The Radio Spectrum Policy Programme which was recently approved by the European Parliament (EP) will enable EU member states to provide the required spectrum for 3G and next generation (4G) mobile broadband services to meet the increasing data demand boosted by smartphones and other powerful, wireless devices.
The Policy aims to develop a single digital European market so all users across the EU will benefit from the improved services in the coming years.
The current 3G and slowly emerging 4G (LTE based) mobile internet services should be allowed to use frequencies of 2.5-2.69 GHz, 3.4-3.8 GHz and 900/1800 MHz by the end of this year, the Programme’s one of the targets outlines.
Member states should ensure that rural and remote area have access to high speed mobile broadband service by allowing the operators to use the low frequency range of 800 MHz band as this spectrum enables the transmission of data signals to travel over long distances and pass through thick barriers.
The EU’s proposals also include the use of 400 MHz to 6 GHz spectrum to meet the wireless broadband needs and further details could be discussed with EU member nations in 2013.
“Adoption of the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme will help reduce the digital divide, make Europe a connected and competitive continent and introduce more wireless broadband choices.” said Neelie Kroes, Vice President, European Commission.
In the UK, Ofcom’s auction of 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum that 4G services require could start by the end of this year while some, LTE (Long Term Evolution) based, high speed mobile broadband trials have already been launched by internet providers such as O2 and Orange UK.
However, mobile internet users in the UK will have their choice of 4G operators only in 2014 when the commercial services are expected to launch across the UK.