The European Parliament approved plans for coordination of the 700MHz band for wireless broadband services across the EU by 2020.

Today’s vote covers the use of the UHF (470MHz to 790MHz) band across the economic bloc and ratifies an agreement made in December by representatives from the European Parliament, European Council and European Commission (EC).

In a statement, EC VP for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, welcomed the outcome and said the measures would boost coverage, connectivity and digitisation on the path to 5G.

“Today’s vote is a major milestone in EU’s spectrum coordination – both on harmonised allocation and on assignment of a frequency band,” Ansip said. “It enables low-cost network rollout and top-quality internet access services to all Europeans, also in rural areas.”

“Now Europe has a solid basis for a common vision and coordinated effort in the UHF band, and Member States should publish and follow national roadmaps for transition, in support of the digital economy and consumers. We should go further to improve connectivity in the EU and this is one of the main objectives of our new Electronic Communications Code and 5G action plan presented in September last year.”

The policy of using the 700MHz band exclusively for mobile broadband was raised by the EC in February 2015, with its first proposal presented in May 2016. Following discussions within the European Council and European Commission an agreement was struck between all parties during December, subject to final sign-off from the Council and Parliament.