal to amend the existing receiver legislation was submitted to the French government. According to the new proposed regulation available here:

  • All new car radios sold starting from 21st Dec 2020 should include digital radio capabilities
  • All new consumer receivers capable of displaying letters and numbers should include digital radio capabilities, starting from 21st Dec 2020
  • In France’s overseas territories that have yet to launch DAB+, the regulation will come into effect six months after the launch of regular DAB+ services The bill, which has been presented for debate by the government before parliament, can be amended by the parliament or the senate until it is adopted in early 2020.

Spectrum allocation

In March 2019, the CSA released the list of radio stations that have been granted a national DAB+ licence alongside the six Radio France national radio stations. These are the following:

·      Air Zen (SARL Air Zen Radio)
·      BFM Business (SAS Business FM) - NextRadio
·      BFM Radio (SAS Newco G) – NextRadio (NEW)
·      Chérie (SAS Chérie FM) - NRJ
·      Europe 1 (SAM Lagardère Active Broadcast)
·      Fun Radio (SA SERC) - RTL
·      Latina (SAS Latina France)
·      M Radio (SARL M Radio DAB)
·      Nostalgie (SAS Radio Nostalgie) - NRJ
·      NRJ (SAS NRJ) - NRJ
·      Radio Classique (SAS Radio Classique)
·      RFM (SAS RFM Entreprises) – Lagardère (Europe 1)
·      Rire et Chansons (SAS Rire et Chansons) - NRJ
·      RMC (SAM Radio Monte-Carlo) - NextRadio
·      RTL (SAS RTL France Radio) 
·      RTL 2 (SA SODERA)
·      Skyrock (SA Vortex)
·      Virgin Radio (SAS Europe 2 Entreprises) - Lagardère

 

14.03.2019

DAB+ was added to the French standards in August 2013

  • Band III
  • Commercial services for 6 cities (Paris, Nice, Marseille, Lille, Lyon, Strasbourg) in Band III
  • Further cities tenders will use the learning of Paris, Nice, Lille and Marseille broadcast 
  • No analogue switch-off date has been determined as of yet

Analogue and digital licences are both issued free of charge. There is a quota for French music and new artists and the current analogue rules which govern advertising and sponsorship will also apply to digital radio.

On 19 December 2018, the French regulator CSA announced that following the launches of DAB+ in Strasbourg and Lyon, 21.3% of the population of France was now covered by DAB+, therefore triggering the French receiver law requiring all new radio receivers to be equipped with DAB+ capabilities.

 

 

 

As of 19.12.2018, new receivers able to display multimedia content are to integrate DAB+ capabilities within three months [end of March], while all radio receivers have 12 months to include digital capabilities [end of December], aside from in-car receivers which have 18 months to comply with the law [end of June]

DAB+ is expected to launch in over 15 cities in throughout 2019 and 2020, including Toulouse, Bordeaux, Bayonne, Pau, La Rochelle, Dijon, Besançon, Grenoble, Saint-Étienne, Annecy, Chambéry, Annemasse, Toulon, Avignon, Tours, Orléans and Poitiers. Calls for applications for the remaining 30 percent will also be launched in 2020, with launches planned for 2023.

In March 2019, the CSA released the list of radio stations that have been granted a national DAB+ licence alongside the six Radio France national radio stations. These are the following:

·      Air Zen (SARL Air Zen Radio)
·      BFM Business (SAS Business FM) - NextRadio
·      BFM Radio (SAS Newco G) – NextRadio (NEW)
·      Chérie (SAS Chérie FM) - NRJ
·      Europe 1 (SAM Lagardère Active Broadcast)
·      Fun Radio (SA SERC) - RTL
·      Latina (SAS Latina France)
·      M Radio (SARL M Radio DAB)
·      Nostalgie (SAS Radio Nostalgie) - NRJ
·      NRJ (SAS NRJ) - NRJ
·      Radio Classique (SAS Radio Classique)
·      RFM (SAS RFM Entreprises) – Lagardère (Europe 1)
·      Rire et Chansons (SAS Rire et Chansons) - NRJ
·      RMC (SAM Radio Monte-Carlo) - NextRadio
·      RTL (SAS RTL France Radio) 
·      RTL 2 (SA SODERA)
·      Skyrock (SA Vortex)
·      Virgin Radio (SAS Europe 2 Entreprises) - Lagardère

 

01.10.2013

Key features of regulation for digital radio in France are;

  • DAB+ was added to the French standards in August 2013
  • Band III
  • Tenders for 3 cities (Paris, Nice and Marseilles) in Band III
  • Further 20 cities by the end of the year
  • No analogue switch-off date

Digital radio licences will be issued in France with a duration of 10 to 15 years and any broadcasters going digital will get a five year extension of their analogue licences. Simulcasting, associated data and audio-visual communication services will be permitted.

Analogue and digital licences are both issued free of charge. There is a quota for French music and new artists and the current analogue rules which govern advertising and sponsorship will also apply to digital radio.

The French Law on digital radio released in March 2009 has been revised so that when 20% of the French population is covered by a digital radio signal, DMB will become mandatory in all devices which includes radios. Similar to the first draft of the law there is a 12 month grace period after which all products containing radio must be digital with the exception of cars. The car industry has an 18 month grace period after 20% coverage is reached. These changes were made to the law by the French Senate on 17 May 2011.

Currently in France there is a lack of FM spectrum which means the French radio market has no opportunity to expand. The French market in line with GE-06 has allocated Band III for digital radio. There has been some discussion of using the L-Band for coverage of motorways although this has not been confirmed.
Following a consultation on use of the L-Band last March (2011) by the CSA, a call for tenders has been sent out to use the upper part of L-Band for satellite services which closed on 27 Feb 2012.
This is possible as the upper part of the L-Band is reserved for digital radio hybrid services with satellite and terrestrial broadcasting mainly based on SDR.

The tender launched by CSA is not for radio broadcasters but mainly for distributors. It is for a national network with 67 allotments based in the upper part of the L-Band. Coverage objectives are 20% within three years, 40% within five years and minimum 60% within seven years. The tender requires compatibility with MA02revCO07 which will preserve the L-Band for broadcasting. However, it allows for DMB in the terrestrial part and also it opens up the lower part of the band for other technologies. Onde Numerique has been selected by the regulation authority to launch a hybrid terrestrial/satellite network using L-Band. Pay services should start by the end of 2014 using the ESDR norm.