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EC-backed report sets wireless broadband target for 700MHz band


Pascal Lamy
Richard Handford

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The 700MHz band in Europe should be dedicated to wireless broadband by 2020 (plus or minus two years), according to a report prepared for the commission’s digital chief, Neelie Kroes.

The report, which was written by former commissioner Pascal Lamy (pictured), backs the repurposing of the 700MHz (694-790MHz) band, currently occupied by terrestrial TV broadcasters and wireless microphones.

However it hedges the 2020 target date by saying this could be plus or minus two years.

In addition, it puts forward a so-called “2020-2030-2025” formula which aims to offer regulatory stability for broadcasters in the remaining spectrum below 700 MHz (470-694 MHz), which is safeguarded until 2030.

The 2025 date refers the deadline for a review to assess technology and market developments.

The 700 MHz band is also known as UHF spectrum.

“For too long the broadband and broadcasting communities have been at loggerheads about the use of the UHF spectrum band. There have been many different views and perspectives,” said Pascal Lamy.

“On the basis of discussions with the two sectors, I have put forward a single scheme that could provide a way forward for Europe to thrive in the digital century,” he said.

For her part, Kroes said: “Pascal’s report lays down a path for creating capacity for fast wireless broadband everywhere and for ensuring a stable and predictable future for terrestrial broadcasting, while allowing those Member States that want to move forward more quickly to do so.”

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