ESFC Release – Coexistence in spectrum policy: the cornerstone for a ‘Connected Continent’

ESFC Release – Coexistence in spectrum policy: the cornerstone for a ‘Connected Continent’
05/11/2013 Carol Ward

European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes’ ‘Connected Continent’ proposal offers an opportunity to get future European spectrum policy right on track. The European Forum for Spectrum Coexistence (EFSC) underscores the vital role of coexistence between new and existing radio and fixed equipment to avoid interruption of essential services due to unwanted interference, as discussed today at the European Parliament, in a conference hosted and moderated by MEP Catherine Trautmann (S&D, FR).

Harmful interference of new spectrum users with existing radio and fixed services can result not only in lost broadband connections or TV signals, disruption of a live performance, but more importantly in emergency services not being available, and loss of radio signal creating dangerous situations for the railway system or affecting the traffic regularity. It is essential that radio spectrum allocation policy takes into account the potential impact of new radio services on already existing equipment while ensuring that the concept of coexistence is embedded in pan-European thinking.

The EFSC calls upon the European Commission to pursue comprehensive impact assessments on this issue and to provide Member States with clear policy recommendations, in consultation with all concerned stakeholders, in order to ensure high quality connectivity for all consumers and businesses.

MEP Catherine Trautmann (S&D, FR) commented “Networks govern the lives of the citizens of our modern and connected Europe. A job and growth agenda is nothing without connectivity – whether it is communication networks or transport networks whose safety and reliability are of paramount importance. We are optimists that the Connected Continent package contains tools to address not only better connectivity for Europeans, but also to ensure new and existing technologies can work together for a more efficient and integrated Europe.”

CER Executive Director Libor Lochman said: “It is essential that adequate conditions for the coexistence of railway communication devices and public mobile networks (GSM and broadband technologies) are established to ensure safe and uninterrupted train operations in Europe.”

ZVEI Consumer Electronics Division Chairman Hans Wienands pointed out: “The users expect reliable connectivity services, be it at home or while travelling. It is crucial to ensure that next generation smartphones work smoothly next to Connected TV sets, without interference of mobile broadband services and wireless or cable-based broadcast services. Therefore coexistence in a changing electromagnetic environment should be a priority for Europe”.

APWPT Presidents Matthias Fehr and Dré Klaassen highlighted: “While the professional event production is operated for decades in the radio spectrum, it is not asking too much to also ensure that PMSE equipment such as wireless microphones and cameras used to produce the content works free of interference, too.”

Pearle*-Live Performance Europe President Catherine Baumann underlined: “While we welcome the aim for a connected Europe and, as a sector, will potentially also benefit from such policy, there is a great sense of urgency to create a level playing field for all, including users of wireless microphone equipment for live performances. This should result in a win-win situation for new and existing users.”

“To avoid interference with existing high quality broadband services is crucial for the customer experience,” commented Cable Europe Chairman Matthias Kurth. “It’s in the self interest of all stakeholders and governments to think twice on how to find technology solutions to guarantee coexistence of new and existing services. We want to enhance the necessary constructive dialogue in time to avoid discussions at the last minute.”