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Europes Digital Agenda VP Demands Action on Mobile Broadband Spectrum

Posted: 02nd Dec, 2010 By: MarkJ
europe map digital agendaThe European Commission (EC), specifically its Vice-President (VP) for the Digital Agenda (Neelie Kroes), has called on the EU's Council of Telecoms Ministers "not to shy away from difficult decisions" and to boost Mobile Broadband access around Europe by approving plans to make more radio spectrum available for wireless broadband access by 2013.

The EU's Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP) is almost identical to UK proposals, which are themselves proceeding at a snail's pace. In particular the RSPP calls on EU countries to make available by 2013 the 800MHz band (still used by some old analogue TV signals) for use by Mobile Broadband.

Europe also wants to make existing 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, which are currently used for existing 2G mobile voice services, available for Mobile Broadband (3G) internet access too. A decision is expected to be taken in Brussels during tomorrow afternoon.

The Commission is convinced that its proposal to fix 2013 as the target date is necessary and realistic, and will encourage those Member States that have had difficulties in making progress to meet this deadline. However, individual extensions until 2015 could be possible.

At present Europe wants to give every European access to basic broadband by 2013, which would rise to 30Mbps+ by 2020. The Mobile Broadband plans are seen as a key part of this development.

Elsewhere Neelie Kroes confirmed that she would soon launch a wide-ranging public consultation on EU data roaming, which will feed into their review of the effectiveness of the current Regulation due before the end of June 2011. Kroes also noted that regulated reductions in the wholesale cost of data roaming have not yet been passed on to all consumers.
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