Radio Spectrum Boost For Mobile Services In EU


Communication Needs On The Rise

Mobile telecommunications has grown in leaps and bounds over the past decade. The world has become a much smaller place in regards to information access; it seems that demand is beginning to outstrip supply at a worrying level.

As it stands, there are around 6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide. That works out at almost 90% of the world’s total population.

An impressive 1.5 million handsets were sold in 2011, which was an increase of about 11% compared to 2010. Trends indicate that this is likely to continue increasing at a similar rate year-on-year.

One in seven internet searches are now done via smartphone and estimates place worldwide data traffic to increase at a sizeable rate over the few years.

Boosting The Signal

All these facts point to the clear demand for faster internet access and more effective mobile services. As it stands, third generation (3G) networks are becoming exceedingly crowded and overworked. This is prevalent especially in Europe.

All wireless devices rely on radio spectrum to relay their information, but when you consider that this not only includes phones and computers, but television and radio broadcasting, along with emergency services and military communications, the need for more space is growing in tandem.

Europe’s communications traffic volume is set to rise by over 90% year on year for the next 5 years, based on reports from Cisco Systems.

To cope with these needs, the European Commission (EC) has made the forward thinking decision to increase the radio spectrum in the European Union (EU), allowing much more space for the faster fourth generation (4G) wireless service currently being rolled out.

Being Competitive

The EC announced that the spectrum will be increased by a further 120MHz over 2014, which should give the EU the boost it needs to adequately keep up with networks operating in places such as the US and Japan.

As it stands, Japan’s wireless network is one of the fastest on the planet and if the 4G network in Europe goes into operation, it will give the EU high speed wireless broadband that is comparable to Japan and twice as fast as America.

What This Means

With 4G, the EU will enjoy the benefits of a continuous and modern high speed broadband network. This will allow countries to make use of services which would normally put a strain on the network, such as video downloading and video conferencing.

It was noted by the EU Commissioner for digital policy that the extra space provided through the increase in radio spectrum represents a chance to meet the ever growing demand for telecommunications and broadband capabilities in Europe.


Not everyone is happy about the spectrum boost however. During the 1990s, many telecoms companies bought shares in the radio wave spectrum. They consider this resource a valuable resource that they are not keen to share.

The EC however overruled this stance and encouraged these businesses to share their portions of the spectrum for the greater good.

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  •  License: Creative Commons image source

This was a guest blog post by Freddy. For more information Freddy recommends checking out Mobile Enterprise – A leading supplier of mobile data systems in the UK.

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