European Parliament approves January 2013 deadline for 4G spectrum free up

Back in November, the European Commission, European Parliament and its member states agreed on plans to repurpose their 800MHz frequency bands for 4G mobile networks. Today, that decision has been officially approved. The Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP) has been set up to coordinate the use of this spectrum for fourth-generation services across the continent. Currently, 800MHz is used for analog television, but the new ruling gives member nations until the 1st of January 2013 to switch over to digital and authorize the band for its new role. Those nations dragging their heels can obtain an exemption, but mobile operators will be eager to see the spectrum freed up before then if possible. Swedish politician Gunnar Hökmark, who pushed for the legislation, hopes that it could lead to the EU having the fastest mobile broadband worldwide. Just don't tell AT&T.