The European Commission (EC) has proposed to hand radio spectrum in the 700MHz frequency band over to wireless broadband providers within six years under new Digital Agenda proposals published yesterday (1 September). A new report submitted to Digital Agenda vice president Neelie Kroes recommends refarming ultra-high frequencies (UHF) in the 694MHz to 790MHz range, which are currently used by terrestrial broadcasting companies, by 2020 – plus or minus two years. The plan would also ensure broadcasters can continue using spectrum below 700MHz until 2030, to ensure stable market conditions.
The report, which was drafted by former EC Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy, was completed following six months of discussion with senior executives from network operators, broadcasters, mobile companies and technology associations. Lamy’s report also highlighted that Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Malta and Poland have all yet to allocate 800MHz spectrum for mobile broadband services, after missing a 1 January 2013 deadline.