The European Commission (EC) issued a decision on 8 November 2018 to initiate proceedings against Croatia and the Netherlands for not complying with EU spectrum rules regarding 694MHz-790MHz (700MHz) licensing. The EC issued formal notices to request full implementation of the rules under the 700MHz Decision (EU) 2017/899 which set a deadline of 30 June 2018 for Member States to adopt and make public a roadmap for allocating the frequency band for mobile broadband by 30 June 2020. The Netherlands and Croatia have not yet fulfilled the key requirements for a roadmap, according to the EC, which indicated that it would consider further action if either country does not act on the matter within the next two months.
The statement noted that 700MHz licensing roadmap delays could in turn hinder the development of 5G in the two nations and neighbouring countries. 5G connectivity is one of the top priorities for the Commission, following the agreement of the Electronic Communications Code (June 2018), which aims to ensure that 5G radio spectrum is available across the entire EU by 2020.