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Spectrum for Society - ETNO calls for a rapid opening of digital dividend frequency bands to accelerate broadband deployment in rural and remote areas


01 Mar 2011


Regional Policy

BRUSSELS – Society as a whole will benefit from the opening of additional spectrum bands to mobile services as it will contribute to bridge the digital divide and respond to increasing consumer demand for mobile data services, says ETNO on the occasion of a joint industry workshop hosted by MEP Gunnar Hökmark (EPP, SE), rapporteur for the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP) Decision in the Industry, Trade and Research Committee.

“The RSPP is a unique opportunity to achieve a more harmonised and flexible usage of spectrum and to stimulate further investments and innovation in mobile networks. A failure to swiftly open the digital dividend bands would be a severe blow for Europe’s businesses and society -- and thus for the Digital Agenda”, says Massimiliano Simoni, Chair of the ETNO Spectrum Working Group.

The proposed RSPP Decision aims at developing a long-term EU strategy on spectrum to increase certainty over its availability for investors, industry players and end users (consumers and businesses) across the EU.

“Deploying mobile networks in the digital dividend band would require four times less investment than in higher bands and require up to three times less base stations. Accelerating the opening up of the digital dividend band will contribute to bridging the digital divide at lower costs, directly helping to meet the Digital Agenda objective”, says Luigi Gambardella, ETNO Executive Board Chairman.


Opening spectrum bands conducive to the lower-cost and efficient deployment of mobile and wireless broadband, such as the UHF band, is essential to achieve the Digital Agenda objective of universal coverage, including rural and remote regions, with fast and ultra fast broadband networks.

ETNO members support the Commission’s proposal for the allocation of the 800 MHz band to Electronic Communication Services throughout Europe as of 2013, contained in the draft decision.

Monthly mobile traffic in Europe is estimated to increase from 30 thousand terabytes in 2009 to nearly two million terabytes in 2015. In this context, the allocation of additional spectrum bands to mobile and wireless broadband services is vital to respond to consumer demand and encourage technological and service innovation. Therefore, ETNO members favour the Commission proposals to investigate the opening of additional frequency bands which will address the forecasted future growing demand for spectrum.  

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

Tel:    (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax:  (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail:


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