A plan to repeal the GSM Directive, which restricted the frequencies of 900MHz and 1,800MHz to what has now become the dominant mobile phone standard, has been proposed by the European Commission, which wants to make it easier for mobile operators in Europe to offer innovative wireless technologies.
It said that opening radio spectrum for advanced mobile data and multimedia services will increase the number and choice of wireless services available, and expand their geographic coverage. The commission said the proposed new measures will reduce network deployment costs for Europe’s wireless communications industry.
EU telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding said radio spectrum is a crucial economic resource that has to be properly managed to unlock the potential of the telecoms sector. She said new technologies should be allowed to share spectrum with existing ones. It will increase competition in the use of spectrum bands and enhance accessibility of European citizens to multimedia services, she said.
While the Commission said the 1987 GSM Directive helped make GSM a success in Europe, is now out of date, preventing more advanced wireless technologies from using the spectrum currently reserved for GSM services.
The proposed repeal of the GSM Directive needs approval by the European Parliament and EU Council of Ministers and is expected to be given the go-ahead by the end of the year.