Review of the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme
The Radio Spectrum Policy Program (RSPP) has been at the core of the EU communication framework since 2012, making it instrumental for the development of 4G networks across the continent. Most of its provisions are still relevant today and have therefore proven to be among the most forward-looking acts introduced in EU law, especially considering how little was drawn on of the Framework Directives (revised) 2009. Nevertheless, a revision of the RSPP Decision is now due, as European Member States are licensing the 5G Pioneer Bands and mobile operators across the region are starting 5G deployments.
Europe is also facing COVID-19, the biggest societal and economic challenge of the century, leading to the de facto shut down of entire countries, severely limiting economic output for months, thus shedding light on the importance of connectivity and of mobile technology as a very powerful and essential enabler during months of quarantine.
Mobile networks have fared well, and around the clock efforts by the mobile industry have ensured that the step-change in demand for connectivity has been met, keeping the work lights on across the continent. However, despite the industry’s strong short-term response to the pandemic, even the very highest-level assessment of the European mobile sector indicates that it is in poor financial health. Return on capital employed, at 4-5%, is at a record low and is below the cost of capital. Global investment capital is taking flight from the European mobile sector, threatening a capital strike, depressing market capitalisation and risking credit downgrades for sector debt just as the new.
In this context, it has become more important than ever that the new RSPP builds on the forward-looking spectrum policy elements of the Code, complementing the new Directive in ways that would further enable the mobile industry to continue doing what it does best, connecting everyone and everything to a better future.
For more information please contact:
Policy Manager, Europe, GSMA