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Changes from analogue to digital TV will free up spectrum across Europe that can be used to take a unified approach to mobile broadband.

That is according to the EU, which has called for collaboration from its member nations in allocating the digital dividend that will be freed up over the next several years as terrestrial TV signals are switched off.

The 800MHz band of spectrum is particularly suited to new generations of mobile broadband technology, a factor that has led the European Commission to consider plans to harmonise its allocation.

It suggested that doing so could help to facilitate access to quicker mobile broadband, as well as improving competition between internet service providers.

EU Telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding said: "The digital dividend comes at a critical moment when we want to connect all parts of Europe to high-speed broadband, ensure high-quality broadcasting, and expand consumer choice in future wireless services."

She added that the freed up radio spectrum can be transmitted over wide geographical areas and transcend national borders, meaning that decisions made on its usage in one country could affect broadband users in others.

Last month, the UK government claimed in its Digital Britain report that next-generation mobile broadband services would be crucial to its plans of extending 2Mb coverage to the entire nation.

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