European Commission clears 2GHz bands for LTE use by 2014, claims 4G pipes wider than the US

European LTE deployments might just be getting started, but the European Commission is already trying to head off any bandwidth problems at the pass. The organization has ordered that 120MHz of normally 3G-only spectrum around the 2GHz band has to be reusable for LTE and other 4G networks by June 30th, 2014. Once the airwaves loosen up, the Commission sees its home continent having an advantage over an LTE-happy US: it expects to have as much as 1GHz of spectrum available for 4G, or potentially twice as much as what Americans might claim. Officials are also mulling plans to repurpose extra slices of 2GHz spectrum that haven't even been used for 3G and could offer that much more headroom. While an edge over the US in bandwidth might not last after policy changes, it's hard to complain if the EC move leads to future smartphones whose downloads stay speedy.