The European Commissioned proposed that it end a 20-year-old regulation that only allows GSM technology to operate in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands. A repeal would enable 3G UMTS systems to move into those bands and offer better coverage and economies of scale for UMTS. European countries such as France have been evaluating such a move on their own, while operators were complaining about the expense associated with rolling out UMTS in rural areas in the higher 3G frequencies. Of course, this rule gave European countries some significant amounts of money in their treasuries from the auction of 3G bands in the early 2000s.
For more about the EC's proposal:
- check out this article from TelecomWeb