European cable industry calls on EC to address CE network interference

Joseph O'Halloran | 06-11-2013
The European Forum for Spectrum Coexistence (EFSC) is calling for action by the European Commission to pursue comprehensive impact assessments on the issue of unwanted interference. Even though it feels that the Connected Continent proposal from EC VP Neelie Kroes offers an opportunity to get future European spectrum policy right on track, the EFSC warned of the urgency of addressing the role of coexistence between new and existing radio and fixed equipment to avoid interruption of essential services due to unwanted interference. Indeed the EFSC believes that harmful interference of new spectrum users – fuelled by the proliferation of smartphones and tablets –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. It adds that 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 is calling 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.” Commented ZVEI Consumer Electronics Division Chairman Hans Wienands: “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”. “To avoid interference with existing high quality broadband services is crucial for the customer experience,” added 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.”