In the mobility horizon we see challenges such as the development of the 5G network, the reallocation of the radio spectrum or the end of roaming. What steps are being taken from the community institutions?


Almost all European citizens already carry a smartphone in our pocket. It is clear that the concept of mobility has reached a new dimension in recent years. And this new era demands a normative development that allows to adapt to the times and keep moving forward.

It is inevitable that we ask ourselves how the European Union is preparing for this challenge and, above all, what are the steps that are being taken on this path. Especially if we take into account that, although in theory we are immersed in a single market, The fragmentation of the community territory is still an indisputable fact in many areas.

Digital single market

European leaders are aware of the internal disintegration of the EU in telecommunications, so one of the priority objectives for the coming years is the consolidation of the digital single market, as indicates the European Commission .

The community government body recognizes that there are barriers in the online arena. And this translates into the loss of goods and services for citizens, in addition to limiting the horizon of Internet companies and European start-ups And it also hinders the use of digital tools by governments and companies.

Therefore, the time has come to take a step forward. “Digital technologies accompany us in all aspects of life. All of them require high speed internet access. We need to be connected. Our economy needs it. People need it, ” declared last September Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission.

According to the Community body, « it is time for the EU’s single market to fit into the digital era, breaking down regulatory walls and moving from 28 national markets to a single one. This could contribute with 415 million euros a year to our economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. ”

The European Commission explains in a document why we need a single market. First, he notes that only 59% of Europeans have access to 4G networks . In addition, it affects that 52% of cross-border purchases are blocked , while a single market would allow consumers to save 11 billion euros through online purchase. Likewise, Small businesses could save 9,000 euros in legal and translation costs thanks to the harmonization of legislation.

Believes that the digital single market would improve ecommerce, parcel delivery or VAT management, while creating a better business environment for companies in the telecommunications sector , media, online platforms and the field of security and personal data.

On the other hand, this unification of the European digital environment would lead to a new era in copyright management. The European Commission believes that it would lead to a better choice and access to cross-border online content , as well as a fairer online environment for creators and media. In addition, it would allow the improvement of copyright rules to make more accessible the material of educational, research and cultural heritage organizations.

Likewise, the body of european government estimated that would give a boost to the development of research, thanks to the creation of an environment of openness and trust to share scientific data, in addition to interface data and to the researchers themselves.

End of the roaming… with shades

roaming has been one of the major obstacles to the establishment of a mobility pan-european. The community authorities are aware of this, so that the additional costs that support communications in roaming, they have been one of the aspects that has most influenced Brussels.

Since the EU interniviera in 2007, the price of roaming has been considerably reduced. So, from April 2016, and until June of 2017, the operators are able to charge additional amounts to the domestic rates: 6 cents per minute of call made; 2,4 cents per SMS sent, and 6 cents per MB of data.

in Addition, remember that the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a agreement for elimination of roaming from the June 15, 2017. However, you will have certain constraints. So, will be limited to 90 days per year the use of mobile tariffs by european territory at the procurement price in the country of origin. if this limit is Exceeded, the fee will be 4 cents per minute, 1 cent per SMS and 0.85 cents per MB. People who live near the border between the two countries shall be excluded from this restriction, it is understood that they can move from one country to another for work or for personal reasons.

Brussels puts this obstacle to stop something which it interprets as an abuse, because it could affect the price of the operators home. So, aims to prevent the acquisition of the procurement of the services of operators of other european countries in which tariffs are cheaper.

In short, although the steps taken toward the elimination of roaming will be appreciated, the EU has not dared to make the final leap towards a single market in telecommunications and real mobility.

The limitations imposed are still parceled out the territory, intra-community, hindering the creation of a single market, governed only by the free competition between operators of all countries.

Reallocation of the spectrum and 5G

The development of mobile networks is another of the worries that occupy the european leaders. The Presidency of slovakia, the Council of the European Union special emphasis was placed during his turn on the momentum of a mobile internet for all european citizens. the Result of this effort, last December came to an informal agreement with the European Parliament that will allow for some higher speeds and a better mobile internet access.

the agreement is facing the need for increasing the spectrum for broadcasting. “The spectrum is a valuable resource that must be used with wisdom and strategic vision.

The release of the frequency band of 700 MHz for wireless broadband is a win-win solution for both the digital sector and the audiovisual as well as for all consumers. Provides a regulatory certainty and long-term is essential for the implementation of the 5G. This will mean having improved connectivity everywhere, ”explained Arpád Érsek, Minister of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of Slovakia and President of the Council»

The result of the negotiations will be submitted to the approval of the member states in the first months of this year. Once the agreement is reached, EU countries must reassign the 700 MHz (694-790 MHz) frequency band to wireless broadband services before June 30, 2020. It is envisaged an exceptional delay period of up to two years for those countries that have not been able to do so, provided they are duly justified cases.

This frequency band allows to reach high speeds and have excellent coverage, so will promote the implementation of 4G and improve the offer of high quality broadband for all Europeans, even in rural areas. < / strong> And this will not only result in citizens’ internet access, but it will have a significant economic impact, since it will improve conditions for businesses, increase demand for services and boost development.

In addition, spectrum reallocation will facilitate the generalization of 5G technology. Its deployment will substantially improve the capacity of the wireless network and will serve to develop innovative services, among which attention should be noted remote health, the connected car and the implementation of intelligent infrastructure.

Broadcasting services are guaranteed until 2030 their priority in the band below 700 MHz (470-694 MHz), depending on national needs. In this way, the sector will be able to work with a clear long-term vision, so that it does not influence the provision of services or the realization of investments. Currently, the frequency range of 470-790 MHz is mostly used for digital television broadcasting and for wireless microphones used in theaters, concerts, sporting events, etc.

Only France and Germany have taken the first steps to release the 700 MHz frequency band, while other European countries — United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark and Finland — are working on their plans to reallocate the band in the coming years.