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Europe Confirms Move to Harmonise 700MHz for Mobile Broadband

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016 (3:27 pm) - Score 554

The European Commission has today moved to follow by Ofcom’s example and ensure that more radio spectrum will be made available for Mobile Broadband (3G, 4G and possibly 5G) services in the 700MHz band (694-790MHz) by 30th June 2020 “at the latest” (in all EU countries).

The proposal is by no means surprising, not least because Europe has been signalling its intention to go down this route for the past few years and indeed the recent World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) event also saw an international agreement being reached on how to harmonise the 700MHz band for mobile communications (here).

At present a number of European countries, such as the United Kingdom, allow Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV) services to operate in the 700MHz band and Ofcom has already started work on swapping those to 600MHz (here). As such today’s proposal also includes “long-term priority for the distribution of audiovisual media services to the general public” in the sub-700MHz band.

Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy, said:

We cannot have high quality mobile internet for everything and for everyone everywhere unless we have modern infrastructure and modern rules. With this proposal we show that we can have both: a vibrant audiovisual sector as well as the spectrum we will need for 5G. The 700 MHz band will be ideal for new promising fields like connected driving and the Internet of Things. I want Europe to lead in 5G. That is why all Member States must act by 2020.”

Under the plan all EU Member States will need to adopt and make public their national plans for related network coverage and for releasing this band by 30th June 2017. After that they will also need to conclude cross-border coordination agreements by the end of 2017.

None of this should pose any problem for Ofcom, which alongside a handful of other states has already made good progress.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Avatar Mike says:

    Referring to the EU as Europe…I guess we now know which side of the referendum ISPReview is on…

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