Feeds

Spectrum goes liberal at EU level

Following Ofcom's lead

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

While anti-piracy measures may have grabbed the headlines, the EU's Telecoms Package also endorses Ofcom-style spectrum liberalisation across Europe - to a point.

The package, which was voted in today, states that radio spectrum should not be allocated by application; licensees should be free to do with it as they will. But it also tasks the Radio Spectrum Policy Group to oversee those occasions where the EU would like to override licensees' opinions.

Radio frequencies were historically allocated by the regulator for specific applications, such as broadcasting TV or connecting mobile phones. These days, however, companies want the freedom to use their licensed spectrum for anything - a desire fully endorsed by the UK's regulator Ofcom which leads the world in deregulating radio use.

Sometimes it is useful, or necessary, to reserve a particular frequency for a particular application: satellites don't respect national borders and thus need worldwide allocations, but that's handled by the UN through the International Telecommunications Union. EU-wide agreements are more likely about achieving economies of scale.

The success of GSM can be largely attributed to its standardisation across Europe. Harmonisation of both frequency and technology meant a single mobile phone or piece of network equipment could be used anywhere, creating enormous economies of scale and a success that the EU has been trying to replicate ever since.

These days radios are more agile, so the necessity for standard frequencies is less pressing, and it's highly unlikely that national regulators are going to let the EU dictate much spectrum usage. So the RSPG will end up creating "guideline" documents and "optional" standards that can safely be ignored.

The problem for the RSPG is that anything it does will have to be approved by the BEREC, which was also created today. The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications started life as an EU super-regulator, but got watered down several times into a talking shop comprised of representatives from the national regulators.

So from a spectrum point of view we can expect to see less regulation, but more regulators, across Europe. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.