5G expands in Finland and abroad

Finland is the first EU member state to have taken all the existing 5G frequency bands into use. Network construction began in early 2019, and 5G has now reached more than one hundred Finnish localities.

Unlike many other countries, in Finland the coronavirus outbreak has not slowed down network construction. Between April 2020 and February 2021, eighty new 5G areas were created around Finland.

As is usual with telecommunication networks, construction began with the largest cities, towns and urban areas, before spreading to more sparsely populated areas. At the time of writing, 2,5 million Finns were within reach of the 5G network and, according to telecom companies, it will cover all households nationwide by 2025. The government’s target is to make Finland the world’s first country to achieve this.

Coronavirus pandemic affects network construction

The European Union’s objective is to achieve 5G coverage of all urban areas and main roads by 2025. By the end of 2020, commercial 5G services were available in 23 member states; only Cyprus, Malta, Lithuania and Portugal were still entirely without 5G. Many EU countries have suffered worse effects of the coronavirus crisis than Finland, which has slowed down both frequency auctions and network construction and left some frequency bands unused. The 5G targets set for 2020 by the EU were not completely fulfilled.

In spite of the pandemic, the number of 5G cities grew by 350 per cent worldwide during last year. At the beginning of 2021, over 30 per cent of the world’s countries had a 5G network.

Europe needs fast connections

5G makes mobile connections even faster than before, with shorter data transfer delays. Finns are the world’s biggest users of mobile data, and the need for communication networks is still growing. 5G brings many times the network capacity of earlier generations, so it can hold more users, connected devices and data than ever before. Future cities and towns, industrial plants and health services will also use 5G and its capability for transferring and processing large quantities of data.

Swift adoption of technology and innovations will improve Europe’s competitiveness and also provides means for a green transition: mobile technology has been estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as tenfold compared to the industry’s current carbon footprint.

Sari Laine-Lassila, Communications Manager, FiCom