BEREC and RSPG joint report on Facilitating mobile connectivity in "challange areas"

Document number: BoR (17) 256

Document date: 22-12-2017

Date of registration: 09-01-2018

Document type:
Author: BEREC

Many countries face difficulties meeting the increasing demand from users and local authorities for a mobile connectivity available in rural areas and in constrained areas such as indoor locations, subways, tunnels, hot spots, etc.

The main forthcoming objective of Europe 2020 is to become smart, sustainable and inclusive. European strategy seeks to ensure that by 2020 all Europeans should have access to much higher Internet speeds of above 30 Mbit/s and at least 50% or more of European households subscribe to internet access above 100 Mbit/s.

This joint BEREC-RSPG report aims at compiling some initiatives to facilitate terrestrial mobile connectivity in what could be described as ‘challenge areas’, where mobile connectivity is limited or non-existent.

In this report, the following challenge areas have been identified:

  • Indoor;
  • In transportation means;
  • In non-profitable areas, such as white areas;
  • In other areas such as protected areas, “grey” areas, low quality of service areas.

This list of “challenge areas” does not intend to be exhaustive. It reflects some difficulties encountered in Europe regarding mobile connectivity and reported by national regulatory authorities (NRAs) and spectrum managers.

This report describes the difficulties encountered in the identified challenge areas and will focus on the solutions and observed practices that have been implemented in EU member states to tackle the obstacles to mobile connectivity. Amongst other topics, this report addresses digital planning obligations or public/private initiatives, white area coverage, rural area coverage, constrained areas, indoor and transportation.

For each identified challenge area, the report focuses on technical solutions implemented or considered by EU member states. It also gathers regulatory or any legal measures that have been adopted in this regard. Forward-looking solutions are also studied, in the light of what is taking place in different markets.