Priming the Pump for Innovative 4G Services
Right now, Euroland is getting bit of a bad rap for bloated debt, sluggish growth, and government financial vacillation. While the financial trials and tribulations will take a while to pass through the system, it would not be a bad thing for European governments and the European Commission to provide opportunities for wireless innovation, corporate development and entrepreneurship. The EC has had success on this front in the past. The issue of the GSM, PCS and 3G licenses were done ahead of the curve, by and large, compared to other markets around the world. Innovative companies such as Vodafone, Orange, and Nokia emerged out of these initiatives.
With 4G licensing, Europe and the European Commission may not have been pioneers but its recent decision to open the current 3G band for 4G (i.e. LTE) services should help to stimulate novel service applications and change the cost equation for delivering 4G services. Under the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme, the EC has a target of making available around 1,200 MHz for wireless broadband services. EU member states have to comply with the legislation by 30 June 2014. Reportedly the spectrum allocation is double what has been set aside in the US. It will also be underpinned by the availability of the 1920 MHz to 1980 MHz and 2110 MHz to 2170 MHz bands that have already been approved for 4G services.