EC proposals allowing modern 3G mobile broadband and future 4G services to use the 900MHz band of spectrum have been approved.
The European Commission's Council of Ministers signed off on the plans for refarming, which will see spectrum moved way from slower 2G voice and GSM data transfers used for text services.
As a result of the plan, operators across Europe could increase their mobile broadband infrastructure investments because 900MHz offers a long range and widespread coverage, making it conducive to broadband.
European Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding said: "The GSM standard has been a success story for Europe, where it was born.
"By updating the GSM Directive, the EU has paved the way for a new generation of services and technologies where Europe can be a world leader."
Spectrum allocation was harmonised across Europe under the GSM Directive in 1987, which stipulated that 900MHz should only be used for 2G and text services.