The allocation and management of radio spectrum in Europe are administered by national regulatory authorities. These authorities work together within a harmonised framework established by international and European policy initiatives.

Managing spectrum use

There are three essential roles in radio spectrum management:

  • Allocating radio spectrum for use by particular technologies (to avoid risk of interference)
  • Establishing technical conditions for radio spectrum usage
  • Assigning radio spectrum to users (i.e. mobile operators, broadcasters, etc) 

EU Member States manage radio spectrum in line with EU level legislation and international agreements. In this way, radio spectrum can be best used to address today’s technical and societal challenges, and reap technological opportunities.

National governments and agencies organise and manage both how spectrum is partitioned between various uses (allocation); and how and to whom licences are given for the use of channels or blocks of spectrum (assignment). National governments also choose which process to use, such as competitive tendering for licences.

Radio spectrum in the EU

The Commission, together with Member States, develops EU-wide spectrum policy and coordinates harmonisation and implementation to support the single market for innovative products and services, as well as reduce the risk of harmful interferance between technologies and users. Member States and the Commission discuss and develop technical implementation measures in the Radio SPectrum Committee (RSC).  

Member States coordinate the use of this essential resource by implementing Commission Decisions at national level. These Decisions are important tools, paving the way towards truly harmonised spectrum allocation throughout the EU.