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EU fumes as countries miss 4G rollout target

14 countries request extensions
Tue Jul 23 2013, 14:38
Mobile spectrum antenna against sunset

THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU) slammed countries that have requested extensions for their planned 4G rollouts on Tuesday, criticising the countries for being "too slow".

For once, the UK is in the EU's good books, with the country's staggered 4G rollout going as planned. However, the EU isn't quite as pleased with the 14 countries that have requested extensions for their respective 4G rollouts due to claimed "technical problems".

These problems relate to the reallocation of the 800MHz spectrum band to switch it from TV broadcasting to high-speed data communications.

The EU said that it "reluctantly" granted extensions to nine of the countries in question, all of which were supposed to have been 4G ready by January. Citing "exceptional circumstances" the EU granted extensions to Spain, Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Poland, Romania and Finland.

There's not such good news for Slovakia and Slovenia, as the EU refused the countries' requests, saying the delays "were due to the organisation of the authorisation process and not to exceptional circumstances preventing the availability of the band". Greece, Latvia and the Czech Republic still require additional evaluation, the EU added.

European Commission VP Neelie Kroes said, "We have agreed to temporary and limited 800MHz derogations for nine countries.

"This is a pragmatic and final concession. Every delay in releasing spectrum hurts our economy and frustrates citizens. That is why spectrum reform will be a centrepiece of the Commission's September proposal for a telecoms single market."

The EU statement also said that the late adoption of 4G across Europe will lead to phone makers such as HTC and Samsung not including the necessary European 4G chips because "not enough countries have licensed the same spectrum on time". µ

 

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