Communications Networks, Content and Technology
European Commission Directorate General

Spectrum sharing opportunities

Spectrum sharing opportunities


Ensure sustainable wireless connectivity by establishing a regulatory framework that stimulates wireless innovation in the Single Market for Telecoms through allowing users to share rights of access to a specific frequency band for the development and deployment of innovative radio access technologies.


To establish a policy framework consistent throughout the Union that provides legal certainty regarding spectrum sharing conditions and incentives to seize beneficial spectrum sharing opportunities.


Wireless connectivity is a major contributor to reaching Digital Agenda broadband targets, but meeting growing spectrum demand is constrained by fragmented market conditions, lack of vacant spectrum and high price associated with re-allocating spectrum to new uses (cost, delays and the occasional need to switch off incumbent users).Exclusive and long-term assignments create predictable network investment conditions but in the absence of common workable conditions for transfer or sharing can constrain spectrum availability and market opportunities for wireless innovation, particularly for SMEs.Industrial applications such as the deployment of smart grids for efficient energy management or intelligent transport will increase the demand for spectrum access at wide scale.R&D intensity and production of relatively cheap mass communications equipment requires the economies of scale available at single market level.Spectrum sharing depends on the availability of detailed knowledge about the current spectrum uses, the lack of which is addressed with the spectrum inventory.The Commission has outlined its overall policy on promoting shared spectrum in its 2012 Communication.


Full-Time Equivalent: 
2.70 full-time equivalent (FTE)
150,000 EUR

Adoption of the Telecoms Single Market proposal setting the framework for consistent spectrum sharing conditions and approachesPolicy dialogue with Member States and industry to identify beneficial sharing opportunities and establish ways to exploit them in the Sigle MarketParticipation to regular Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) working groups at various locationsConsultation of Radio Spectrum Committee (RSC) on technical harmonization measuresSpectrum inventory information on actual use and demandStudy on shared use of commercial mobile networks for public uses (150K EUR)

Spectrum (Unit B.4)

Ultra-wide band Decision

Review of ultra-wide band Decision

Timeframe: Q4 2013 / Q1 2014



Review of ultra-wide band Decision

Target (Q4 2013)

Growing number of EU-based research on spectrum sharing

A growing number of EU-based research efforts contribute to the identification of beneficial sharing opportunities in the internal market and increasing numbers of wireless applications benefit from spectrum access based on innovative spectrum sharing technologies, leading to increases in spectral and sectorial efficiencies.

Timeframe: 2015, 2020



Spectrum sharing

Target Growing number of Member States in favour of sharing in ETSI(2020)

RSPG engagement on wireless innovation

Maintain engagement of RSPG to ensure a common understanding among European Regulators on how to best promote the deployment of wireless innovations that can share spectrum based on dedicated items in the RSPG work programme.

Timeframe: 2015, 2020



Licensed shared access

Baseline Radio Spectrum Policy Programme
Target RSPG Opinion on licensed shared access(2013)


Baseline Radio Spectrum Policy Programme
Target RSPG Opinion on 5G(2015)

Legal tools for shared spectrum access

Provide legal tools to reassure investors that wireless innovation can benefit from shared spectrum access with established technical conditions in the single market based on a common framework for sharing conditions on spectrum licenses and for licensed shared access authorisations.

Timeframe: 2015, 2020



Licensed Shared Access in 2.3GHz

Target RSC Decision on Licensed Shared Access in 2.3 GHz band(2016)

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • Europe 2020 - 3% of the EU's GDP should be invested in R&D, complemented by a future EU 2020 Headline Innovation Indicator
  • Europe 2020 - Greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by 20% compared to 1990. The share of renewable energy sources in final energy consumption should be increased to 20%. Energy efficiency should improve by 20%
  • DAE - The entire EU to be covered by broadband above 30Mbps by 2020