Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Europe: Agreement of the Council of Ministers to the use of 900 MHz for UMTS as an alternative to GSM, as technology neutrality

[ec] Europe took an important step towards a new generation of mobile services today. The Council of Ministers followed the European Parliament in approving a proposal from the European Commission to modernise European legislation – the so-called GSM Directive – on the use of the radio spectrum needed for mobile services. The GSM Directive of 1987 reserves the use of part of the 900MHz spectrum band to GSM (Global System for Mobile or originally Groupe Sp├ęcial Mobile) access technologies such as mobile phones. The updated Directive now allows the 900 MHz frequency band to be used to provide faster, pan-European services such as mobile internet while ensuring the continuation of GSM services. This new flexibility will foster stronger competition on Europe's telecoms market and contribute to a more rapid and more widespread roll-out of wireless broadband services, one of the drivers of economic recovery. Industry savings of up to € 1.6 billion are expected from the reform of the GSM Directive. The renewed Directive will enter into force this October. The Commission had proposed the reform of the GSM Directive in parallel to the reform of the EU Telecoms Rules. The reformed GSM Directive is the first of several important Directives in the telecoms sector being negotiated where the agreement of Parliament and Council now paves the way for a stronger wireless economy.

EU frees new spectrum for new and faster mobile services

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