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BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) - The European Commission is open to extending the length of airwave spectrum licences in Europe to 25 years from the current 10-15 years, a senior industry source told Reuters, citing remarks by the EU digital commissioner at a closed-door meeting with top mobile executives held on Monday.
Such a move would go some way to addressing concerns of mobile network operators, who must invest in equipment to build the networks for the frequencies they lease while being unsure whether they will still own those frequencies a decade later.
European digital single market commissioner Andrus Ansip made the suggestion at a meeting with senior European telecom executives at the Mobile World Congress trade fair in Barcelona on Tuesday, said the source, who was present at the meeting.
"When we had our roundtable, he was saying the right things about light-touch regulation, about having the same rules for equivalent services and on one of the biggest pain points: The duration of spectrum," the person said.
"It could be 25 years - that's what he said."
Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Georgina Prodhan