EU frees spectrum for advanced mobile services

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EU frees spectrum for advanced mobile services

The European Commission is to repeal the GSM Directive of 1987, effectively freeing up large swathes of radio spectrum for advanced mobile data and multimedia services.

The Commission said in a formal statement that the GSM directive is "out of date as it prevents more advanced, next-generation wireless technologies from using the spectrum currently reserved to GSM services".

Provided the proposal receives formal approval from the European Parliament and EU Council of Ministers, the measures should be in place by the end of the year. 

"Radio spectrum is a crucial economic resource which must be properly managed across Europe to unlock the potential of our telecoms sector," said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding

"This proposal ... will increase competition in the use of spectrum bands and enhance accessibility of European citizens to multimedia services."

The Commission's plans do not mean the end of GSM. The proposal will allow new services to coexist with GSM in the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies.

The proposals are part of a wholesale reform of the EU Telecom Rules aiming to promote more flexible use of spectrum.

They are also in keeping with the Barroso's Commission drive for better regulation, and were prepared after consulting national radio spectrum experts and based on technical studies by Europe's association of spectrum and telecom authorities.
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