Europe’s 700MHz band should be freed for mobile broadband by 2020, a report to the European Commission recommends. The extra spectrum is needed to meet increasing demand for video on tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. The 700MHz Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum is currently used for terrestrial broadcasting networks and wireless microphones, but it should be dedicated to wireless broadband across Europe around 2020, proposed a report prepared by former Commissioner Pascal Lamy.
The European Commission has outlined its plan to turn over the 700MHz spectrum currently used for radio and TV broadcasting to mobile networks by 2020. Hoping to avoid Europe becoming a laggard in mobile broadband, the European Commission has outlined its plan to move spectrum used exclusively for free-to-air TV to mobile broadband network operators. The proposals, developed during French politician Pascal Lamy’s six month “peace making mission” with Europe’s mobile network operators and broadcasters, would see the 700MHz band repurposed across Europe for mobile broadband by 2020 — give or take two years. Europe wants to avoid a piecemeal approach to spectrum allocation for these lower frequency bands and lags the US, China, Korea and Japan in offering both sides a framework for the future use of 700MHz spectrum. As noted in a report from Lamy, deciding what to do with the spectrum is tricky in Europe, since some nations such as Italy still depend on that spectrum to deliver digital TV, while others including Belgium don’t.
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