The European Commission has recommended that the 700MHz spectrum band currently used for terrestrial TV services and wireless microphones be reserved for mobile broadband services in the EU.
EU Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes was presented a report by former Commissioner Pascal Lamy on how to use the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum (the 700 MHz band) most effectively in the decade to come.
The report comes after 6 months of dialogue with Europe’s broadcasters, network operators, mobile companies and tech associations on how to use the UHF spectrum band in future.
As the ever increasing demand for spectrum can be met only with efficient use, the report proposes a ‘2020-2030-2025 formula’.
First, the 700 MHz spectrum band that is currently being used by terrestrial broadcasting networks and wireless microphones is to be used for wireless broadband across the EU by 2020. In order to ensure a smooth transition path that will minimize costs this deadline may be delayed or sped up by two years. With Germany, Finland and Sweden having already allocated the 700 MHz band to mobile broadband and several other EU Member States considering doing so as well (which would affect and be affected by terrestrial broadcasters in neighbouring countries), the plan offers a coherent EU-wide UHF spectrum policy that is necessary to facilitate and deploy new digital services and hit the Digital Agenda goals.
Secondly, regulatory security and stability for terrestrial broadcasters in the remaining UHF spectrum below 700 MHz is to be safeguarded until 2030. Broadcasting will to continue its current use of the band 470-694 MHz until that date.
In addition, In order to take into account the evolving change in consumer demand as well as new technologies (such as converged networks or large-scale roll out of optic fibre), a stock-taking exercise of UHF spectrum use should be performed by 2025, states the report.