Europe's Steep Learning Curve

The European Commission is hosting a workshop in Brussels Tuesday with the aim of persuading EU member countries to learn from the fallout left by the 3G spectrum awards of the past three years (see EC Talks 3G).

Following an in-depth study into "a comparative assessment of 3G licensing in the Member States of the European Union," (AKA: So how exactly did we screw that up so badly?), the EC decided to have a get-together to discuss how spectrum allocation might be harmonized to everyone's advantage in the future.

Here's what we think will happen. Most people will agree that things could be done better, some recommendations will be agreed, and the EC then sends out some guidelines for the future. These are then ignored to various degrees by the individual governments depending on how much money they think they can pull in from flogging off whatever spectrum they think they can get a dime for.

That may sound cynical, but….well, can you blame us? No harm to the EC. The folk there are trying to do the right thing. Good luck to 'em.

Should something interesting happen, though, we'll keep you in the loop.

— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung
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