The European Commission (EC) adopted a set of harmonised technical conditions it said “lay the ground for the allocation of more spectrum to mobile services in the 700MHz band”.
The regulator has already presented a proposal to better coordinate the allocation of 700MHz frequencies to mobile across the region, while also ensuring availability of frequencies to enable the continued support of broadcast media services.
The new guidelines are said to set-out related technical conditions, reducing the risk of cross-border interferences and harmonising the way frequencies should be used across the EU.
Today’s move also allocates part of the 700MHz band for a “limited number of additional uses”, including public safety, wireless microphones, and machine-to-machine communications. This is said to give flexible national use in addition to wireless broadband support, “thus ensuring efficient and harmonised spectrum use”.
As outlined earlier this year, the EC proposals have two main elements: a common schedule for making it available for wireless broadband use under harmonised technical conditions, and related coordination measures to support this; and for sub 700MHz bands it includes a “long-term priority for the distribution of audiovisual media services to the general public”.
The move is designed to both enable the use of 700MHz for mobile – which offers advantages in coverage terms – and protect the availability of spectrum for broadcasters. “This approach will make sure that Europeans can have access to creative content on tablets and smartphones – an increasing trend – but also through classic TV services”.
“We cannot have high-quality mobile internet for everything and for everyone everywhere unless we have modern infrastructure and modern rules. With this proposal we show that we can have both: a vibrant audiovisual sector as well as the spectrum we need for 5G,” said Gunther Oettinger, commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, previously.
The Commission said it is “now up to Council and European Parliament to finalise and adopt the legislative proposal on the UFH bands in order to ensure timely access to the 700MHz frequency band for the provision of next-generation wireless broadband services”.