4G harmony intended to make 4G better across Europe
A cunning plan is underway to help push take-up of 4G services, by refarming part of the 3G spectrum so that 4G services have more spectrum and can thus run faster. David Meyer reporting on Gigaom goes into some detail on new EU targets that will see around of 120MHz of spectrum around the 2GHz point being shifted from 3G to 4G.
This change seems to be part of the move towards ubiquitous broadband across Europe, which while in the UK we complain a lot about our broadband lot, the UK is a long way ahead of many other European countries particularly in regard to ubiquitous broadband.
The danger with the refarming is that those on 3G data plans may find the service getting worse from 2014 onwards, and those operators with spectrum that will be able to re-use may not be willing to pay as much for spectrum in the 4G auctions in 2013.
The launch of 4G by EE which involved spectrum refarming achieved this by re-purposing spectrum used for 2G services, and as hardly any 2G only handsets exist anymore this is less of a problem.
Update 1pm: The full EU text on the announcement is now online, Digital Agenda: Commission Decision paves the way for 4G in Europe.