“Today, the European Parliament approved the final deal to free up the 700 MHz spectrum band for mobile broadband. This is a step that will secure European competitiveness and enable us to reap the full benefits of the next-generation 5G mobile technology”, said EPP Group Spokesman Gunnar Hökmark MEP.
With connection speeds above 10 Gigabits per second and latency below 5 milliseconds, 5G will enable an industrial transformation, connecting millions of devices simultaneously and supporting completely new types of applications connecting devices and objects.
Coordinating the release of the frequency band in all Member States is crucial to allow innovative mobile services, such as remote healthcare, smart cities and connected cars, to work across the European Union. Fast and reliable internet, and the new mobile services that can be developed with it, is fundamental both in our daily lives and for economic development in the EU.
The core of the decision is that the 700 MHz band will be allocated for mobile broadband in 2020, while those Member States that for certain technical or financial reasons need to delay, will be able to do so until 2022. Member States shall ensure the availability for broadcasting services in the sub-700 band until 2030 and they may also compensate direct costs for end-users, caused by migration or the reallocation of spectrum use.
Currently, the 700 MHz band is used for television broadcasting and wireless microphones.
”The 700 MHz band is crucial for widespread 5G deployment across the EU and I am therefore delighted that the European Parliament has now approved the final deal. We already see China, the US, South Korea and Japan taking steps towards rolling out commercial 5G starting as early as 2018. Europe needs to be at the forefront of this development, and this agreement marks the first step. What is more, this decision shows that Member States and the European Parliament recognise that spectrum coordination is a must if we are to keep up with digital development and prepare our markets for 5G. This will be increasingly important for the upcoming negotiations on the Code”, concluded Hökmark.