Joint Industry Statement on Harmonising Spectrum Use in the EU

February 3, 2016

Press Release

Brussels – Today, mobile is at the heart of Europe’s economy and society with ubiquitous, superfast wireless connectivity sustaining growth and driving continued innovation. Exciting technological advancements such as connected cars, smart cities and the Internet of Things depend on the availability of spectrum. The UHF band in particular is the single most promising frequency range for extending high-quality mobile broadband across the continent and addressing rural coverage.

Decision on 700 MHz Band
The telecoms and tech industries welcome the European Commission’s proposal for a “Decision on the use of the 470-790 MHz spectrum band in the Union”, in particular with regard to the coordinated and timely release of the 700 MHz band across the European Union by 2020.  We also welcome the inclusion of the principles of service and technology neutrality, which will be crucial to the development of mobile broadband and 5G in particular.

To facilitate widespread broadband coverage, we encourage Member States to retain their flexibility regarding the conditions of spectrum use in order to best respond to national requirements. In addition, we also urge Member States to support successful coordination with non-EU countries.

Furthermore, as far as the sub-700 MHz band is concerned, we strongly encourage European legislators to act in a timely manner ahead of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023. The industry is also committed to advance work in the relevant technical and regulatory fora to ensure a harmonised approach for the deployment of mobile services below 700 MHz, maximizing value to end users.

Next step is spectrum policy reform
This decision is a first concrete step in supporting the telecoms and tech industries in delivering innovative and cutting-edge services to European consumers and businesses ahead of the Telecoms Regulatory Framework review.

We also believe that clear consensus is emerging, both at the EU and Member State level, on the need to ensure a coordinated approach to spectrum management across the Union. We therefore encourage the EU institutions to swiftly advance the harmonisation of spectrum policies and ensure that sufficient spectrum resources are available to meet the ever-increasing demand for wireless services.

About ETNO
ETNO has been the voice of Europe’s telecommunication network operators since 1992 and has become the principal policy group for European electronic communications network operators. Its 41 members and observers from Europe and beyond are the backbone of Europe’s digital progress. They are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe. 

ETNO members are pan-European operators that also hold new entrant positions outside their national markets. ETNO brings together the main investors in innovative and high-quality e-communications platforms and services, representing 60% of total sector investment. 

ETNO closely contributes to shaping the best regulatory and commercial environment for its members to continue rolling out innovative and high quality services and platforms for the benefit of European consumers and businesses. You can follow ETNO via our website or twitter @ETNOAssociation

Media Contacts – ETNO
Alessandro Gropelli, Head of Communications, +32 476 94 18 39,

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences. 

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

Media Contacts – GSMA
For the GSMA
Christian Prior (Brussels)
+32 (0) 2 894 90 13

GSMA Press Office

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