EU says yes to spectrum refarming

Mobile broadband

The European Commission has approved the re-farming of the 900MHz frequency bandwidth, so it can be used for3G Mobile Broadband.

It follows the European Parliament's backing of the scheme to update the GSM directive, which currently limits 900MHz to 2G, GPRS or GSM. It will also allow for future 4G services to be accommodated.

Viviane Reding, EU Telecoms Commissioner, said: "By updating the GSM Directive, the EU has paved the way for a new generation of services and technologies where Europe can be a world leader."

Not everyone will be celebrating the amendments, as Vodafone and O2, which owns most of the spectrum, will be forced to rethink its stance on sharing with smaller providers such as 3, Orange and T-Mobile.

The new directive should be signed in September and come into force in October this year.