European policies supporting wireless broadband

This paper discusses the recent development of European level policies regarding wireless broadband services, and in particular those adopted by the European Union. We address three main policy strands, namely broadband service provision in general, spectrum allocation and policies addressing competition issues in mobile markets.
We find that the European Commission has successfully promulgated good practice spectrum management and encouraged greater flexibility, which allows harmonisation at a technical level but potentially some national variations in use. There has been growing centralisation of European policy making. Assuming that the demand for broadband services justifies further release of spectrum an inventory approach is necessary to identify potential bands for mobile broadband, and further centralisation of activity at European level seems inevitable given the need for harmonised allocations. Despite this, the prospect of a EU spectrum regulator is some way off given the opposition demonstrated by some national regulators.