EC proposes revision of GSM Directive

/ Updated on 02.12.2008

On 19 November 2008, the European Commission presented a proposal for a revision of the GSM Directive (Directive 87/372/EEC of 25 June) in order to allow the introduction of new services which make use of 3rd generation (3G) technology in the frequency bands currently allocated to GSM services (2nd generation mobile telephony).

It should be recalled that on 25 July 2007 the EC proposed that the GSM Directive be repealed in order to the give flexibility to the use of the 900 MHz band, fostering competition between the services and technologies which use the band.  While the Council of Ministers, presided over by Portugal, supported the EC’s proposals, the European Parliament (EP) blocked the decision to repeal the Directive, considering that it should be replaced by another Directive rather than a decision of the EC (on the harmonisation of technical conditions for the use of the band, without any involvement of the EP or the Council).

Accordingly, taking the EP’s position into account, this EC proposal has the aim of allowing the use of the 900 MHz band by a variety of pan-European services, including pan-European broadband communications services (UMTS in the first phase), which should exist alongside GSM services.

The revision proposed by the Commission remains subject to approval by the European Parliament and by the European Union's Council of Ministers.

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending council directive 87/372/EEC on the frequency bands to be reserved for the coordinated introduction of public pan-European cellular digital land-based mobile communications in the Community