EU to review radio spectrum

The EC will change the way telecom companies can use radio frequencies with the aim of spurring internet access via mobile phones.

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The European Commission (EC) will change the way telecom companies can use radio frequencies with the aim of spurring internet access via mobile phones.

In a bid to hasten the arrival mobile internet in the region, the European Commission is about to change the way telecom companies can use radio frequencies, spokesman Martin Selmayr said.

The changes will be discussed in a formal review of existing radio spectrum policy beginning next month, he said.

If the changes are accepted by the European Parliament and 27 national governments of the European Union (EU) then mobile phone operators together stand to save between €10 billion (£6.7bn) and €50 billion, by not having to invest in new third-generation (3G) networks, Selmayr said.

Around half of the EU is covered by 3G networks, while 2G networks cover the whole EU.

Under existing radio spectrum rules companies are forbidden from using their 2G networks for anything more than voice telephony and text messaging.

Many mobile phone operators invested billions in buying 3G frequencie, and have invested almost as much in setting up their 3G networks, in order to be able to sell the more lucrative, richer content promised with 3G.

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