EU spectrum plan gets MEPs’ vote
European MPs last week voted for a new radio spectrum plan that increases the use of unlicensed frequencies and promotes the use of tiny “cells” to improve the efficient use of spectrum, attracts more investors and network operators, and makes more services available to more users.
MEPs heard that mobile (radio) communications traffic will grow 40-fold in the next decade. The ITU estimates this will require between 1280MHz and 1720MHz of radio frequencies to cope.
“Without the freeing up of additional spectrum, preferably harmonised at global level, new services and economic growth will be hindered by capacity constraints in mobile networks,” the plan says.
Provided the European Commission and national governments pass the plan, there will be more small, community-level wireless mesh networks, some of which will use the so-called “white space” (frequencies that now separate existing radio-based services), as well as more unlicensed spectrum.
According to lobbyists La Quadrature du Net, these technologies can expand mobile broadband coverage in sparsely populated or remote areas, especially when they work together with shared and unlicensed uses of the airwaves.