On 6 January 2011, Ofcom announced that, with immediate effect, 2G mobile phone operators can use their licensed 2G spectrum to provide 3G services. Ofcom stated that the move will allow operators to increase mobile broadband speeds, deliver improved in-building coverage and widen mobile broadband coverage in rural areas. This is expected to bring significant benefits to consumers in terms of increased network capacity, higher data speeds and improved network coverage, especially in rural areas and inside buildings. A change to the existing 2G operators' licences was directed by the Government on 20 December 2010 in response to European legislation requiring the liberalisation of 2G spectrums for 3G use.