France To Auction Off Spectrum in 2009; About Fifth of Broadcast Spectrum

France is among the first major European nation to announce plans for mobile service spectrum auction: it will set aside about a fifth of the country’s TV broadcasting spectrum (UHF band) for it by the end of 2009, reports IHT. This will go a long way in creating a harmonized mobile broadband network in Europe.

Finland and Sweden have also said they plan to reserve the band for mobile services. European countries are free to decide individually how to divide its digital spectrum, as domestic TV broadcasters convert to the more compressed digital format through 2015.

Even though uropean Union’s telecommunications commissioner Viviane Reding is happy with France’s move, not everyone is. European Broadcasting Union, which represents 75 publicly owned TV and radio broadcasters, says this could disadvantage French broadcasters that needed extra spectrum for HD broadcasts, which require more bandwidth.

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