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Mobile & Wireless

GSMA calls for quicker refarming of broadcast spectrum in EU

Monday 1 September 2014 | 16:12 CET | News
The GSMA has called for the EU to move more quickly in releasing broadcast spectrum for mobile broadband services. In response to an EU report recommending the 700 MHz band spectrum be available for mobile services from 2020, the industry group said it would like to see EU states auction the frequencies between 2018 and 2020, or even earlier, in order to respond to the sustained growth in mobile data traffic. 

It's also concerned about the recommendation that a decision on releasing the 470-694 MHz frequencies for mobile services not be taken until 2025. According to the GSMA, this could put Europe at a competitive disadvantage compared to other regions activating the spectrum earlier. It called for the European Commission to accelerate the review process for the sub-700 MHz band, to no later than 2020. 

It would also like to see the EU support at the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2015 a dual allocation for these bands, for use by both broadcast and mobile providers, so some states are allowed to move earlier on auctioning the spectrum if needed. The report by former European commissioner Pascal Lamy recommended that such a resolution at the WRC be opposed by the EU. His position received the backing of the European Broadcast Union. The EBU also welcomed the recommendation that the sub-700 MHz frequencies be maintained for broadcasting until at least 2030. 

The broadcasters are also concerned the schedule proposed for refarming the 700 MHz band is too quick and may not give broadcasters and consumers enough time to transition digital terrestrial TV services. In some states, not enough capacity is remaining for the services, meaning possible disruption to existing DTT services from the refarming. Furthermore, as the 800 MHz band has only recently become available for mobile services, an additional 'stock take' of spectrum use should be taken in 2025 before any further decisions, according to the EBU. 


Categories: Broadcast & Satellite / Mobile & Wireless
Countries: Europe
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