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IP/10/1404

Brussels, 28 October 2010

Digital Agenda: Bulgaria to make available radio spectrum in 169 MHz band; Commission closes infringement case

The European Commission welcomes Bulgaria's commitment to advance measures for implementing the legal and technical requirements of EU law on the harmonised use of the 169 MHz frequency band. The Commission had asked the Bulgarian Government to clarify how it was complying with a Commission Decision which paves the way for the use of specific radio applications of social and economic value such as social alarms, hearing aids, smart metering or asset tracking. Bulgaria has indicated that, by the end of 2013, it will make available for general use this frequency band which is currently used for a private radio communications system. The Commission will monitor compliance with this commitment.

The Commission sent a letter of formal notice in January 2009 asking the Bulgarian authorities for more information about how they were implementing EU rules which harmonise the use of the 169 MHz frequency band (see IP/10/66). In the meantime, the Bulgarian authorities notified the Commission of the exceptional use of a private mobile radio communications system in this band for the purpose of national security, in line with Commission decisions, and stated their commitment to implement the harmonised rules as regards the 169 MHz frequency band by the end of 2013. The Commission is satisfied with this situation, and will monitor future developments towards the effective take-up of these radio applications in Bulgaria, which will benefit consumers and businesses.

Background

Spectrum harmonisation decisions pursuant to the Radio Spectrum Decision 676/2002/EC are important to market players using or intending to use radio frequencies, and for product and service developers. They provide harmonised conditions at EU level and help consolidate the Single Market in areas such as telecommunications, transport and research and development. The implementation of spectrum harmonisation decisions by EU Member States is systematically monitored by the European Commission.

Commission Decision 2005/928/EC, as amended by the Commission Decision 2008/673/EC, lays down harmonised conditions for the availability and efficient use of the 169,4-169,8125 MHz frequency band for various communication applications such as hearing aids or social alarms and electronic services such as tracing and asset tracking or paging systems. It also provides a frequency plan and channelling arrangements for the applications concerned.

An overview of telecoms infringement proceedings is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/implementation_enforcement/infringement/

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/10/530


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