EC grants 800MHz delays to nine Member States

Neelie Kroes urged for unity in the European telecoms sector in final keynote

The European Commission has allowed nine Member States further postponements to their obligation to make 800MHz spectrum available for mobile broadband use. All states originally agreed to meet a January 2013 deadline but a number have yet to comply. There were 14 requests for further postponements, accounting for half of all Member States.

“We have agreed to temporary and limited 800MHz derogations for nine countries. This is a pragmatic and final concession. Every delay in releasing spectrum hurts our economy and frustrates citizens,” said Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President. “That is why spectrum reform will be a centerpiece of the Commission’s September proposal for a telecoms single market.”

A statement from Kroes said that some devices, considered “essential” by European consumers—Apple’s iPhone the most obvious—are not being released as fully compatible LTE devices because insufficient markets have made the spectrum available.

The Commission has agreed to postponements for Spain, Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Poland, Romania and Finland. But it refused derogations for Slovakia and Slovenia where the delays were “due to the organisation of the authorisation process and not to exceptional circumstances preventing the availability of the band,” the statement said.

Greece, Latvia and the Czech Republic require “additional evaluation,” the statement said, adding: “Belgium and Estonia were late but have not asked for a derogation, while Bulgaria has notified the continued use of the band for public security and defence purposes.”

Neelie Kroes will be appearing at the Broadband World Forum, taking place on the 22nd – 24th October 2013 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam. Click here to download a brochure for the event.


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