Digital Agenda: Commission pushes for effective deployment of pan-European mobile satellite services

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The European Commission today adopted a decision which would allow it to coordinate the efforts of EU Member States to accelerate the commercial deployment of pan-European Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) and, if need be, to adopt appropriate enforcement measures. Mobile satellite services use radio spectrum to provide access to communication services, such as Internet access, mobile multimedia/radio and emergency services for all Europeans, however remote the area in which they live. The Commission has taken this decision following the expiry of a two-year period which two operators, Inmarsat Ventures Limited and Solaris Mobile Limited, were given to deploy mobile satellite services systems across Europe (see IP/09/770).

Inmarsat Ventures Limited and Solaris Mobile Limited were selected by the Commission on 13th May 2009 to provide mobile satellite services over the 2 GHz spectrum range throughout the EU. While monitoring of compliance with authorisations and enforcement are undertaken at national level, the cross-border nature of MSS systems called for coordination at EU level.

Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda said: “We gave the two selected operators two years to deploy their systems. The time has now come for effective enforcement. Either operators deliver on their promises, or the spectrum which they have available, which is a scarce resource, should be used in other ways”.

The decision adopted today aims to make it easier for Member States, following a coordinated approach, to decide on potential breaches identified by a competent national authority, as well as ensuring consistent remedies and sanctions if required. Coordination will take place in the Communications Committee, where Member States’ authorities responsible for telecommunications are represented along with the Commission. Here to read more.

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