A European Commission (EC) proposal to introduce 25-year minimum terms for spectrum licences is set to be disputed by a group of 15 member states, Reuters reported.

In a document seen by the news website, representatives from countries including Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK argued against the plan.

The group said by awarding long licences, regulators would be unable to respond to market developments and innovation would be hampered if bands were awarded for longer than the lifecycle of the technology they supported.

Spectrum licence reform proposals are part of the draft Electronic Communications Code first announced by the EC in September 2016. Its policies are designed to create consistent telecoms infrastructure rules across the EU, encourage innovation and ensure the efficient use of spectrum resources.

The bill is currently undergoing an approvals process across the EU’s legislative bodies.

Spectrum reform
As reports emerged of opposition to long spectrum licences, another strand of the EC’s digital single market strategy moved closer to sign-off, as the European Council approved proposals for the coordinated use of 700MHz for mobile broadband services.

In a statement, the European Council said the policy would boost mobile connectivity and drive the roll-out of 5G across the continent.

Emmanuel Mallia, the Maltese minister for competitiveness and digital, maritime and services economy said it: “represents a major step in the industrial shift to 5G, which is essential for the future competitiveness of the EU.”

Having been drafted by the European Commission and already passed by the European Parliament, the bill will now go for final sign-off to all parties in May. It is expected to become law in mid-June.