BEREC and RSPG present solutions to facilitate mobile connectivity in challenge areas

10 January 2018

While the EU’s goal for 2020 is to ensure that all Europeans should have access to Internet speeds above 30 Mbit/s and at least 50% or more of European households subscribed to internet access above 100 Mbit/s, many countries still face difficulties meeting the increasing demand from users and local authorities for a mobile connectivity available in rural areas and in constrained areas (indoor locations, subways, tunnels, hot spots…).

In line with its aim to enhance connectivity and innovation in Europe and in order to get a clearer picture of the situation in Europe regarding this issue, BEREC has adopted a common report with RSPG on facilitating mobile connectivity in “challenge areas”.

This report first describes the main issues encountered to provide mobile connectivity in some ‘challenge areas’ where mobile connectivity is limited or non-existent. The report describes four categories of challenge areas: indoor, transportation means, non-profitable areas and other areas (such as protected areas, “grey” areas and low quality of service areas). It mainly compiles initiatives to facilitate mobile connectivity for each of these areas in Europe. The report presents various solutions such as developing network sharing, installing repeaters, Wi-Fi or imposing coverage obligations, depending on the issue at stake. Examples of limitations or drawbacks identified with some of these solutions or initiatives presented are discussed in the report.

The report was published for publication consultation on 11 October until 8 November. The final report takes into account comments raised during this consultation.

In 2018, BEREC will further work on mobile coverage issues in the context of 5G roll-out. BEREC will thus publish two best practices reports on spectrum authorization/award procedures and coverage obligations with a view to considering their suitability for 5G; and will also publish, after public consultation, two common positions on infrastructure sharing and monitoring of mobile coverage. The RSPG will be associated to this work.