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Mobile operators key to hitting European Digital Agenda targets

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

The European Digital Agenda targets of having broadband access of a minimum of 30Mbps across Europe by 2020 are attainable, a report by Analysys Mason has claimed. The European Digital Agenda targets set out by European Digital Commissioner Neelie Kroes in a 2010 report, are achievable mainly through the efforts of mobile operators, according to the report.

“We believe that the 30Mbit/s coverage target is attainable, since mobile operators are expected to deliver of 90 per cent population coverage in a commercially viable basis in every member state,” the report states. The remainder of the coverage would need to be supplied by satellite, and the report calls on supporting the European Space Agency to develop and launch such a satellite.

To ensure that wireless networks deliver, Matt Yardley, Partner at Analysys Mason and one of the report’s authors calls on regulators to award sub 1GHz spectrum.

“Wireless networks will play an important role in delivering 30Mbit/s coverage especially in rural areas, and Member States that have not yet awarded the 800MHz spectrum should do so as soon as possible.” states Yardley.

However, wired access will be the best option to hit the target of 50 per cent coverage of 100Mbps services by 2020, Yardley maintains.

“Cable is the best option for delivering 100Mbit/s coverage quickly in those Member States where there is an existing cable footprint, since less effort is required to upgrade it. However, for widespread 100Mbit/s coverage across the EU, other competing technologies are necessary and will be deployed gradually at a speed that is very much dependent on the regulatory framework.”

The 100Mbit/s 2020 targets are likely to be hit by only six member states, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and Portugal, the reports states.

Neelie Kroes will be the opening keynote speaker at the Broadband World Forum 2012, taking place on the 16 – 18 October 2012 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Click here now to register your interest.

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