01 Dec 2017

Press realease - DIGITALEUROPE urges Member States to not delay 5G and to take a step forward on spectrum policy

Press realease - DIGITALEUROPE urges Member States to not delay 5G and to take a step forward on spectrum policy

Ahead of the 4th of December Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council, DIGITALEUROPE recognises the considerable progress made in the past few weeks on the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC). We now urge Member States to resolve all pending issues with the European Parliament to deliver a Code that matches Europe’s Gigabit Society goals.

“5G has the potential to boost the economy by 113 billion while accounting for 2 million jobs by 2025” said Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE. “The Code should ensure fast deployment of 5G and a revised spectrum framework that can boost EU’s connectivity needs. We need Member States to engage in meaningful coordination of spectrum policy or we will be facing an unprecedented level of fragmentation”, she added.

DIGITALEUROPE stresses that – on top of being of the utmost importance for mobile broadband – 5G is also a key connectivity enabler for the take-up of vertical technologies, such as connected cars or industrial IoT, which are key to the EU’s competitiveness. Predictability on spectrum licenses duration and renewal conditions is key, especially to ensure adequate investment and certainty for technology cycles. Common simplified rules for the deployment of small cells are also tantamount in this respect.

DIGITALEUROPE therefore urges Member States to agree on a meaningful coordination mechanism whereby the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) can become a forum where effective and actionable consensus can be agreed on spectrum decisions. We see positive developments in this direction, notably with regards to the timing of assignments for technically harmonized bands. However, while this approach will prove useful for mobile broadband, its feasibility for vertical technologies will become challenging and more EU-level coordination will be needed beyond pure technical harmonization.

We also urge MEPs and Member States to devise a simple regime for the authorization of small-area wireless access points. Harmonized and simplified rules for the deployment and operation of small cells is a precondition for the rollout of 5G. Such rules should be defined at EU level and cover any applicable restrictions (not only visual impact but also size, power, electromagnetic characteristics, etc.). Permits should only be requested for specific categories of sites. Measures to boost the deployment of small cells should also include the right to access suitable public infrastructure.

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