We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
79,864 News Articles

EU spectrum for 4G to double US amount

New rules mean that EU countries must open up the 2GHz band

The European Commission on Monday passed a new rule that will force European Union member states to open up the 2GHz band for 4G technologies.

The decision will add another 120MHz to the radio spectrum available for 4G technologies, giving the E.U. twice the amount of spectrum for high-speed wireless broadband as the United States, namely around 1000MHz.

4G systems use new technologies, such as LTE (Long-Term Evolution), to provide faster upload and download data speeds than are currently available. Industry developments mean that these technologies are increasingly capable of offering 30Mbps to many users at the same time.

Consumer applications include faster mobile Web access, IP telephony, gaming services and high-definition mobile TV.

Although Monday's decision gives national authorities until July 2014 to open the relevant spectrum, Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said she wants to see member states "acting swiftly to change existing licenses." The 2GHz band is currently licensed to be used for 3G networks only.

The new rule also sets out technical conditions for the coexistence between different technologies to allow more flexible use of the paired terrestrial 2 GHz band.

The Commission is also considering a follow-up measure on the unpaired terrestrial 2GHz spectrum, which is currently allocated for use by 3G networks, but remains unused throughout the E.U. The Commission has already asked the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations to study suitable applications and develop appropriate technical conditions and sharing arrangements.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.


IDG UK Sites

The 30 best TV shows on Netflix UK: Our pick of the best programmes you can watch right now

IDG UK Sites

Nostalgia time: Top 10 best selling mobile phones in history

IDG UK Sites

VFX Emmy: Game of Thrones work garners gong for Rodeo FX

IDG UK Sites

Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina review (2.6GHz, 128GB, mid-2014)