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Europe’s operators lobby for spectrum reform

Europe's largest mobile telecoms companies have called on European Union governments to end their resistance to awarding wireless spectrum licences for at least 25 years to encourage investment and innovation, reports Reuters. In a letter to European ministers, the companies said they were deeply concerned about discussions in Brussels over spectrum reform and a failure to create the right framework would affect all industries relying on the internet. "Failure to establish a well-functioning and investment-friendly spectrum framework risks stifling innovation, growth and development for decades to come," chief executives from nine European telecoms firms wrote. The European Commission has tried for years to coordinate how governments allocate wireless spectrum to mobile operators in a bid to create a single European telecoms market. “But about 15 EU countries have balked at the Commission's plans to establish a minimum licence duration of 25 years and a peer review mechanism to review national regulators' draft measures on spectrum allocation. Licence durations vary across the European Union making it harder for telecoms firms to operate on a larger scale and compete with US rivals.” Telecoms companies strongly support minimum licence durations of 25 years together with a strong presumption of renewal to increase certainty, said Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA. He said voluntary sharing of mobile airwaves allowed operators to cover more areas, such as the countryside, without taking on the full cost, but getting permission from national authorities was very difficult. “If we have harmonised spectrum, the rest will follow,” Granryd said. Read more

  • Tuesday, 18 July 2017

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