Sunday

27th May 2018

Focus

EU agrees deadline for 5G internet plan

  • New rules on radio frequency coordination should help make fast wireless internet available througout EU (Photo: Peter Teffer)

National governments agreed to European Commission plans to free up bandwidth to be dedicated to mobile internet by 2020, in a compromise deal on Wednesday (14 December).

Under the plan, states have committed to freeing up the 700 megahertz (MHz) band, meaning most of them will have to move digital television to a lower band.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

EU countries agreed, in a deal with the EU parliament on Wednesday, to a 30 June 2020 deadline by which the migration should be finished.

However, the 2020 deadline is not completely binding.

“If they are unable to do this, a delay of up to two years is possible in duly justified cases,” said a press release by the Council of the EU, where national governments meet.

What constitutes a “justified case” is not defined in the press release.

It did say that “the coordinated use of a key frequency band ... will allow for higher speeds and better access to mobile internet across Europe”.

“This means better connectivity everywhere,” said Arpad Ersek, Slovak transport minister in the press release.

EU countries also agreed to create national plans for organising the frequency reassignment.

While the commission had originally proposed that these plans should be ready by 30 June 2017, the compromise deal gives them until 30 June 2018.

Still, EU digital single market commissioner Andrus Ansip welcomed the deal on coordinating radio frequencies, referred to as radio spectrum in EU circles.

“Better spectrum coordination is vital to provide higher quality internet to all Europeans,” said Ansip.

"It paves the way for 5G, the next generation of communication networks, and the internet of things."

The spectrum rules were proposed by the commission in February, but were expected to face opposition because states see auctioning of bandwidth as a valuable resource, and they were wary that the commission would want that income.

Ansip's predecessor Neelie Kroes failed in a previous attempt to set EU-wide spectrum rules.

EU rules on 700 MHz: technical issue or power grab?

The EU executive is trying to convince EU countries to commit to some coordination in the assignment of a specific set of radio frequencies, after it failed to garner support for broader, common rules.

Opinion

Enough with EU's empty words on 5G

With its current policies on telecoms, the EU has set the stage for USA and Asia and handed them the trophy without even attempting to win it ourselves.

Sex toys and smart robots: Who's liable?

Sex toys are being connected to the internet ad they can be hacked. Is that rape? And who would be responsible for misdeeds of autonomous robots?

Are EU data watchdogs staffed for GDPR?

The success of the new general data protection regulation (GDPR) will depend on whether data protection authorities enforce the new rules - which, in turn, will be at least partly determined by how many people they employ.

Eight countries to miss EU data protection deadline

The EU starts enforcing its general data protection regulation on 25 May - but Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia won't be ready. The delay will cause legal uncertainty.

News in Brief

  1. Italy set to pick eurosceptic finance minister
  2. UK foreign minister fooled by Russian pranksters
  3. Rajoy ally gets 33 years in jail for corruption
  4. Close race as polls open in Irish abortion referendum
  5. Gazprom accepts EU conditions on gas supplies
  6. Facebook tells MEPs: non-users are not profiled
  7. Commission proposes ending France deficit procedure
  8. UK households hit with Brexit income loss

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  3. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  4. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  6. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  8. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  12. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach