EU to free-up spectrum for 3G handsets

To promote the development and take-up of new wireless advanced mobile data and multimedia services, the Commission is set to repeal the current GSM Directive that prevents the coexistence of more advanced technologies on its frequencies.

On 25 July 2007, the Commission proposed to remove restrictions on radio spectrum for advanced wireless services. This would be done by opening the current radio frequencies used by the GSM communications to third-generation (3G) services, which allow, for example, video streaming and fast downloads on a mobile handset. 

The current GSM Directive of 1987, which prevents more advanced technologies from using the GSM frequencies 900MHz and 1800 MHz, would be repealed and a new decision taken to allow the coexistence of new technologies within these frequencies.

“Radio spectrum is a crucial economic resource which must be properly managed across Europe to unlock the potential of our telecoms sector. In the EU, we must therefore remove regulatory barriers and facilitate the deployment of mobile communications by allowing new technologies to share spectrum with existing ones,” said Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding.

According to the Commission, the proposed measures are expected to be in place before the end of 2007.

The EU radio spectrum policy, adopted in 2002, aims to ensure harmonised conditions for the efficient use of the radio spectrum in the EU to support Community policies on electronic communications, transport, R&D and broadcasting.

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