How to use the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Spectrum most effectively?

How to use the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Spectrum most effectively?

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes was presented a report by former Commissioner Pascal Lamy on how to use the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum (the 700 Megahertz (MHz) band) most effectively in the coming decades. The UHF band represents "prime real estate" in terms of use, capacity and reach.

Kroes also announced new rules on the harmonisation of spectrum bands used by wireless microphones, also in the UHF band, as well as the first report of an inventory showing how EU Member States are using their radio frequencies today and what to focus on tomorrow. Combined, all three elements should help to secure the long-term future for broadband, broadcast and other wireless services in Europe.

Pascal Lamy has proposed a "2020-2030-2025" formula with the aim of enabling Europe to fulfil Digital Agenda for Europe broadband targets in three steps, while giving broadcasting a clear path to invest and develop further:

The 700 MHz band (694-790 MHz) should be repurposed for wireless broadband, but with sufficient lead time to ensure a transition path that minimises cost for spectrum users and citizens and to accommodate the diversity in penetration levels of terrestrial broadcasting within Europe. This implies a time frame of around 2020, plus or minus 2 years.

Regulatory stability should be ensured for broadcasting to continue its current use of the band 470-694 MHz until 2030. This involves national, EU and international measures. In consequence, at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (which will review and revise global spectrum-use rules) Europe should reject any plans for primary allocation of mobile to the 470-694 MHz band which is currently already allocated to broadcasting on a primary basis. Some flexibility could nevertheless be catered for through the development of 'down link only' technologies that give priority to primary broadcasting networks.

In order to take into account the evolving change in consumer demand as well as new technologies, such as converged networks or large-scale roll out of optic fibre, a stock-taking exercise of UHF spectrum use should be performed by 2025.