Europe’s Conference of Post and Telecommunications Regulators (CEPT) has agreed to oppose the allocation of the 470-694MHz Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band to mobile services.
In a statement, the CEPT said it had reached the common position ahead of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s WRC-15 Conference in November, where decisions on the future assignment of spectrum are due to be made and plans for the reallocation of the 700Mhz spectrum are set to be finalised.
“Broadcasters around Europe welcome this decision from CEPT. It is the culmination of three years hard work bringing to the fore the importance of secured access to adequate spectrum for the broadcasting industry,” said Simon Fell, director of technology and innovation at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
“With secured access to the band, European administrations will not only provide certainty to an important industry, but will help secure the investments required to liberate the 700 MHz band, and pave the way for advanced HDTV, UHDTV and hybrid television services for years to come.”
At the CEPT meeting in Porto, Portugal, 30 European countries presented supported the common position to reject 470-694MHz reallocation, with Denmark opposing and Bulgaria, Finland, Greece and Sweden abstaining.
The Porto meeting also agreed a common position for allocating the 1,452-1,492 MHz L-band, which is currently allocated currently to broadcasting services, to mobile services. The CEPT also agreed that the 3.4-3.8 GHz lower C-band – allocated to fixed satellite services, and used by broadcasters for contribution links – could be allocated to mobile.
The mobile industry, as represented by the GSMA, has spoken in favour of opening up the sub-700Mhz spectrum band for mobile applications, arguing that the rise of mobile broadband use requires further reallocation of spectrum.
Plans to reallocate the 700 MHz band from terrestrial broadcasting to wireless broadband in region one (Europe, Africa and the Middle East) were first set in motion at the World Radiocommunications Conference in 2012 (WRC-12).