Take yourself back -- way
back -- all the way to 1987, when cellphones were still in their infancy and the nations of Europe threw together the forward-thinking GSM Directive. GSM
, of course, would go on to become the world's dominant digital cellular technology, but here's the thing: it's not 1987 anymore. Sadly, part of the original Directive are still in full effect, and the 900MHz band is stuck in a world of days gone by while the bulk of mainland Europe happily whizzes along on the 3G-blessed 2100MHz spectrum up above it. Not all is lost, though -- the Council of Ministers has finally approved a plan to allow 3G and 4G services on 900MHz, which it believes will end up saving operators around €1.6 billion ($2.28 billion), ostensibly because lower frequencies allow towers to be spaced further apart from one another. Normally we'd be opposed to adding yet another band into the worldwide hodgepodge of GSM bands, but in this case, we feel like we're welcoming an old friend back into the club, you know?