The European Commission is seeking to coordinate the use of radio frequencies across its 28-nation bloc, with the aim of dedicating the 700 MHz band to wireless broadband by 2020 in all EU countries.
EU Commissioner Andrus Ansip said Tuesday’s proposal strikes a balance to make “ideal” spectrum available for mobile and broadband services as mobile data traffic grows exponentially. By the proposed 2020 deadline for the switch, the commission said it is expecting nearly eight times as much mobile internet traffic as there is today.
“This band is the sweet spot for both wide coverage and high speeds,” Ansip said. “It will give top-quality internet access to all Europeans, even in rural areas, and pave the way for 5G, the next generation of communication network. At the same time, we secure frequencies for the audiovisual sector and boost the development of technologies which make an efficient use of radio waves. Spectrum is a scarce resource: we need to make the best of it.”
According to the commission, the 700MHz band is currently mainly used for TV broadcasting, though radio frequency approaches vary from country to country. Under the proposal, frequencies below the 700 MHz range would remain available for audiovisual services.
The commission said France and Germany have already designate use of the 700 MHz band for mobile services. Four other EU members – Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom – have announced plans to do the same over the next few years, the commission said.
To meet the proposed 2020 deadline for the spectrum transition, the commission said the remaining member states will need to adopt and make public their plans for network coverage and for releasing this band by the end of June 2017.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)