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Gunnar Hökmark: Allocate and coordinate the 700 MHz band as soon as possible

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Europe needs to allocate and coordinate the 700 MHz band as soon as possible. This is needed in order to have sufficient capacity for the development of mobile data traffic and new services as well as to make a digital single market real, said MEP Gunnar Hökmark at the 10th Annual EU Spectrum Conference in Brussels today.


The speeds and capacities of yesterday were not sufficient for the services of today. The speeds and capacities of today are not sufficient for the services of tomorrow. Instead they will hinder the services of tomorrow to develop in Europe. Those who say that we have no scarcity of spectrum resources for mobile data traffic are right if we are to stay where we are. But they are wrong if we are to be the leading centre for digital development and modern knowledge societies.


The forecasted exponential development of mobile data traffic will be 100 times higher 2019 than in 2010. Today it is according to these forecasts doubled compared to 2010 so the largest development is yet to come. New services, new technologies, new devices, new ways of behaviour, new markets and new products are giving an exponential development where limitations of spectrum would be a limitation for the development of the European economy.


In this perspective, if scarcity is not a problem then we have a much bigger problem for the European economy as such. The on-going discussion about Net Neutrality wouldn’t take place if there were no spectrum scarcity.


We need to increase capacity and speeds in order to face the challenges to the European economy. If we are to be a leading global economy, we must be the number one regarding opportunities for the development of digital services and mobile data traffic.


We need to coordinate the allocation of the 700 MHz band on a European level, combining this with respect for the Member states sovereign control over the frequencies. Single net structures would be even better, where the Member states own their part of the net and national operators cooperate and compete with European ones, thus making the Digital Single Market real.


In order to be number one we need to act as a number one and to secure that we have the best capacities and the best speeds, said Mr. Hökmark.