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European Commission boosts radio spectrum for 4G services

Announces an extra 120MHz of spectrum will be available for LTE
Mon Nov 05 2012, 14:04
Mobile spectrum antenna

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) announced on Monday that it will add another 120MHz to the radio spectrum around the 2GHz band, which will be made available for LTE services by 2014.

The EC has said that governments must allow mobile operators to deliver LTE services using the spectrum that is presently reserved for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) use by June 2014. In simple terms, this means it is now mandatory that operators be allowed to rework the UK's 3G network for 4G LTE use.

This decision means that Brits will be able to enjoy twice the amount of LTE spectrum as found in the United States, and it puts the EC closer to its Digital Agenda broadband target of at least 30Mbit/s by the year 2020.

According to the EC, this decision means that mobile operators will have more opportunities to invest in improved mobile networks, which will benefit both the economy and consumers.

EC VP Neelie Kroes said, "This extra spectrum for 4G in Europe means we can better meet the changing and growing demand for broadband. I want to see Member States acting swiftly to change existing licenses.

"We all win from faster wireless connections in Europe."

Ofcom commented on EC's decision, and seemed pretty pleased with the whole thing. It told The INQUIRER "The European Commission's decision is consistent with Ofcom's long standing objective to reduce regulation and increase more flexible use of spectrum wherever appropriate.

"Before any changes are made in the UK, we will first need to consult with stakeholders."

The UK's first 4G network, EE went live last week. We went hands on with the 'superfast' LTE network and we were pretty impressed with what it had to offer, reaching download speeds of around 20Mbit/s when used indoors.

Check out our EE 4G review. µ


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