Europe is uncharacteristically lagging far behind North America and Asia in rolling out 4G networks, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel. The European Parliament has approved plans to make sure all member states have freed up the 800MHz band for mobile broadband usage by the 1st of January 2013. The band is mostly used for analog TV transmissions right now, though countries like France and the UK have already cleared it for 4G networks. 800MHz is considered useful for 4G data because of its long reach and ability to penetrate buildings — frequencies above 1GHz require more masts and thus make building a strong network more expensive. While EU member states will still be dealing with the individual rollouts, having 800MHz spectrum available from the start should make things easier for carriers willing to make the plunge.