700 MHz available for mobile broadband

Decision (EU) 2017/899 of the European Parliament and of the Councilhttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1410359 on the use of the 470-790 MHz frequency band in the European Union (EU) was published on 25 May 2017.

The "700MHz Decision" establishes a coordinated approach across the EU to ensure the availability of mobile broadband services in this band by 2020, while avoiding interference between such use and digital terrestrial television (DTT).

According to the Decision, Member States are required, in particular:

  • to conclude all necessary cross-border frequency-coordination agreements within the EU by 31 December 2017;
  • to adopt and make public their national plans and schedules ('national roadmap'), including detailed steps for fulfilling their obligations under this decision, as soon as possible and no later than 30 June 2018;
  • to allow use of the 694-790 MHz ('700 MHz') frequency band for terrestrial systems capable of providing wireless broadband electronic communications services only under harmonised technical conditions established by the European Commission pursuant to Article 4 of Decision no. 676/2002/EC, by 30 June 2020;
  • to ensure availability, at least until 2030, of the 470-694 MHz ('sub-700 MHz') frequency band for the terrestrial provision of broadcasting services, including free television, and for use by wireless audio Programme making and special events on the basis of national needs, while taking into account the principle of technological neutrality.

Member States may, however, delay allowing use of the 700 MHz frequency band for up to two years on the basis of one or more of the duly justified reasons set out in the Annex to this Decision. In the case of such a delay, the Member State concerned shall inform the other Member States and the Commission accordingly, and shall include the duly justified reasons in the national roadmap.   Where necessary, Member States shall carry out the authorisation process or amend relevant existing rights to use the spectrum in accordance with Directive 2002/20/EC, in order to allow such use.

The "700 MHz Decision", which enters into force on 14 June 2017, should be without prejudice to measures taken at national level, in accordance with Union law, that pursue general-interest objectives relating to the right of Member States to organise and use their spectrum for the purposes of public order, public security and defence.