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The European Commission (EC) has published technical guidelines for the use of the 900MHz and 1,800MHz frequency bands for 4G broadband services.

Under EU plans, these frequencies will be set aside for long-term evolution and WiMAX services, potentially helping to increase competition in the mobile broadband sector.

The technologies will enable larger volumes of data to be transmitted over mobile networks, with laptop and tablet users across the 27 member states standing to benefit.

Concerns had been raised about the potential for 4G technologies to interfere with older forms of mobile broadband technology using 2G and 3G networks.

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC for the Digital Agenda, commented: "This decision opens the way for the latest 4G mobile devices to gain access to the radio spectrum they need to operate."

She said this could "further stimulate high-speed broadband services and foster more competition".

The EU member states have until December 31st to implement the new technical rules.

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