EP endorses plan to free up frequencies for high-speed mobile internet

Mobile internet is set to hit dizzying speeds after MEPs approved today a proposal to free up radio frequencies for their use. Under the plan member states will be required to open up more frequencies for high-speed mobile internet by 2013 to satisfy growing demand for wireless data.

MEPs approved the first radio spectrum policy programme (RSPP) which will help to co-ordinate the use of spectrum for new services and technologies, such as “fourth generation” (4G) wireless networks (e.g., LTE and Wimax) that can reach up to 100 Mbps download speeds. According to the programme, member states will have to authorise the use of the 800 MHz band for wireless broadband by 1 January 2013

Currently, the 800 MHz band is used to broadcast analogue TV channels in most member states, but will be freed by the end of 2012 when all TV sets will be switched to digital. This spectrum band is more useful for 4G wireless services than frequencies above 1 GHz.