Government has decided to auction 800 MHz frequencies
Licences for operating in the 800 megahertz (MHz) mobile broadband network will be granted in a spectrum auction.
The amount of frequencies available totals 2 x 30 MHz, and the frequencies will be auctioned as 2 x 5 MHz frequency pairs. The frequencies will have a starting price which will guarantee that the State's profit from the auction is at least EUR 100 million.
The Government issued a resolution on the matter on 29 March.
The aim of the auction is to improve the availability of mobile broadband, especially outside urban areas, and to enable the swift introduction of a national mobile broadband network. Another aim of the auction is to promote the efficient use of frequencies and a market-based system.
The Minister of Housing and Communications Krista Kiuru considers the decision historically important.
"This decision places Finland once again among the top countries in the world in terms of applying the latest technology in mobile communication. The auction enables genuine competition for frequencies and will ultimately benefit consumers," Kiuru says.
According to Kiuru, the fourth generation (4G) mobile networks that are only now being created will truly enable users to utilise Internet services in mobile communication.
"The strict coverage requirement ensures that mobile services can be enjoyed all over the country a few years after the new frequencies have been taken in use," Kiuru says.
Legislative amendments required by the auction will be made so that the auction could be held at the latest in 2013. Apart from the 2009 trial auction, Finnish operating licences have been granted on the basis of a so called beauty contest procedure.
The frequencies will be auctioned in 2 x 5 MHz frequency pairs, and one company can obtain a maximum of 2 x 15 MHz. Thus, operators will have access to a sufficiently broad frequency band that will enable them to offer mobile connections of up to 26 Mbps.
"This also provides us an opportunity to examine whether we could increase the minimum speed of the universal service obligation for broadband connections from the current 1 Mbps, Kiuru adds.
By the end of 2013, the frequency band to be auctioned will no longer be used for purposes other than mobile broadband networks. Wireless microphones using the 800 MHz frequency band have already been allocated new frequency bands.
The Government resolution on spectrum policy applies to mobile communication. Future decisions regarding television operations will be assessed in the communications policy programme for electronic media that is included in the Government Programme.
Mr Kalervo Haverinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Housing and Communications, tel. + 358 50 331 6914
Mr Olli-Pekka Rantala, Director of Communications Market Unit, tel. +358 50 344 3400
Ms Kaisa Laitinen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 40 772 7643