Europe angered by mobile spectrum proposal

European delegates at the WRC-12 conference in Geneva have expressed their dismay at proposals by Arab and African regional administrations to take broadcast spectrum in the 700 MHz band and allocate it to mobile services.An agreement reached the WRC-07 conference reallocated the 800 MHz band from broadcasting and make it available to mobile services. At the time it was not anticipated that a second request might be made for further spectrum.

“Such a decision would cause considerable problems in Europe, where the 700 MHz band is heavily used for terrestrial broadcasting with, in many cases, long-term licensing arrangements in place. Broadcasters also consider this band as being crucial to the future development of innovative new terrestrial services,” said the EBU.

The proposal to reallocate the 700MHz band to mobile services is opposed by the European administrations, represented by CEPT, and also by the RCC group of countries that between them make up ITU Region 1.

In Africa and the Arab States spectrum is not at such a premium. Few countries have moved to digital broadcasting and those that have are opting for DVB-T2, the European next generation terrestrial broadcast standard, known for its spectrum efficiency.