On 17 June 2020, the Government granted network licences for the 26 GHz spectrum to Elisa Corporation, DNA Plc and Telia Finland Plc, in accordance with the outcome of a spectrum auction.
"The frequencies are available to the telecom operators for the construction of high-speed wireless 5G networks from the beginning of July," the Ministry of Transport and Communications says in a press release.
The frequency band of 26 GHz can be used for the construction of 5G networks as of 1 July 2020. The licences will remain valid until 31 December 2033 in mainland Finland.
"The number of Finland's 5G networks is growing rapidly and now more frequencies will be taken into use. Thanks to 5G, data flows faster, network connection delays are reduced and new digital services can be developed in Finland," Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka says.
The auction for the operating licences was arranged by the Transport and Communications Agency Traficom on 8 June 2020.
It was participated by Telia, Elisa and DNA that will each pay 7 million euros for its licence. Each telecom operator was granted one third of the frequencies available in the auction. The auction generated 21 million euros in revenue to the state.
The 26 GHz frequency band (25.1-27.5 GHz) is suitable for providing high connection speeds, wherever the need for the use of data is very high, like in transport nodes and public events. The lower part of the frequency band, 24.25-25.1 GHz or 850 MHz, was excluded from the auction and reserved for the construction of local networks. In future, local networks could be built for example in ports and industrial facilities. That would provide a favourable environment for developing digitalisation of business activities, the government says.
In addition to Finland, there are around 10 European countries providing commercial 5G services. In Europe, the frequency bands of 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz have been identified as important for the 5G construction. In Finland, all three frequency bands have now been granted for the use of wireless broadband, which will further strengthen Finland's position as the leading country in 5G. Since 2019, the 5G network has been made available in more than 30 cities and municipalities in Finland.