Feeds

EU in 4G mobile 'digital dividend' divvy-up proposal

800MHz band which used to carry telly is good for range

The Power of One Infographic

The EU Council of Ministers has thrashed out a proposal for harmonising the 800MHz band for telephony services across Europe, potentially allowing for 4G roaming in 2013.

The deal has been agreed between ministers and the MEPs making up the Industry Research and Energy Committee; it now needs to be voted through by the full committee membership, and approved by the parliament, but as it stands it will see EU members obliged to clear a space at 800MHz before 1 January, 2013.

Roaming across Europe should be possible by then, anyway, at the 2.6GHz band, which has been recognised for 4G use around the world. But the 800MHz spectrum, the "digital dividend" bands made vacant by the move to more-efficient digital television broadcasting, offers much better range so is more suited to providing coverage in rural areas.

Manufacturers making handsets will obviously include 2.6GHz connectivity, but this decision should encourage them to support 800MHz too and push the rest of the world to turn their analogue TV channels into digital telephony too.

There are currently 41 bands associated with LTE (4G) telephone, which today's technology can't possibly squeeze into a single handset. That compares to the pair of bands being used for 3G (2.1GHz and, recently, 900MHz, with 1.8GHz to come soon) and the quartet of 2G bands most mobile handsets are required to support. LTE will have to settle into a handful of bands, with the existing 3G bands plus 2.6GHz being the obvious starting point. 800MHz will be the first addition.

But harmonisation also makes the bands much more valuable, so companies that have already bought 800MHz bands across Europe will be pleased to see the band getting endorsed.

In the UK we've not had our auction yet, and this harmonisation should be wrapped up by the time we do, so operators will have to pay the proper value for the harmonised bands, assuming the EU countries can agree to create them. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.