Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, has issued an urgent call to twenty one EU countries to rapidly introduce all legislative measures necessary to allow the pan-EU deployment of mobile satellite services that could be used for high-speed internet, mobile television and radio or emergency communications to EU consumers and businesses. According to the timetable agreed by a Decision of the European Parliament and the EU’s Council of Ministers in 2008, Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) should be deployed in all EU Member States by May 2011 at the latest. The Commission proposed to create a single selection and authorisation process for mobile satellite services (MSS) at EU level to facilitate the emergence of a Single Market for mobile satellite services and maximise its potential, to the benefit of consumers and businesses. The approach was endorsed by the European Parliament and the EU’s Council of Ministers on 30 June 2008, when they adopted a Decision for the selection procedure for MSS to be organised at European level. The Decision established a selection and authorisation process that ensures a coordinated introduction of MSS in the EU.
On 13 May 2009, the Commission selected Inmarsat Ventures Limited and Solaris Mobile Limited as the pan-EU mobile satellite service operators. Now, more than twenty months after the Commission selected two operators to provide such pan-European services, 21 Member States have not yet adopted all the national rules needed to facilitate MSS deployment. Vice-President Kroes recently appealed also to the two operators concerned, Inmarsat Ventures Limited and Solaris Mobile Limited, to step up their efforts and to offer mobile satellite services from May 2011.. The key role that wireless broadband (both satellite and terrestrial) can play to ensure broadband coverage, including in remote and rural areas, is underlined in the Digital Agenda for Europe.
Vice-President Kroes has written today to the twenty one Member States in question urging them to remove remaining legal uncertainties, such as licence fees, and to put in place all necessary implementation measures without further delay. The twenty one Member States are Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom. For more information: The study on measures taken by Member States for the introduction of mobile satellite services can be found here.