As most European Union member States aim to switch radio and television from analog to digital by 2012, the European Commission (EC) is proposing that the freed-up radio spectrum is used for a pan-European mobile-broadband network that could mean lower-cost international voice and data charges.
The proposal, which is being presented today by the EC, is specifically seeking to use the 790 to 862 megahertz range across the board which could potentially standardise mobile-broadband comms across Europe making VoIP (voice over internet protocol) more viable and widespread.
The EC also estimates that reserving this spectrum and thus standardising mobile broadband could have economic benefits to the tune of €50 billion over the next 15 years if all member states come on board.
While this would potentially bring broadband connectivity to rural parts of European countries with little or no coverage, the fear is not all EU member states will have made the big switch from analog to digital by 2012 in order to free up the spectrum.
For countries with blanket broadband coverage, this recommendation, if adopted, could introduce competition and lower prices.
By Marie Boran