I do not have good news for you. Unfortunately, it turns out that the development of the mobile phone network in Europe is at risk due to the lack of Russian declarations to release the frequency from the 700 MHz band. European countries have already established a strategy some time ago that will allow operators to build a 5G network covering entire countries. However, this will not be possible if Russian TV transmitters disrupt the operation of 5G base stations. The problem concerns mainly Poland, but not only.

The 5G technology is designed to work on various radio frequency bands. The next generation of mobile networks will use both the millimeter band (ie 26 GHz), the frequencies used so far by the WiMAX system (3.4 – 3.8 GHz band), as well as the so-called the 700 MHz band, which will be separated from the 694 – 790 MHz frequency currently used by terrestrial television. And here we come to the heart of the problem. While European countries have agreed to release the frequencies from the 700 MHz band and allocate them to the development of the 5G network, all neighboring countries have not done so. The problem concerns mainly Poland, which must coordinate the use of radio frequencies in the border areas with countries that do not belong to the European Union. Marek Zagórski, the Polish minister of digitization, confirmed that Ukraine and Belarus have already promised to stop using the 700 MHz band for terrestrial television. However, Russia has not yet issued any official decision in this matter.

The European Commission should be involved in negotiations with Russia

Already some time ago international arrangements were made stating that frequencies in the 694-790 MHz band will be allocated for the use of cellular networks. This is, of course, about accelerating the development of 5G technology in such a way that it can be used in any city. It is true that such a low frequency will not allow the provision of ultra-fast Internet access, but it is enough to massively handle Internet of Things devices. Russia has so far supported the findings that after June 30, 2020, the 700 MHz band will be used for mobile Internet services. However, such declarations must also be followed by specific decisions that have not been taken so far. That is why Marek Zagórski intends to ask the European Commission to join the negotiations. If Russia does not give up the use of frequencies from the 700 MHz band by digital terrestrial television, then the generated disturbances will be felt up to 300 km from the border with this country. In Poland, this will cause problems with the construction of the 5G network in the north-eastern part of the country. However, in a much worse situation there is a small Estonia. That’s why Marek Zagórski counts on the support of Estonian Andrus Ansip, who is vice president of the European Commission and commissioner for the digital single market.

Source: Rzeczpospolita (in Polish)

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