European Union (EU) member governments will be required by the end of June 2014 to reallocate 120 MHz of spectrum now designated for third-generation (3G) UMTS wireless use for fourth-generation (4G) mobile broadband services, under a directive issued by the European Commission (EC) on Monday. Responding to explosive growth in mobile smart phone services that is expected to trigger increases of 90% or more in wireless data traffic volume throughout the EU for each of the next five years, the mandate provides EU wireless carriers with a total spectrum allotment of 1,000 MHz for 4G wireless broadband services, which is twice the amount assigned to carriers in the U.S. Analysts also anticipate that the EC’s move will assist the EU in achieving its objective of providing every EU citizen with access to broadband services with speeds of at least 30 Mbps by 2020. Specifically, the EC directive impacts 3G spectrum in the 1920-1980 MHz band, which is paired with channels in the 2100-2170 MHz band. Sources also say the EC is considering a similar plan for unpaired channels in the 1900-1920 MHz and 2010-2125 MHz bands that also have been set aside for 3G but remain unused. Declaring, “this extra spectrum means we can better meet the changing and growing demand for broadband,” EC digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said, “I want to see member states acting swiftly to change existing licenses.”