Adoption of Radio Spectrum Policy Programme, Broadband Communication and NGA Recommendation

Date

20 Sep 2010

Sections

InfoSociety

The swift opening of the digital dividend for mobile services is key for the success of the Digital Agenda for Europe

BRUSSELS – ETNO welcomes the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP) as an ambitious and timely instrument in view of maximising the potential of spectrum to bridge the digital divide. ETNO shares the objectives of the long awaited NGA recommendation of stimulating investment while encouraging sustainable competition but believes that the proposed regulatory approach for NGA will be challenging for investors.

Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP)

Mobile technology can play an important role in ensuring coverage with fast and ultra fast broadband networks of all areas, including remote and rural regions.  A major constraint for developing mobile broadband networks today, however, is access to radio spectrum. The opening up of the digital dividend will also allow meeting rapidly growing mobile data traffic and consumer demand for increased capacity.

“ETNO welcomes the first RSPP which will allow for a more harmonised and flexible usage of spectrum and for opening additional spectrum to mobile and wireless services. ETNO calls on the European Parliament and the Member States to adopt the RSPP Decision in a timely manner,” said Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director.

As pan-European operators, ETNO members welcome a more harmonised usage of spectrum, allowing for certain authorisations and procedural conditions to be defined in a concerted way between the Commission and member states.

ETNO members support the Commission’s proposal for the allocation of the 800 MHz band to mobile services throughout Europe as of 2013 and for investigating the possible opening of additional frequency bands that will help in providing broadband coverage in remote and rural areas as well as in indoor environments.

Broadband Communication

“The deployment of fast and ultra fast broadband networks is a pre-condition for citizens and businesses to benefit from the ‘digital economy’ and hence for the success of the Digital Agenda. As leading innovators and investors in broadband networks, ETNO members are willing to play their part”, said Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director.

ETNO welcomes the recognition in the Broadband Communication that fast and ultra fast broadband networks are essential to meet rapidly increasing data traffic and for new innovative services for consumers and businesses, such as smart electrical grids, cloud computing services or e-health applications.

The key priority for achieving the ambitious broadband targets of the Digital Agenda should be to create the best conditions for private sector investments. In line with the 2009 State Aid Guidelines, the use of public funds should be limited to those areas where commercially driven investments might not be viable.

ETNO welcomes the proposals to reduce deployment costs. In addition, investors should be given full freedom to choose the technology or network architecture which is the most appropriate in view of market demands.

NGA Recommendation

ETNO remains concerned that a systematic application of cost-based regulated access obligations is not appropriate in an NGA environment and highly competitive markets. Pricing flexibility is essential for operators to respond to varying consumer demands. ETNO believes that over time the impact of the recommendation should be assessed and the recommendation reviewed accordingly taking into account the rapidly evolving market dynamics.

“ETNO calls on NRAs to further use more targeted instruments made available in the NGA recommendation, such as geographical segmentation and symmetric remedies, and create real incentives for access seekers and investing operators to engage in longer term agreements, as the best way to reduce investment risk. This is essential to achieve the goals of the Digital Agenda to which ETNO members are eager to contribute”, added Bartholomew.

 

For more information, please contact: Thierry Dieu, ETNO Communications Manager

Tel:    (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax:  (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail: dieu@etno.be

 

ETNO’s 41 member companies from 35 European countries represent a significant part of total ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than ?250 billion and employ over one million people across Europe. ETNO companies are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.

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