The European Commission has outlined a proposal that suggest changing the frequency in which television is broadcast across European countries to provide additional bandwidth for users’ insatiable appetite for data.
Currently, the 700MHZ UHF band is used primarily for TV broadcasting, but would be re-allocated for high-speed mobile services and supporting the Internet of Things (IoT).
Ultimately, it’ll be needed to provide capacity for a 5G rollout too, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Günther H. Oettinger said:
“We cannot have high quality mobile internet for everything and for everyone everywhere unless we have modern infrastructure and modern rules.
With this proposal we show that we can have both: a vibrant audiovisual sector as well as the spectrum we will need for 5G. The 700 MHz band will be ideal for new promising fields like connected driving and the Internet of Things.
I want Europe to lead in 5G. That is why all Member States must act by 2020.“
Fear not though, TV-lovers, UHF bands below 700MHz will still be reserved for audiovisual transmission.
According to the EC, the upheaval would be worthwhile as the re-purposed spectrum in this band propagates incredibly well across large areas.
Oettinger wants all European Member States to make the change by 2020, in time for the introduction of 5G. Naturally, coordinating the policy of 28 countries is a slow business, so whether everyone will be on board by that deadline is a different matter.
Some countries have been quick on the uptake, however. France and Germany have already authorized the use of 700MHz for mobile services, while Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the UK all have plans to start the process in the next few years.