Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Europe - Switching 700 MHz over to mobile broadband, EC proposes technical and political measures

Commissioner Kroes, speaking to the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG), identified actions on the 700 MHz band.
We need an action plan for wireless communications, to boost Europe's ecosystem, and remove the barriers that stand in our way. And I will be putting forward that action plan soon.

And here is one opportunity that we must seize as a priority.

The 700 Megahertz band offers a huge potential: for the Single Market, and worldwide.

As you know, the 2012 World Radiocommunications Conference decided to have both mobile and broadcasting services co-allocated in the 700 Megahertz band by 2015.

There is huge potential in international harmonisation. So I want to avoid a fragmented approach, balance the interests of incumbent

First, we have just approved a mandate to ask CEPT to develop the technical conditions for wireless broadband in this band.

To serve our spectrum objectives, and prepare the ground ahead of the ITU in 2015.

On the political level:
The European Commission needs a dialogue with the mobile and broadcasting industries, complementing that with the RSPG. And to have views from these important stakeholders too, I plan to set up a High-Level Group from industry, dealing with both political and technical aspects.

I don't see this as a win-lose exercise. And nor do I listen to those who argue that the Internet will end broadcasting. Not only does the consumer need both industries: but they both need each other, and increasingly overlap. The Internet gives a new platform, a new chance for broadcasters to offer higher-quality services – on-demand and interactive.

So we should be prepared for a strategic shift in thinking. For those two sectors, as well as other incumbent spectrum users.

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