The European Parliament has voted to favour Wi-Fi technology based on the existing ITS-G5 standard as the communication technology standard to be adopted for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) across Europe (307 in favour and 207 against).
The decision comes after months of intense lobbying and goes against the European Parliament’s own transport committee’s recommendation to reject the Commission’s delegated act on the preferred communication technology standard for CAVs (the “Regulation“). As we previously reported (see here), the transport committee had raised concerns about the impact that favouring Wi-Fi technology may have on innovation and technological neutrality.
Split opinions across industry
The decision will be seen as a positive result by longstanding proponents of Wi-Fi technology such as Volkswagen, Renault and the EU’s Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc. They have argued that favouring Wi-Fi technology gives Europe the best chance of achieving its goal of a rapid and widespread uptake of CAVs.
On the other hand, telecoms industry bodies 5GAA and GSMA, as well as other leading automotive manufacturers including Daimler and BMW, have supported long-range cellular technology (including 5G) as their preferred technology standard for CAVs, citing its ability to future-proof Europe’s CAV network and enhance the EU’s reputation as global leader in CAV development and technology.
The European Council must now approve the Regulation before it can come into force on 31 December 2019. A vote was expected to take place in May but on 13 May the Council requested a two month extension to its review period to allow its legal team to consider the issues in further depth before it votes on the matter.
Following months of debate, the European Commission approved its long-anticipated delegated act on the preferred communication technology standard for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) on 13 March 2019 (the “Regulation“, available here). However, the Commission’s decision – favouring Wi-Fi technology based on the existing ITS-G5 standard for short-range communications (V2V) – has already hit a road block: it was rejected by the European Parliament’s transport committee on Monday. There will now be intense focus from industry on whether the European Parliament vote next week follows its transport committee’s recommendation to block the Regulation.
In this post, we consider the content of the Regulation, why the Commission’s decision has proved so controversial and what may happen next. Continue reading
On 11 July Ofcom issued its long awaited statement on the competition issues and auction regulations for the award of the 2.3 and 3.4 GHz spectrum bands (the “Auction“). Continue reading
The Telecommunications Infrastructure (relief from Non-Domestic rates) Bill 2017-2019 (“the Bill“) passed its second reading debate in the House of Commons without any division on Monday 10 July 2017. MPs will next consider the Bill in a Committee of the Whole House on 5 September 2017. Continue reading
Ofcom has provided a timely update on its plans for access to both 5G spectrum and WiFi.
On 8 March 2017, in a speech forming part of the Spring Budget 2017, Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, confirmed that the UK government will invest over £1 billion in the country’s digital infrastructure, targeted at supporting roll-out of full-fibre connections and future 5G communications – with £740 million being invested through the National Productivity Investment Fund.