10 November, 2016

Spectrum: ETNO welcomes Parliament vote, calls for more ambition

Parliament vote a step ahead on the road towards 5G. Telcos ask for ambition on spectrum policy.

Brussels, 10 November 2016 – ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading providers of digital communications and services, has today welcomed the vote of the Industry Committee of the European Parliament on the 470-790 MHz frequency band.

Wide and rapid availability of the band across Europe is necessary to foster 4G rollout and ensure that Europe leads in the development of 5G.


700 MHz, a key step towards the gigabit society

The European Commission has put forward an ambitious vision for 5G and the Gigabit Society. A substantial upgrade of Europe’s broadband networks is key to achieve it, and efficient and effective spectrum management is a necessary step to get there.

In the light of this, ETNO welcomes the decision to allocate the upper part of the band (“700 MHz”) to mobile broadband by 2020.

Also, ETNO believes that Member States should retain flexibility over coverage obligations and other conditions attached to licenses. Over-prescriptive obligations risk distorting competition and discouraging investments.


Sub-700 MHz, flexibility and technology-neutrality are crucial

Regarding the lower part of the band (“sub-700 MHz”), ETNO believes that Member States should retain the flexibility to allocate it to mobile broadband in a technology-neutral manner. Efficiency and end-users’ interest should be the main guiding principle, with a view of empowering the digitization of European society.

In this respect, we call for flexibility and technology-neutrality to be maintained during the next phases of the legislative process.


Lise Fuhr, ETNO Director General, said: “Spectrum is the lifeblood of the mobile economy as well as of the 5G revolution and Industry 4.0. Europe needs to ensure enough spectrum is allocated to mobile broadband in order to cope with future data traffic needs. This overarching goal should be at the heart of the final 470-790 MHz band decision and of the Electronic Communications Code”.

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