European Commission announces new advisory group to explore future use of UHF spectrum

The European Commission (the executive body of the European Union) announced on Monday that it has established a new advisory group on the future use of UHF spectrum for TV and wireless broadband.

The group will be lead by European Commissioner and former Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Pascal Lamy with top executives from Europe's broadcasters, network operators, mobile companies and tech associations. They have six months to make proposals to the Commission on how to use the UHF Spectrum Band (470—790 MHz) most effectively in the coming decades.

The Group has been asked to look at how Europe will access and use audiovisual content and data in the medium to long term and come up with options that respond to 4 separate challenges:

  • What will next generation (terrestrial) provision/reception of audiovisual content (including linear TV) look like?
  • How do we secure the public interest and consumer benefits while facilitating market transformation?
  • What are the strategic elements of spectrum use in the UHF band in light of the first challenge? What would the regulatory role of the EU be in coordinating developments?
  • What are the financial implications for a next-generation terrestrial platform for broadcasting and internet use?

Pascal Lamy said 'I expect these discussions to be quite challenging. Nobody will get everything they want, but I am confident that, based on an open discussion and a willingness to engage at the strategic level, we can deliver a coherent vision for Europe.”

The advice of the High Level Group will help the Commission develop, in cooperation with the Member States, a long-term strategic and regulatory policy on the future use of the entire UHF band (470-790 MHz), including possibilities for sharing parts of the band.

The UK is represented by James Purnell, Executive Editor of Strategy & Digital, BBC; Mr Philipp Humm, Regional CEO Europe, Vodafone; with London based GSM Association also present on the High Level Group.

The final report will be delivered by July 2014.

DTG Staff  |  15.01.2014

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