Key agreements on radio spectrum pave the way for 5G

Yesterday evening the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a provisional political agreement on several crucial parts regarding the new telecom rules and radio spectrum policy. The agreement was reached on a number of key measures envisioned in the European Electronic Communications Code, including the availability of radio spectrum for 5G by 2020 in the EU, 20 years investment predictability for spectrum licences, and enhanced coordination and peer review of planned radio spectrum assignment procedures. The provisional agreement will prepare the ground for 5G network deployment across the EU, taking into account the previous agreements on the setting of radio spectrum fees, on eliminating cross-border interference and on deploying the small cells more easily. Andrus Ansip, Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “We are laying the groundwork for the deployment of 5G across Europe. It is vital because many applications, from connected vehicles to smart cities and telemedicine, will not happen without first-class connectivity. Let’s now agree as soon as possible on other elements of the new EU telecoms rules that we proposed.” Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, said: “The EU is ready to lead on 5G deployment. With this political agreement, co-legislators set in stone the roadmap on spectrum for 5G that we put forward last October and which paves the way for the 5G gigabit society envisioned by the Commission in 2025. It is time to deliver. This can happen only if telecom, vertical industries and public authorities agree to join efforts and go in the same direction.” The negotiations on other parts of the European Electronic Communications Code are ongoing. The goal of the co-legislators is to find an agreement as soon as possible under the Bulgarian Presidency. More information on the EU’s spectrum policy is available in the factsheets, here and here, as well as in a blog post of the Vice-President.