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EU greenlights 3G on 900MHz, 1,800MHz bands

updated 06:30 pm EDT, Fri October 23, 2009

More airwaves freed for Euro cell data

The European Union in a decision this week formally approved the use of 3G and eventually 4G data on the 900MHz and 1,800MHz GSM bands. The measure substantially improves the amount of bandwidth available for cellular Internet access in EU states and should render it less expensive as well. Besides reducing the need for more cell sites, allowing frequencies lower than 2,100MHz for 3G will also extend the range and coverage of existing service.

The effort follows an initial approval for 900MHz use earlier this year and largely mirrors AT&T's own efforts in the US, where it had previously been using 1,900MHz for the majority of its 3G but now has most areas using 850MHz as well. Adding the second frequency band has been credited to reducing or eliminating major network congestion problems in areas with a heavy concentration of iPhone users, such as New York City and San Francisco.

EU countries now have up to six months to implement the rule change. It's not yet known how easily cellphone and modem designers could software-modify their devices to use 3G with the the newly cleared spectrum.

By Electronista Staff


  1. dagamer34

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2007



    I wish that phones didn't selectively pick which spectrum bands they support so I could unlock a phone on AT&T/T-Mobile and use it on the opposite carrier.

  1. siromega

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2009



    Its not that the phones pick what band they broadcast on, the transmitter and receiver chip inside is limited to certain frequencies. Adding more bands increases the cost of the chip. Most GSM phones are quad band (850, 900, 1800, 1900). The 2100 band is used by T-Mobile in the US and no one else, because the US had to carve that frequency out because T-Mobile needed more spectrum for 3G. Why should Apple drive up their cost for the iPhone to include a chip that will tx/rx on the 2100 band if AT&T doesn't use it.

  1. silvestre

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2009


    EU states&EU countries

    It may be a little off-topic, but it's not EU states. It's EU countries. You made it right the second time around. ;)

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