EU ‘plans 25-year spectrum licences’

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

European Commission to propose spectrum licences to last 25 years and pave way for multi-country auctions

Spectrum licences in the European Union (EU) will last for 25 years from 2018, according to an EU document seen by Reuters.

The agency reports that the European Commission – the executive arm of the 28-nation EU – will publish the idea in September, but warns that it will need approval from all member states and from the European Parliament.

Under the plan, says Reuters, licences would last at least 25 years and the Commission would have the power to adopt binding guidance on some conditions of the assignment process, such as the deadlines for spectrum allocation and spectrum sharing.

Member states would also be able to work together on spectrum auctions to award multi-country or pan-EU licences, although this would be voluntary.

“Long-term licence durations of at least 25 years proposed in this option will increase stability and certainty of investments as well as innovation requirements,” the document says, according to the news agency.

The move is likely to be resisted by 28 fiercely independent national regulators in the EU – only 27 once the UK leaves. But the Commission sees this as part of its programme towards a single European market for telecoms.