4G is a major step forward in the world of wireless internet for Europe, it offers significantly more speed than 3G over the same bandwidth, helping to speed internet connections and sooth network capacity woes.
However, following the turn of the millennium, 3G offered similar hopes of speed and capacity, however in dense areas now creeps to a halt, despite a full signal bar. Improvements may be achieved through obtaining a little more spectrum and slight adjustments to the protocol, however history has shown us that demand can happily outgrow these temporary measures.
It's with this in-mind that the European Commission has gone ahead and allowed the reuse of 120MHz of 3G-only 2GHz spectrum for 4G networks, with the band to become available by June 30th, 2014. The Commission is also considering the re-purposing of non-3G 2GHz bands, potentially offering-up a total of 1GHz spectrum to 4G in Europe.
Placed in context, current 4G LTE technology provides 100Mbps download and 50Mbps upload per 20MHz of bandwidth under perfect conditions. With 1GHz of bandwidth, there's a total of 5Gbps download and 2.5Gbps upload throughput in any one area with full coverage. This is of course distributed between all users in the area.
This move provides Europe and thus the UK, with even more bandwidth than the US, hopefully stemming the technology's inevitable slowdown before 5G comes along. Equally concerned, the US is also looking to free more spectrum in the future.