EC invites participation in wireless broadband spectrum strategy

The European Commission has asked for reaction to its proposal for the most effective use of Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum (700 MHz band) in the coming decades.

Pascal Lamy’s report proposed two options for the future of UHF bands, and the Commission has invited participation from the industry, academia and users of TV and/or wireless broadband services to help make this decision.

The UHF 700 MHz band has been used largely for broadcasting and wireless microphones, however, broadband and telecoms sectors are keen to secure future use of this spectrum for deploying new wireless and digital services.

The International Telecommunications Union – the UN body responsible for ICT issues – agreed in 2012 that the 694-790 MHz band (“700 MHz band”) could be used either for broadcasting or for mobile services in the EU as of 2016. The European Commission has expressed a need to establish a coherent position on the future use of the UHF band if it is to further develop the EU Digital Single Market.

The two options proposed in the Lamy Report on the future of the UHF band are the “2020-2030-2025” formula and the “flexibility option”.

The former seeks to establish wireless broadband primacy across the 700 MHz band by 2020, while committing to safeguard terrestrial broadcasters in the remaining UHF spectrum until 2030 and to a general review in 2025.

The latter proposes downlink-only wireless broadband of UHF broadcasting spectrum in the 470-694 MHz band, thereby ensuring broadcasting use would always have priority, while specific channels not in use could become available for downlink-only wireless broadband applications.

The European Commission said:”It particularly hopes that consumers and their associations will give their views as any future developments in this field could affect the quantity and quality of broadcasting services and could mean that equipment, including TV sets need upgrading or replacing as well as the development of potential of wireless broadband services.”

This consultation is one of several channels that will be used by the Commission to draw up the UHF strategy, and will run until 12 April 2015.

DTG Staff  |  13.01.2015

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