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EU deal requires airwaves clear for 4G by 2013

updated 03:35 pm EDT, Fri October 28, 2011

Would allocate 1200 MHz to mobile data by 2015

Three key European regulatory bodies have reached an agreement for a plan to create bandwidth for LTE-based 4G phone networks. The European Parliament, European Commission and member states in the European Council have all agreed that wireless spectrum must be set aside for the high-speed mobile networks by January 1, 2013. The bandwidth will be made available by auctioning off access the frequencies currently used for analog TV broadcasts.

Under the deal, EU countries would have to make the 800MHz frequency band available for wireless broadband services by that date. At least 1,200MHz would be assigned to mobile data traffic, after 2013 but before 2015. Additionally, by January 1, 2015, the European Commission would have to determine if additional spectrum would be required to handle the growth in wireless data traffic.

The new LTE networks, like they do in North America, will be able to provide data downloads at speeds up to 150Mbps compared to the 7.2Mbps and 21Mbps HSPA and HSPA+ 3G networks more common in the country. Europe has been lagging behind the US deployment of of 4G services. In the US, many of the carriers are already well on the way to widespread deployment. Sprint plans on having LTE in 120 cities by the end of 2012, and in over 260 areas, and 250 million people, by the end of 2013. Verizon is even more aggressive. The carrier plans to have at least 178 markets covered by the end of 2011, and promises its 3G network will be totally overlaid with 4G services by late 2013.

AT&T also has its own network, albeit so far in just five cities.

Up until now, the opening up of bandwidth in Europe has been up to the individual countries. The UK was originally planning on auctioning up its bandwidth in the spring of 2012. The timing, however has been put off until late in 2012, with initial deployment of 4g sometime in 2013. [via mocoNews]

by MacNN Staff



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