European Union has supported the proposal for opening more radio spectrum to internet phone services as the use of lower frequencies would reduce operators’ costs and help them reach customers over a wider area.
According to the proposal, the access of 900-megahertz (MHz) and 1,800 MHz frequencies, which are used for GSM mobile services, would be widened to other technologies such as 3G for mobile internet services and voice calls.
According to the global trade body for the mobile industry GSM Association (GSMA), a 3G network in the 900 MHz band would achieve up to 40% more coverage than 2,100 MHz band for the same capital expenditure.
An additional 300 million people across Asia, Europe and Africa would have access to mobile broadband services by 2012 if mobile operators could use a 900 MHz frequency spectrum for 3G services, GSMA has estimated.
European Commission said that this expansion would make it easier and cheaper for mobile operators in the 27 member nations to offer wireless services.
In July 2007, the European Commission proposed to free 900 MHz frequency for 3G access. This was supported by the mobile service providers, which have been pushing the regulators to open the airwaves.
The proposal will also abolish a 20-year-old EU legislation that allocated the 900-MHz and 1,800-MHz frequencies to GSM operators. The proposal now needs to be approved by the European Parliament before it can be implemented.
The law is out of date as it prevents more advanced, next-generation wireless technologies from using the spectrum currently reserved for GSM services, the commission said. The commission also wants that frequencies not needed by mobile phone operators, or those freed up through the switch to digital broadcasting, should to be opened to other businesses.
Earlier this month, Finnish incumbent Elisa claimed to be the first operator in the world to open its 3G mobile services commercially on 900 MHz radio frequencies.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates