Telecoms lobbying group ETNO hit out at an agreement struck between EU countries and lawmakers late last week to free up spectrum for 5G, arguing the deal lacked ambition.
ETNO released a statement responding to an announcement by the European Commission which said it had reached an agreement with the European Parliament and Council regarding the implementation of new telecoms rules and radio spectrum policy. The new measures includes an arrangement to free up radio spectrum for 5G by 2020, with licences valid for 20 years, as the continent attempts to compete with early 5G movers the US and Asia.
However ETNO, which represents the interests of European telecoms operators including Orange and Telefonica, said the planned policy falls short of initial ambitions for 5G, while arguing 25-year long licences were needed to ensure the investment required for 5G is met.
“5G is too important for Europe to accept a compromise falling short of the original ambition,” said Lise Fuhr, ETNO director general.
“Future licences need to deliver increased certainty with respect to the status quo and a truly effective peer review system is essential to ensure the credibility of spectrum,” she added.
The agreement on spectrum forms part of the EU’s wider telecoms reform, known as the European Commission’s Electronic Communications Code, and follows years of negotiations between the regulator and EU governments. Reuters reported the EU wants a formal agreement in place by the end of July.