CellTower

Former European Trade Commissioner Proposing 700MHz Bands Be Open To Carriers By 2020

September 1, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

When it comes to wireless mobile carrier networks, all spectrum is important as higher number bands usually mean faster networks but over smaller distances yet smaller number bands means a greater area covered and better building penetration. This is why 700MHz spectrum has been largely sought after by carriers like T-Mobile and saw them buy up a huge chunk of that spectrum from Verizon Wireless. In Europe though 700MHz spectrum is mainly held in reserve for the TV broadcast networks and wireless microphones, leaving wireless mobile carriers in the nation without much to work with.

That may change though as former trade commissioner Pascal Lamy has sent out a report today in hopes to have the 700MHz spectrum freed up from broadcasters and shifted to the use of wireless mobile networks by 2020 as the report stated. The report also notes that by foregoing the 700MHz spectrum by 2020 broadcasters could even continue to use all spectrum frequency below the 700MHz band for the next ten years after that, until 2030. The report by Lamy also requests that by 2025, there be a full scale review of all UHF spectrum across Europe. Lamy’s proposal seeks to find a way for both broadband mobile carriers and broadcasters to operate harmoniously, where the 700MHz spectrum that is sorely needed for the use of the broadband mobile carriers could be opened up, but not of course without giving the broadcasters a solution to giving up the spectrum.

Although the report from Lamy seeks to bring the 700MHz bands to mobile carriers for better coverage range and depth, which is a good thing for the carriers in Europe, his suggestions in the plan recommendation for the spectrum reform was still met with some hesitation as the carriers want an earlier spectrum review. It’s clear that Lamy is proposing a way to hopefully please both parties, but while broadcasters are likely not keen on giving up a huge chunk of the 700MHz spectrum they used to having at their disposal, the carriers think his plan for the UHF review is too lenient and needs to happen by 2020 instead of 2025, the same year Lamy proposed the spectrum be freed up for use by carriers.