Many common EU policies critically rely on harmonised radio spectrum. The use of radio frequencies according to common criteria across the EU can have a strong positive impact on the successful uptake of innovative wireless applications as disparate as cellular mobile telephony, satellite global positioning systems, microphones for the hard-of-hearing or collision-avoidance car radars.
The MoU aims to support on-going activities in these areas, where the Commission mandates CEPT1 to carry out preparatory activities to harmonise the use of radio spectrum in Europe, including when it may be relevant to the Radio and the Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive2. The cooperation between the Commission and CEPT in the field of harmonisation of spectrum is a key factor for the development of new wireless technologies and products, which ultimately benefit all constituencies concerned.
Where deemed to be mutually beneficial, this working relationship may be extended to other areas, such as numbering, naming and addressing issues.
Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen, whose portfolio includes radio spectrum policy, said: "The Commission values highly the good relationship it has with the CEPT. When EU enlargement enters into force on 1 May 2004, over half of CEPT’s members will also be members of the EU. The Memorandum is a further indication that we are all willing to work together in harmonising and modernising regulation in Europe according to our respective competences, to the ultimate benefit of the European citizen."
Marc Furrer, CEPT President, said: "The signature of this MoU strengthens the complementarity between the Commission and CEPT in fields such as radiocommunications, telecommunications and digital television. It confirms the long lasting and fruitful cooperation between both partners, as illustrated when Europe obtained global frequencies for the standard for third generation wireless communications IMT-2000. It also recognises the central role of CEPT in the development of a favourable environment for industry in its 46 countries."
CEPT, the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations, presently has 46 Members, including all EU member states, as well as all acceding, candidate and EEA countries. Until 30 September 2004 it is presided by Switzerland and the CEPT President is Mr Marc Furrer, General Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM). See also http://www.cept.org and http://www.ofcom.ch.
The MoU specifies that the Commission and CEPT will exchange information, identify contact points and participate in relevant meetings hosted by each other, as already happens in the radio spectrum domain, where the Commission counsels CEPT and attends the European preparations for the ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences carried out under the aegis of CEPT in order to support the achievement of Community policy goals. CEPT is a permanent observer in the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) , a high-level advisory body to the Commission, and participates in various Community committees.
1 As provided for in Decision No 676/2002/CE of the European Parliament and the Council of 7 March 2002 on the regulatory framework for the radio spectrum policy of the European Community. ("the Radio Spectrum Decision").
2 Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 9 March 1999 on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity.
Address for enquiries:
Media service OFCOM, 032 327 55 50
- Federal Office of Communications
- Internet: http://www.bakom.admin.ch