(1) The Start

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A decision to open the 900 MHz band to land mobile services was taken at the world level by ITU in the World Administrative Radio Conference 1979.

At the meeting of the CEPT Telecommunications Commission in June 1982 the Netherlands presented a contribution pointing out that unless a concerted action to work out plans for a common European system was started very soon there would be a serious risk that the 900 MHz band would be taken in use for various incompatible systems in Europe and the last chance to build a Pan-European system in the 20th century would be lost. They proposed studies for the creation of a harmonized public European automatic mobile service which would have to be operation in the early 1990s (reissued as GSM 3/82).  This move was strongly supported by the Nordic Administrations (reissued as GSM 4/82). The CEPT Telecommunications Commission accepted this proposal and asked their sub-committee CCH (Comité de Coordination et Harmonisation) to "proceed with the harmonisation of a public land mobile communication system in the 900 MHz band" (later reissued as GSM 1/82). Thomas Haug was appointed as Chairman.

CCH decided in November 82 that a special working group for mobile services (GSM) should be set up to perform the work. The harmonisation of a mobile system in Europe was discussed intensively. Many delegates were thinking of some kind of harmonisation of the existing systems in Europe. But Thomas Haug and Dr. Klaus Spindler expressed strongly the view that a more future-proof solution based on new technology should be aimed at. CCH endorsed an action plan which had been elaborated by the Netherlands and the Nordic countries. It did not mention an interim system. It served as mandate of GSM for a number of years (reissued as GSM 2/82).

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