Regulation of the 700 MHz band in Europe 01 July 24 Dieter Kronegger

The 700 MHz band has been identified as one of the pioneer spectrum bands for 5G in Europe, alongside the 3.4–3.8 GHz and the 26 GHz bands.

All EU member states except Poland and Malta have awarded licences to mobile network operators in this band.

Most countries awarded 2x30 MHz to mobile operators

Our latest benchmark shows that most countries awarded the full 2x30 MHz of paired spectrum available in the 700 MHz band under the harmonised European band plan.

Only five European countries also awarded licences for unpaired spectrum that can be used for supplemental downlink (SDL). Another three countries offered spectrum for SDL in auctions but it remained unsold.

No country has published plans to award spectrum for SDL but some included the possibility in consultation documents.


Various other uses of the 700 MHz band

The harmonised European band plan allows EU member states several options to use the remainder of the band:

  • Two blocks of 2x5 MHz and 2x3 MHz can be used for public protection and disaster relief (PPDR). About half of the 21 countries covered by the benchmark allocated one or both blocks to PPDR but most have not yet awarded the spectrum to PPDR service operators.
  • 2x3 MHz can be used for machine-to-machine radio communications (M2M). Slovenia is so far the only country to have used this option.
  • Seven countries allow the use of parts of the band for programme making and special events (PMSE), for example, wireless microphones.

For more information and to access the full benchmark, please click on “Access the full content” - or on “Request Access”, in case you are not subscribed to our European Radio Spectrum service.


stay in touch