Radio spectrum is the essential natural resource for wireless access and innovation in Europe. It is also vital to new developments in many of Europe’s economic sectors such as mobile broadband, broadcasting, public safety and all other economic sectors benefitting from digital and mobile innovation. However, radio spectrum is a finite resource and access to appropriate spectrum resources and conditions for their assignment and use significantly affect the business opportunities and conditions for the ICT industry and its consumers. DIGITALEUROPE analyses, defines and promotes the ICT industry's views on spectrum in Europe.
DIGITALEUROPE actively supports the debate on the shared use of spectrum with particular reference to the innovative Licensed Shared Access concept, complementing the preferred traditional licensing model when the re-allocation and clearing of spectrum to new uses becomes impractical. Under the terms of a voluntary commercial agreement, the LSA licensee enjoys exclusive usage (in the time, space and frequency domain) and predictable Quality of Services on the incumbent’s underutilized spectrum.
Identifying further radio spectrum resources for Mobile Broadband (MBB) is a core element of the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme. Bringing newly identified spectrum to national markets requires appropriately harmonised European spectrum regulations. DIGITALEUROPE is providing industry momentum to the European institutions developing these regulations to facilitate timely national spectrum releases for MBB to support the increasing demand for data consumption.
The World Radio Conference 2012 opened a debate on the future of the 700 MHz band, which is currently part of the terrestrial television resources. Its conversion to mobile broadband spectrum can help achieve the ambitious Digital Agenda for Europe targets of high data rates to every household. DIGITALEUROPE develops positions balancing the need for avoiding disruption of digital terrestrial television services for European citizens with the opportunity for mobile broadband in a globally harmonised band.
In the lower part of the UHF Band, DIGITALEUROPE strives to find a real win-win solution that would cater for innovative use of the band allowing flexibly for co-existence between MBB and DTT under the condition that any scenario should preserve current and future deployments of DTT and avoid any disruption to current and future DTT installations. DIGITALEUROPE sees Supplemental Downlink as a promising scenario for introducing additional mobile capacity. It would allow to cater for the specific needs of European Member States to move at different paces depending on their DTT penetration while keeping a common mobile terminal ecosystem benefitting from economy of scales.
DIGITALEUROPE is actively following and contributing to preparatory activities for WRC-15 Agenda Items 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.10. The aim is to ensure the timely development of an EU position on WRC-15 enabling Europe to take a leadership position to drive spectrum harmonization processes as early as possible within the ITU-R.
5G will enable new services, connect new industries and empower new user experiences in networks with lower cost of deployment and operation, with a more consistent user experience, higher capacity and better energy efficiency. The development of 5G systems will rely on different components where new spectrum bands will be of paramount importance. The identification of new frequencies is a topic with a long lead time. Preparations are already on-going for a WRC-19 Agenda Item for allocation and identification of spectrum for 5G in frequency ranges above 6 GHz. DIGITALEUROPE believes that Europe should be a centre of excellence for 5G research and development and thus supports a European Common Proposal (ECP) at WRC-19 for the allocation of additional spectrum for Mobile Services and identification for IMT to enable 5G.
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