EU Seeks To End Mandatory GSM for 900Mhz - Source

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BRUSSELS (Dow Jones) The European Commission Wednesday will propose abolishing a 1987 rule which limits the use of low frequency and low cost radio spectrum to GSM services a source close to the dossier told Dow Jones Newswires.

If the commission's proposal passes into law, telecommunication operators will be able to use the cheap radio spectrum for services as such as voice, video and data streaming and broadband Internet access on any wireless, mobile devices.

The commission estimates the move would cut the costs of maintaining wireless mobile networks by 40% for the industry, according to the person.

Since 1987 European Union rules have set aside the low-cost radio frequencies between 900 megahertz and 1800 megahertz exclusively for GSM phones. That regulation helped the E.U. roll out mobile phone services cheaply and quickly, Brussels said.

However, with new mobile technologies - also known as next-generation networks - being developed and taken to market more quickly, the commission is expected to say the 1987 limits are outdated and should be abolished.

Instead, Brussels is expected to announced Wednesday that all mobile services offered on wireless networks should have access to these frequencies, the person said.

After Wednesday's proposal, the move will have to be approved by national telecom ministers and by the European Parliament. The commission expects the measure to be passed into law by the end of the year.

The proposal is part of Brussels' larger push to liberalize the radio frequencies market.

In October the Brussels-based executive arm of the E.U. is expected to call for radio spectrum to be auctioned on the free market. Currently, most E.U. countries' spectrum is controlled by national regulators which decide which agencies may use them.

-By Anne Jolis, Dow Jones Newswires; +32 2 741 1488; anne.jolis@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires"

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Tags: european commission  european union  radio spectrum  union 

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