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Finland continuing to be a mobile technology pioneer with 5G investment
Finland’s telecom market is among the more progressive in Europe, with considerable emphasis by both the regulator and operators to test-bed technologies, particularly in the mobile sector, and to provide additional spectrum for telecom services. Supported by effective cross-platform competition and astute regulatory measures, the country enjoys among the highest broadband and mobile penetration rates in the region. Digital media developments have progressed well since broadcasting was entirely digitised in early 2008, ahead of most other European countries.
The government has set an ambitious target to deliver 100Mb/s to all premises by 2015. The incumbent, TeliaSonera, is the dominant player in the DSL sector, while there is also a vibrant cable network presence in urban areas. The completed digital 450MHz network provided the country with the world’s first national wireless broadband network, while recent spectrum auctions will ensure that most of the population will benefit from commercial LTE services.
Finland also retains one of most advanced mobile markets in Europe. The country was the first to deploy 3G over 900MHz spectrum, and more recently it has auctioned spectrum in the 800MHz to extend the availability of LTE services nationally. The Finnish vendor Nokia Networks is also involved in developing 5G technologies. Growth in the number of mobile subscribers has stalled, in line with the high penetration, while the market has shifted to mobile data and mobile broadband. Market competition has helped keep mobile call charges among the lowest among EU member states. Regulated tariffs and termination rates have also put revenue pressure on MNOs.
Regulator proposes reduction in copper and fibre LLU charges; government develops Information Society Code; Sonera acquires AinaCom’s consumer operations and fixed networks; DNA completes acquisition of TDC’s Finnish businesses, upgrades broadband network to 200Mb/s, acquires Plus TV, launches pay-TV service; TV licence fee replaced with new tax; Ukko Mobile contracts Huawei to develop an LTE450 network; Sonera and DNA sign a mobile network sharing deal affecting sparsely populated Northern and Eastern Finland; Nokia to develop a trial 5G data network; MTRs reduced, effective to November 2015; MNP conditions revised; regulator auctions 800MHz for LTE; DNA expands HSPA+/LTE to half of the population; Anvia pilots LTE network using the 700MHz band; regulator’s H1 2014 market data; telcos’ financial and operating data to Q3 2014; recent market developments.
Companies and subsidiaries mentioned in this report include:
TeliaSonera, Finnet Group, DNA, Elisa, TDC Finland, Tele2, Helsinki Television, Sonera Cable, Canal+, Yleisradio, Digita