The European Union has added an extra 120 MHz around the 2 GHz band to the radio spectrum available for 4G technologies such as LTE. The latest move has been hailed as significant for operators who are struggling to meet the demand from users for mobile connectivity, especially via iPhones. According to the European Commission, EU member states must open up the 2GHz spectrum by 30 June 2014. This gives Europe twice as much spectrum (around 1000 MHz) for 4G/LTE use as the US.
The Commission’s decision is part of the Digital Agenda target of universal EU broadband coverage of at least 30 Megabits per second by 2020. European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes says: “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.”
The Decision enforces the harmonised liberalisation of the 2 GHz band (1920-1980 MHz paired with 2110-2170 MHz) in all Member States, avoiding internal market fragmentation in the future use of this band.