The European Commission has started legal action against Bulgaria after the country failed to follow EU rules to make the correct frequency band available for social applications and electronic services.

It has called for Bulgaria to follow the technical requirements that state that a 169MHz frequency band should be in place for hearing aids, social alarms and emergency buttons, asset tracking and paging systems.

The EU rules are aimed at using the radio spectrum band to increase the development and take-up of such applications.

Bulgaria should have complied with the EC decision on the band by January 2007 and to an update of the rules by October 31 2008. However it has continued to fail to meet the terms.

European telecoms commissioner, Viviane Reding, said: “The EC decision makes it easier to use the 169 MHz band for applications such as social alarms, hearing aids, reading and tracking systems.”

We have left Bulgaria enough time to solve potential issues and ensure that the 169 MHz band would be available in Bulgaria.

“Unfortunately, even after intensive contacts with the Commission, the Bulgarian authorities did not adopt relevant measures in the National Radio Frequency Plan. This is a violation of EU law and it goes against the Bulgarian people’s needs.”

The current Bulgarian Radio Frequency Plan, last modified in 2006, allocates the 169.4 – 169.8125 MHz frequency band to radio services which are restricted for the purpose of national security and defence.

Bulgaria has not yet included the EU requirements in its latest National Radio Frequency Plan, despite declaring its intention to do so in letters to the Commission.

The Bulgarian government has two months to respond to the letter of formal notice sent by the Commission last week.

If the EC does not receive a response, or if the country fails to comply, the EC can refer the case to the European Court of Justice.


EU Enforcement notice