Next step before 700 MHz band is dedicated to mobile is negotiation with European Parliament
The European Council confirmed it’s looking at opening the 700 MHz band for wireless broadband in Europe by 2020. The EC said broadcasting services would keep priority below the 700 MHz band through at least 2030.
“With the opening of the 700 MHz band for mobile broadband, an important step toward the availability of broadband for everybody in the European Union has been taken,” explained Henk Kamp, Dutch Minister for Economic Affairs. “Fast Internet is not only important for economic development in the [European Union], but also for the daily life of its citizens. Together with other measures, the 700 MHz band ensures fast Internet in the EU by 2020.”
According to the EC’s position, EU countries must reassign the 700 MHz band (694-790 MHz) to wireless broadband services under harmonized technical conditions by June 30, 2020. The council said countries will be able to delay the availability of the band by up to two years for duly justified reasons such us unresolved harmful interferences or cross-border coordination issues.
The EC position stipulates member states must ensure the availability of the 470-694 MHz band for digital television and wireless microphones at least until 2030, with the decision based on national needs.
“The high speeds and good penetration provided by the 700 MHz band make it ideal for mobile Internet services,” the EC noted in a statement. “The coordinated use of the frequency should promote the take up of ‘4G’ and help to provide high-quality broadband for all Europeans. It should also make it easier to roll out ‘5G’ as soon as it becomes available (around 2020).”
The European body also said the move will allow for effective deployment of innovative services such as connected cars, smart cities and remote health care. The EC plans to negotiate a final text with the European Parliament, which had not yet adopted its position about this issue. Both institutions must agree on the text before it can become law.
SFR launches tri-band carrier aggregation LTE technology in Brest
French telecom operator Numericable-SFR launched tri-band carrier aggregation LTE technology in the city of Brest. The new service is said to offer maximum download speeds of 337 megabits per second, with coverage available in Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon, Montpellier and Nantes in the coming months. By the end of this year, SFR said it expects the service to be available in more than 20 major cities across France.
The company’s tri-band carrier aggregation LTE services uses spectrum in the 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.6 GHz frequency bands. SFR said it had deployed 985 LTE base stations across France at the end of the first quarter.