Finland is at the forefront of 5G technology

Finland is a pioneering country in terms of its communication policy, and it has made a lot of good decisions. Finland was the first EU country to allocate all of the existing 5G frequencies, and telecoms companies began building commercial networks as soon as their operating licences entered into force.

The first 3.5 GHz bands were auctioned in 2018, and the 26 GHz bands were auctioned in the summer of 2020. All in all, only three EU countries deployed their 5G frequencies in line with the European Commission’s timetable.

Telecoms companies began building 5G networks when their operating licences took effect in early 2019, and Finland now has 5G networks in more than 160 localities. Almost 80 per cent of Finland’s population is now within range of a 5G network.

According to the telecoms operators, 5G networks will cover all Finnish households nationwide by 2025.

Alongside fixed networks, consumers in Finland already have access to entirely new online service solutions made possible by 5G, including a service known as fixed wireless access. This is a fixed data connection, which is intended for customers living in small houses. The connection is implemented using mobile technology and consists of a 5G base station, which is installed on the exterior wall of the house, and a wireless local area network.

The GSMA, an international association of mobile operators, expects Finland to be number one in Europe in terms of its 5G rollout in 2025.

According to Tefficient’s analysis, Finland has had the world’s highest mobile data transfer volumes per subscriber for many years now. In addition to Finland the only other European country to be at the top of the mobile data usage statistics is Latvia.

The negligible network latency and massive data transfer capacity help make societal functions more efficient in various areas, such as industry, health care and agriculture.

Recent 5G innovations in Finland have included a solution for operating threshing machines using multiple cameras, a remotely controlled 5G video robot for treating coronavirus patients, a 5G network for mining machines with the network operating from the surface, and broadcasts of the FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships streamed with the help of 5G phones and networks.

In Finland, two 5G bands have been reserved for local 5G networks. Private radio networks have been built over the last year on sites such as industrial zones, ports, and power stations. For example, the Ports of Oulu and Kokkola and the Kittilä gold mine have made extensive use of the possibilities presented by private networks.

Sari Laine-Lassila, Communications Manager, FiCom