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Details of 2012 Conference

Vice-President Kroes delivering a keynote presentation Andreas Geiss from the EC Spectrum Policy Unit Panellists at the event

The 7th Annual European Spectrum Management Conference 2012 was held on 19-20 June in Brussels, and was attended by over 250 delegates from across Europe and the rest of the world.


As with previous events, the conference focused on key policy issues relating to the management of the radio spectrum and aimed to discuss those issues which have an impact on industries where spectrum is the key input (such as mobile broadband, broadcasting and satellite) or where spectrum availability is increasingly key to operations (e.g. emergency services, utilities, transport). The conference brought together all the major stakeholders from these industries, including senior policymakers and industry representatives, equipment manufacturers and expert consultants, facilitating a rounded discussion with differing viewpoints, and an exceptionally high quality of debate.


Event Highlights


A number of major themes emerged during the conference, many of which cut across the different topics discussed in each of the panel sessions:


• The request from politicians for the industry to be more ambitious – Several of the keynote speakers highlighted that the EU Digital Agenda targets may not be sufficiently ambitious and that we need to prepare for a world where even higher data rates become a necessity. In these efforts, we need to ensure that spectrum availability does not become the barrier to the realisation of this vision. Several calls were made for “Europe to get back to the top” of developments in the mobile world.


• The risk of Europe losing its influence on major spectrum harmonisation decisions – Speakers referred to the unexpected decision at WRC-12 to seek to make a co-primary allocation to Mobile in the 694-790MHz band in Region 1 from 2015 and how Europe was unprepared for this. The importance of Europe understanding the spectrum needs of other regions and accommodating these within its own objectives and aims was noted.


• The need for Europe to make a quick and smart decision about the 700MHz band – A rapid decision of the future use of the 700MHz band in Europe is needed to ensure that the region is able to influence the overall debate and benefit from global harmonisation. In particular, Europe needs to quickly reach a decision on whether the future use of this sub-band will be for broadcasting, for mobile/ wireless broadband or for a mixture of the two (e.g. through a converged technological platform) and it should strive for a coordinated recommendation on the future band plan for this sub-band.


• Consideration of whether the needs of other sectors can be met through platform convergence – In addition to the cases for additional spectrum for the mobile industry, several other sectors including the emergency services, utilities and military highlighted their need for high-bandwidth wireless services to support innovative applications. The European Commission highlighted that we should all be considering whether such applications can be supported using converged platforms or through the sharing of spectrum.


• The identification of potential new bands for the harmonisation of wireless broadband networks – The spectrum inventory has identified a number of bands where spectrum is currently under-utilised and/or increased levels of sharing may be possible. Additionally, several speakers discussed the potential future use of the 1452-1492MHz band (as a supplemental downlink band) and of the 2300- 2400MHz band (for unpaired technologies such as the TDD variant of LTE) as a means of supporting the asymmetric levels (comparing downlink and uplink) of mobile data traffic.


• “Capacity crunch” does not necessarily equate to “spectrum crunch” – Several speakers indicated that the explosive growth of mobile traffic levels does not necessarily lead to a spectrum crunch as use can be made of other means of increasing network capacity. Some suggestions regarding how to increase this capacity included the increased spectral efficiency of the latest wireless technologies, re-farming of spectrum being used by older technologies, considering (licenced) shared access to spectrum and the use of new network architectures including the deployment of small cells and off-loading to WiFi networks. 




Mon 24 June, 2013 08.30 to
Wed 26 June, 2013 17.30




Management Centre Europe

Rue de l'Aqueduc 118
Brussels 1050

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