The European Commission has announced that the continent’s mobile operators will get an extra 120 MHz of spectrum for 4G technologies.

The spectrum, 1920-1980 MHz paired with 2110-2170 MHz, is currently reserved for UMTS/3G networks; however, the directive means it must be re-assigned for 4G by 30 June 2014 “at the latest”.

EC vice president Neelie Kroes said: "This extra spectrum for 4G in Europe means we can better meet the changing and growing demand for broadband.

“I want to see Member States acting swiftly to change existing licenses. We all win from faster wireless connections in Europe."

The news comes as a new wave of 4G LTE services start to roll out across Europe.

In the last month, 4G LTE services have been launched by EE in the UK and Telenor in Norway.

The EC statement announcing the news claimed the new allocation will make a “substantial contribution” to the Digital Agenda broadband target of universal EU broadband coverage of at least 30 Mbps by 2020.

It added that, as a result of the move, Europe will enjoy up to twice the amount of spectrum for high-speed wireless broadband as in the US, namely around 1000 MHz.

In addition, the EC said it was considering “a follow-up measure” on the unpaired 1900-1920 MHz and 2010-2025 MHz spectrum is currently allocated to use by UMTS networks but remains unused throughout the EU.

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