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European Mobile Satellite Services to Be Coordinated by the EU

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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.

The Commission said that it has taken this decision following the expiry of a two-year period which two operators, Inmarsat Ventures and Solaris Mobile, were given to deploy mobile satellite services systems across Europe.

Inmarsat Ventures and Solaris Mobile 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.

Background

The Commission opted for a single selection and authorisation process for MSS systems throughout the EU in order to facilitate the creation of a Single Market for mobile satellite services.

Efforts to achieve this started on 22 August 2007, when the Commission proposed an EU decision for the selection procedure for MSS to be organised at European level. Adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 30 June 2008, the decision established a single selection and authorisation process to ensure a coordinated introduction of MSS in the EU. It also empowered the Commission to adopt measures to ensure the coordinated application of national enforcement rules. In February 2011, the Commission issued an urgent call to twenty one EU countries to rapidly introduce all the legislative measures necessary to allow the pan-EU deployment of mobile satellite services.

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Tags: european commission  european union  satellite  european parliament