High-quality mobile broadband services for all Europeans

Date

10 Nov 2016

Sections

InfoSociety

Press release

In a vote today on the opening-up of the so-called 700 MHz spectrum band, the European Parliament’s Industry Committee called for faster internet and new generation mobile services to be available by 2020 at the latest. When implemented, the opening will offer high speeds and extensive coverage to the fifth generation (5G) mobile broadband that will give a boost to the next generation of innovative mobile services.

"5G will change the logic of our economies. Successfully launching 5G in the European Union will require the efficient use of spectrum. This proposal is a first and very important step forward", said the EPP Group Rapporteur Gunnar Hökmark MEP.

Coordinating the release of the frequency band in all Member States is crucial to allow innovative mobile services, such as remote health care, smart cities and connected cars, to work across the European Union. Fast and reliable internet, and the new mobile services that can be developed with it, is fundamental both in our daily lives and for economic development in the EU.

"China, South Korea and the United States plan to launch 5G networks in 2020 at the latest. With the freeing-up of the 700 MHz band for mobile broadband we are on our way to taking the lead towards 5G in order to reap the benefits of this complete transformation of our economies", continued Hökmark.

The 700 MHz band is currently used for television broadcasting and wireless microphones. However, with its high speeds and good penetration, the band is ideal for mobile internet services like connected driving and remote healthcare. It will be crucial for rapid and widespread 5G deployment across the EU.

The Report provides Member States with the possibility to delay the implementation by up to two years. The next step will be negotiations with Council to reach a final legislative decision.