By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
Today the 48 member countries of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations – aka CEPT, which also includes the 27 member states of the European Union – cleared a major regulatory milestone on the road to releasing 480 MHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band to Wi-Fi in Europe. Sources familiar with the matter say the path has now been cleared for the European Commission (EU) to adopt 6 GHz Wi-Fi in early 2021 and that such a decision is now ‘practically a certainty’.
Today the ECC Plenary (the governing body of CEPT) adopted two reports that pave the way for EU and CEPT-wide release of 6 GHz spectrum to Wi-Fi. A source familiar with the matter says it is now ‘practically a certainty’ that the European Commission (EC) will issue a legally binding decision for EU members states to release the spectrum in early 2021. The decision will apply to the 5945-6425 MHz band and will authorise low power indoor (LPI) and very low power (VLP) unlicensed uses of the band. The decision is expected to happen in April of 2021.
For those interested in the intricacies of European telecoms regulation – and yes, we can promise you this is learning experience also for us – here is more detail:
The ECC Plenary adopted the CEPT Report 75, which will now proceed to the European Commission, as well as a report named ECC DEC(20)01. The latter is intended for the telecom regulatory bodies of the 48 CEPT member countries and the content of the reports are essentially identical. The latter report is not binding but it is expected that most of the 48 telecom regulators will adopt it. The decision will be formalised this Friday by the ECC and officially published within a couple of weeks.
The CEPT Report 75 is the basis for the European Commission’s binding final decision on the delicensing of the 6 GHz band. The EC will present their decision to the Radio Spectrum Committee (RSC) in December. Final approval of the decision by the RSC is expected at the RSC’s subsequent meeting in March of 2021.