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European Law Monitor newsNew Commission Decision creates a single reference point for uniform EU radio spectrum information

Radio spectrum users will soon benefit from greater clarity on what spectrum is available and how this may be used across Europe. Such information helps industry to make informed decisions when developing business opportunities, and so will stimulate investment. It is also essential for secondary trading of rights to use spectrum, which is also a Commission objective. The Decision, adopted on 17 May 2007, builds on existing requirements in the EU Telecom Rules and defines a common format and level of detail for information that Member States should provide.
"Public access to comparable and accurate information on spectrum use is yet another example of how we are improving our EU radio spectrum policy so that the wireless sector can further grow and flourish," said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding. "This decision will help create a single market for devices using radio waves and contribute to our policy of a more market-based spectrum management. It will ease the deployment of radio-based services and applications, and ultimately benefit not only the sector but all citizens."

Currently, information about available spectrum is so far mainly provided nationally and can vary greatly both in format and scope across the EU. Accessing this information and comparing it across borders is very cumbersome and uncoordinated information updates limit reliability. This can harm business by delaying investment and decision-making which impacts Europe's internal market for telecom products and services.

This Commission Decision, adopted on 17 May 2007, specifies the format and level of detail of the information that Member States should provide on the use of radio spectrum, as well as other practicalities such as reliability and regular updates. This common approach allows for the setting up a single information point containing comparable data, as foreseen by the Decision.

The European Radiocommunications Office's Frequency Information System (EFIS) was chosen as a good basis for further enhancements to cover the full scope of the Decision. In addition to information on spectrum allocations and applications, which is already provided by EFIS today based on input from a majority of Member States, the Decision requires all Member States also to upload important information relevant for equipment manufacturing (so-called Radio Interface Specifications) and for identifying current licensed spectrum users (so-called Rights of Use).

The Commission Decision was prepared in consultation with the EU Member States´ radio spectrum experts and is part of the Commission's drive for a common European radio spectrum policy (see IP/05/1199). It was adopted in accordance with the Radio Spectrum Decision which allows for a coordinated EU approach on technical radio spectrum matters.

More information:

The EU ´s Radio Spectrum Policy:

The decision on harmonised availability of information regarding spectrum use within the Community:

Reproduced with the permission of the European Commission Ref IP/07/677