On 11 July, Analysys Mason presented its “Analysis of technology trends, future needs and demand for spectrum” to the European Commission in Brussels. The study covers a broad range of applications, including Terrestrial TV Broadcasting and Wireless Broadband (both Mobile Broadband and WiFi).

One of the conclusions in the study is that Terrestrial TV Broadcasting in the 470-790 MHz band will demand more spectrum than available beyond 2022. The study also mentions that “the eventual release of the 700 MHz band from DTT to mobile services, as agreed in some countries, will further reduce the number of channels available for broadcasting and eventually increase the congestion problem.”

Some of the conclusions are positive for the Broadcasting industry and much focus was put on the future use of the 700 MHz band in the discussions. Even if many comments were made indicating that the 700 MHz band most likely will be used for Mobile Broadband in the future it must be observed that the Cisco forecasts for Mobile Traffic in Western Europe has been cut by more than 50% from the forecast presented 2012 compared with the forecast presented 2013. Further analysis presented by Analysys Mason indicates that even the latest forecast overestimates growth in Mobile Traffic. Analysys Mason also pointed out that the need for more spectrum for Mobile Broadband will depend on the roll-out of fixed broadband.

Further, it was stated that in its recent communication COM(2012)478, the Commission noted that “more than half of all smartphone traffic appears to be routed over Wi-Fi networks and this nomadic traffic is growing 4-6 times faster than mobile traffic”, showing that WiFi will be overloaded and it may be necessary to offload WiFi traffic with mobile broadband.

Now, the authors of the study mentioned that it was difficult to develop accurate quantitative forecasts of spectrum usage demand because of lack of accurate and reliable data for current spectrum designation and usage. As a result, calculation of the demand for future spectrum usage was made on a qualitative basis relying on the previous spectrum inventory WIK Study (which rated the level of usage of each band on a scale from 0 to 3).

With both studies completed, the Commission is now expected to issue a statement on the 700 MHz in October and make a report to the European Parliament and Council. Stakeholders will be invited to share their comments on the report from in November 2013 and up to March 2014. In parallel, additional studies will take place in 2014 with already an RFP published to undertake a study on “Broadcasting Broadband convergence”. Another study on Commercial Systems for Mission Critical Applications (PPDR) is also foreseen.