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PolicyTracker, the spectrum management newsletter, can reveal that a powerful European Parliamentary Committee has formally approved amendments that will extend the life of all European mobile licences to 25 years. The measure is retrospective so current spectrum licences would be automatically lengthened, generating huge value for mobile operators but potentially removing a large source of income for national governments.

The amendments relate to the "connected continent" legislative package put forward by the Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes and currently making its way through the European Parliament. They were agreed by the Parliament’s industry Committee, ITRE, yesterday.

The minimum duration for spectrum licences was absent from the Commission's draft regulation when it was presented in September last year. In December, Pilar del Castillo, the conservative MEP and...

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