Feeds

EC unveils strategy for spectrum liberalisation

Industry given more proactive role

Boost IT visibility and business value

Improved management of Europe's airwaves could boost electronic communications industry revenues by billions of euros per year, according to Brussels.

European Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding unveiled her strategy for radio spectrum use last week and called for the opening up of certain spectrum ranges to new services.

Reding's sweetener to the telecommunications and other wireless industries who currently use various electromagnetic frequency bands was a financial projection that suggests "market-based spectrum management" could garner these industries an increase of up to €9bn per year on the €240bn-€260bn they are estimated to have raked in throughout 2006.

"Europe must fully exploit the potential use of certain spectrum bands by new wireless products and services, so as to encourage market development," said Reding. "We seek to provide new opportunities for industry through less restrictive regulatory conditions that strengthen competition and increase consumer choice. However, this is a gradual process which will not happen overnight."

The European Commission's document Rapid access to spectrum for wireless electronic communications services through more flexibility identifies several spectrum bands which Brussels feels relate to certain regulatory restrictions that need urgent investigation.

Opening up frequency bands reserved for mobile phone communications, such as those for 3G mobile services, is on Commissioner Reding's to-do list, and this approach would fall under existing telecom rules. A statement from the commission also alludes to opening up spectrum currently earmarked for broadcasters as digital services means this sector is using its spectrum allocation more efficiently and a "digital dividend" has freed up some of their bandwidth.

In terms of physical properties, European radio spectrum is divided into bands (or ranges of frequencies) and different applications use different bands. Terrestrial TV is roughly between 400MHz and 800MHz, mobile phones use the 900MHz, 1,800MHz and 2,000MHz frequencies, cordless phones are just below 1900MHz, Wi-Fi hotspots operate at 2.4GHz or 5GHz, and satellite communications often have much higher frequencies.

Problems arise when new products enter the market and the frequency they use "spills" into other bands which can affect consumer usage - feedback or weird echoes on a mobile phone call being common examples.

Reding is proposing that spectrum rights holders determine for themselves how they will use their allocations, which requires industry to assume a more pro-active role. Companies and industry groups will therefore have greater responsibilities for avoiding radio interference and co-ordinating with other groups in converging markets. It is unclear at this early stage how the various national spectrum regulators, such as ComReg in Ireland, feel about this approach.

It is understood that the rise in converged triple play packages of telephone, broadband, and TV bundles is fuelling the commission's strategy.

Copyright © 2007, ENN

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?