Last week the European parliament accepted an amendment to the GSM Directive to allow UMTS (WCDMA-HSPA) technology to be deployed in the 900MHz band.
The move has been welcomed by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), which points out there are 120 live HSPA commercial systems in the European Union alone, and 259 systems launched in 111 countries worldwide.
GMA says deploying HSPA mobile broadband systems in the 900MHz band (UMTS900) brings substantial efficiencies and lower costs for network operators because lower frequencies travel further and penetrate buildings more easily than the higher frequencies (2100 MHz) which most 3G systems currently use.
As a result, 900 MHz is an ideal band for extending the benefits of broadband connectivity to rural and semi-urban areas, helping to bridge the digital divide, and is a perfect complement to 2100 MHz systems, which ensure the capacity layer.
Alan Hadden, President, GSA said: 'This groundbreaking spectrum agreement in Brussels enables more Europeans to benefit from mobile broadband services. It is a clear signal to all regulators (NRAs) to prepare the path in their respective markets for a new wave of HSPA deployments in the 900 MHz band.'