“Member States have provided further evidence of why radio spectrum needs to be assigned with greater co-ordination across the European Union. Half the Union’s member states have requested to postpone the use of the 800 MHz band for wireless broadband due to exceptional reasons, missing the 1 January 2013 they had originally agreed to (see IP/10/540). The Commission reluctantly granted nine of the 14 requests today.”
Suffering is perhaps not the most appropriate word to use in the circumstances. However, delaying introduction of new technologies is definitely a disadvantage for the businesses and citizens of the countries dragging their feet. As an example, colour TV was introduced in the USA in 1954. UK, France and Germany launched colour TV in 1967. Italy waited until 1977 before launching their service. Everything was ready, consumers actually bought colour TV sets to watch programmes thanks to overspill signals from neighbouring countries, but politicians considered that there were always other priorities for the country, as colour TV had anything to do with it. Of course the Italian electronics industry lost out on know how and on contracts to export TV equipment – until it vanished. The rest is history – Italy did not fix any of its long-standing problems anyway, but created new ones by dragging their feet. 4G is not a necessity, it’s a convenience. Spanish big telcos are crying crocodile tears because they are losing customers, but they don’t seem to notice that they make it an ordeal to get a mobile or fixed line subscription. 4G is an opportunity for businesses and individuals to get the kind of Internet access denied to them in rural areas by lack of fast ADSL – telcos delay at their own risk and peril.