RTR to launch consultation on frequencies for mobile broadband services
Now that the latest amendment to the Austrian Frequency Utilisation Plan has gone into effect, the Telekom-Control-Kommission (TKK, Austria's telecoms regulator) has been placed in charge of a number of tasks and decisions which are crucial to mobile broadband services. The new legislation transposes the amended GSM Directive into Austrian law and thus creates the conditions necessary to utilise GSM frequencies for broadband technologies. At the same time, the assignment of the "digital dividend" (800 MHz band) is also planned in the near future. As these decisions are closely interrelated, the regulatory authority considers it important to coordinate these procedures with each other.
In this context, the upcoming decisions will be crucial in setting the future course for the Austrian mobile communications market over the next ten years at least. The frequency bands below 1 GHz in particular represent a key resource for the expansion of broadband networks in rural areas, which also makes them crucial to the competitiveness of network operators. From the regulatory authority's perspective, therefore, a non-discriminatory assignment of these frequencies is absolutely essential in order to ensure fair competition on the market.
As an initial step, the TKK intends to carry out a consultation in order to gather suggestions and to discuss possible future scenarios. The consultation document can be found on the RTR web site at http://www.rtr.at/en/komp/Konsult_DD_Refarming
. Interested parties are invited to submit comments and opinions by March 18, 2011.