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IP/11/195

Brussels, 17 February 2011

Digital Agenda: Vice-President Kroes calls on 21 Member States to take urgent measures on mobile satellite services

Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, has issued an urgent call to twenty one EU countries to rapidly introduce all the legislative measures necessary to allow the pan-EU deployment of mobile satellite services that could be used for high-speed internet, mobile television and radio or emergency communications to EU consumers and businesses. According to the timetable agreed by a Decision of the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers in 2008, Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) should be deployed in all EU Member States by May 2011 at the latest (MEMO/09/237). But, more than twenty months after the Commission selected two operators to provide such pan-European services, 21 Member States have not yet adopted all the national rules needed to facilitate MSS deployment. Vice-President Kroes recently appealed also to the two operators concerned to step up their efforts. The key role that wireless broadband (both satellite and terrestrial) can play to ensure broadband coverage, including in remote and rural areas, is underlined in the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).

Neelie Kroes said: "Member States should urgently take all measures necessary to allow the introduction of mobile satellite services throughout the EU. Mobile satellite services have an important role to play in providing innovative services to businesses and citizens across Europe, including in rural or remote areas, and in meeting our Digital Agenda targets of making broadband available to everyone in Europe."

Twenty one Member States have not yet put in place all the necessary legislative measures to allow Inmarsat Ventures Limited and Solaris Mobile Limited, the two operators selected in May 2009 to provide pan-European mobile satellite services, to offer mobile satellite services from May 2011.

Vice-President Kroes has written today to the twenty one Member States in question urging them to remove remaining legal uncertainties, such as licence fees, and to put in place all necessary implementation measures without further delay. The twenty one Member States are Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Background

The Commission proposed to create a single selection and authorisation process for mobile satellite services (MSS) at EU level to facilitate the emergence of a Single Market for mobile satellite services and maximise its potential, to the benefit of consumers and businesses.

The approach was endorsed by the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers on 30 June 2008, when they adopted a Decision for the selection procedure for MSS to be organised at European level (IP/07/1243). The Decision established a selection and authorisation process that ensures a coordinated introduction of MSS in the EU. On 13 May 2009, the Commission selected Inmarsat Ventures Limited and Solaris Mobile Limited as the pan-EU mobile satellite service operators (MEMO/09/237).

For more information:

The study on measures taken by Member States for the introduction of mobile satellite services can be found here:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/ecomm/current/pan_european/index_en.htm

Neelie Kroes' website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kroes/

Digital Agenda website:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/digital-agenda/index_en.htm

Annex

Authorisation structures in Member States (Dec 2010)

Member State

1. Structure complete

2. Acknowledged not complete

3.

Unknown (presumed incomplete)

4

Study conclusion: not complete (in addition to-category 2)

Comments - What’s missing?

AT

BE

CGC structure not in place

BG

No details provided

CY

Determination on fees not complete

CZ

General rules not complete – projected determination by May 2011

DK

DE

No determination on CGC non-repeater function

EE

EL

No details provided except that all is under study

FI

FR

Main MSS licence in place and CGC regional testing authorised; no determination on CGC non-repeater function, consultation pending on gap filler function

HU

Fee structure not complete – but note complex fee and application structure (details not confirmed by NRA)

IE

Consultation pending

IT

Nothing officially published; no specific regulations – all pending

LV

Duration, terms and conditions not specified until application filed

LT

Duration, terms and conditions not specified until application filed

LU

CGC regulations pending

MT

Duration, terms and conditions not specified – projected end of 2010

NL

CGC structure not specified – projected end of 2010 to early 2011

PL

Duration, terms and conditions not specified until application filed; no determination on CGC non-repeater function

PT

Consultation pending (not yet started)

RO

Note extremely high fee structure

SK

MSS and CGC fees in development

SI

Fee structure not complete

ES

Partial

CGC regulation is under way (legislation pending)

SE

UK

Partial

Main statutory instrument in place; three other statutory instruments required for CGC terminals and fees are pending

Total (including partial)

6

Plus UK = 7

9

1

  • 11

Minus UK = 10

Conclusion that six, possibly seven, national regulatory structures are completely in place, permitting full range of MSS operator services

CGC = complementary ground components used to relay satellite signals e.g. in areas where high buildings or natural obstacles may prevent or disturb satellite signal reception


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