Thursday, October 27, 2011

Europe's Radio Spectrum Policy Pushes 800 MHz for Mobile Broadband

The EU agreed a new European radio policy that aims to spur the roll-out of mobile broadband services by requiring Member States to authorise the use of the "digital dividend" 800 MHz band for wireless broadband by January 2013 in all but exceptional circumstances. The agreement will also lead to the creation of an inventory of spectrum use in the Member States, which will be essential to ensure the most efficient allocation of scarce spectrum resources for wireless services in Europe.

The Radio Spectrum Policy Programme will begin in early 2012 and run through to the end of 2015 but its principles and objectives are of a permanent nature and will not expire in 2015. Key elements include:

  • creating an European radio spectrum inventory and putting in place a process for determining usage efficiency together with a commitment to examine the need for further harmonised spectrum for wireless broadband based on this inventory;

  • fostering the deployment of wireless broadband by setting tight deadlines for authorising the use of several harmonised spectrum bands for electronic communication services;

  • making at least 1200 MHz of spectrum available for wireless broadband services in the Union by 2015, following an assessment based on the new spectrum inventory;

  • defining concrete steps to ensure and promote competition in the single EU telecoms market, avoiding possible distortions arising from the excessive accumulation of spectrum in the hands of certain operators;

  • promoting more flexible spectrum management, encouraging in particular collective and shared use of scarce spectrum;
  • meeting the spectrum requirements of EU policies in sectors such as transport, energy, earth observation and monitoring, civil protection, wireless microphones and cordless cameras, and the Internet of Things;

  • and underlining the need for enhanced EU coordination in international spectrum negotiations.

See also