To improve access to internet services and technologies, including in remote areas, European Union regulators proposed on February 2 to introduce a key mobile spectrum across all 28 member states.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, EU states currently have different approaches to managing radio frequencies.
“This band is the sweet spot for both wide coverage and high speeds. It will give top-quality internet access to all Europeans, even in rural areas, and pave the way for 5G, the next generation of communication network,” EU Commissioner Andrus Ansip said in a statement.
The 700 MHz band can penetrate buildings and walls easily and cover larger geographic areas with less infrastructure compared with frequencies in higher bands, reported Reuters.
The European Commission wants the frequency assigned to wireless broadband by June 2020 in all EU countries. It expects mobile internet traffic to have increased eight times by that date.
The proposal, which is part of the Commission’s strategy to create a Digital Single Market, will need approval from the European Parliament and EU countries, with the process expected to take around a year.
According to a Commission press release, by 2020 there will be nearly eight times as much mobile internet traffic as today.
Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “Twenty-eight different approaches to manage radio frequencies in the EU do not make economic sense in the Digital Single Market. Today we come with our first proposal on how to better coordinate spectrum in the EU… It will give top-quality internet access to all Europeans, even in rural areas, and pave the way for 5G, the next generation of communication network.”
Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, said: “The 700 MHz band will be ideal for new promising fields like connected driving and the Internet of Things. I want Europe to lead in 5G. That is why all member states must act by 2020”.
Only two member states (France and Germany) have already authorised the use of the 700 MHz band for mobile services. Further member states (Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and UK) have outlined plans to repurpose the 700 MHz band in the next few years, according to the Commission’s press release.