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back to article EU says 3G on GSM now the law

The European Union claims to have cleared the path for an expansion of wireless broadband across Europe and saved the economy by officially mandating the opening up of the GSM band for new mobile services. The move, detailed in the EU's Official Journal and therefore now law, will allow 3G phones to use GSM frequencies, …

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Gold badge

Good call

Good call. AT&T here in the US has done a bit of a cockup with GSM + 3G, but in general, the telecoms here being able to reuse their 850 and 1900mhz spectrum for new services has really helped deployment -- Verizon's got somewhere around 97% of the population here covered with EVDO, and the otehr carriers have a lot of EVDO or UMTS in place too, helped a lot by the ability to reuse existing spectrum rather than having to purchase new spectrum at sometimes not-as-good frequencies.

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GSM and 3G co-exist?

I am no expert and I have not read about it anywhere else, however:

1.Does this mean that GSM carriers will be pushed out, or will it mean that 3G carriers are allowed to co-exist on the same frequencies as GSM?

2.Continuing with "1.", is it at all possible to co-exist? I mean, the modulation techniques are different (TDMA vs. CDMA), but access to a control channel will possibly be conflicting, even if GSM and UMTS don't use the same method or frequencies (which I don't know about in detail).

So, even if I think that going in the direction of 3G is good, I am wondering how much of a step it is versus a total re-rollout of the infrastructure for the present GSM providers.

The article is sort of rather slim on those details.

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Go

Can somebody explain..

how this will impact the current usage and levels of service we are experiencing?

Does this effectively mean the 900MHz and 1800/1900MHz frequencies will also carry 3G traffic rather than 2G traffic sooner rather than later, and will our plucky network '3' be first to utilize this extra spectrum to deliver more fantastic services?

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Boffin

...is it at all possible to co-exist

Yes - with careful planning and 'spectrum refarming' you can get GSM and W-CDMA to 'co-exist' on the same frequency /band/

however they don't actually transmit on the same frequency.

more - http://www.gsmworld.com/our-work/public-policy/spectrum/refarming.htm

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Joke

Sell Off

And the government was so looking forward to reselling the GSM frequencies for hundreds of billions of pounds.

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Silver badge

@coexist

In fact W-CDMA-based systems can even co-exist with GSM on the _same_ frequencies. It just degrades quality for both systems, however if you carefully balance the transmit power between GSM and W-CDMA you will have so little interference that both systems can coexist on the _same_ frequencies.

Essentially you can think of it in terms of signal-to-noise ration (SNR) and the bit error rate (BER). with GSM you get a very low BER down until you reach a certain SNR where it rapidly degrades. With W-CDMA you can dynamically adjust the spreading rate to get a certain BER at a certain SNR.

Now one system appears as noise to the other system, so if the other signal is weak enought it will not disturb it. Additionally the W-CDMA signal is spreadt over a much larger bandwidth so the effective power within the band of a single GSM channel is much lower.

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so..

how long are we talking about before this actually reaches my handset?

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@ AC Re: 3

I doubt 3 will get much from this, considering that they don't have any GSM frequencies.

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Anonymous Coward

3G on 900Mhz

Vodafone and O2 both thought the idea of 3G on 900Mhz was great as it would save them the bother of building a proper 3G network, until they discovered they'd have to *share* their 900 band with T-Mobile Orange and Three...

No chance of that ever happening then.

Voda and O2 handing back spectrum is as likely as MP's repaying their expenses!

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Paris Hilton

Kip Meels (Mr Independent Spectrum Brokers report last week!

Kip Meek Indepedent Spectrum Brokers report last week had,

1) Those partaking in the planned Digital Britain auction heist of 800mhz would need to hand back some 900 mhz in order to take part but would get any money raised.

I assume a similar condition is attached to 2.6 Ghz spectrum, partake but handback and receive some cash for the re-farmed spectrum.

2) They are free to re-farm GSM spectrum but will be subject to wholesale rules and increased aip fees from a particular date.

this is from the report ..In line with the Independent Spectrum Broker’s proposal, the Government is proposing that the acquirers of relinquished 900MHz and/or 1800MHz spectrum should have to make an additional payment to the relinquishing operator in addition to their payment to Ofcom for winning the spectrum. This additional payment will be the lower of either an amount equivalent to the price the purchaser has paid for 2G spectrum, or 50% of the clock price per MHz of 800MHz spectrum (in the case of winning 900MHz spectrum) or 50% of the final clock price of 2.6GHz FDD spectrum (in the case of winning 1800MHz spectrum) multiplied by the number of MHz won. If no spectrum is relinquished in a band, the costs of defragmentation will be borne by the existing operators using the band.

Paris - because she likes bidding blind.

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WTF?

Femto cells and converged services

Havr your readers any knowledgeable suggestion how some of this re-farmed spectrum could be used for a common approach to getting Femto cells deployed in a reasonably consistent way?

Neither Digital Britain, nor Ofcom speak about how convergence comes about.

I guess Ofcom will start there new investment role after orchastrating the next Digital Britain spectrum heist!

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