5G is taking over Finland one city at a time
The first 5G frequencies were auctioned off in Finland just over a year ago. Now all three mobile network operators in Finland have opened up their commercial 5G networks.
Finland was one of the first European countries to award operating licences for the 3.5 gigahertz frequency band. Three operators were awarded the licence: DNA, Elisa and Telia. They began construction on the latest-generation mobile networks in early 2019.
Like previous network generations, the construction of 5G began in the largest cities. The 5G network is currently available in 14 Finnish cities and towns, with most coverage initially in city centres, and then rapidly expanding out. Later on, 5G will also reach dispersed settlements outside of urbanised areas.
All operators are building their networks closely, and the coverage is expanding at an increasing rate. 5G coverage is continually expanding to include new towns and areas.
Finland one of the first
Internationally, Finland is one of the 5G pioneer countries. In Europe, commercial 5G networks have also been opened in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Spain. 5G countries outside of Europe include China, South Korea and the United States of America.
In its digital infrastructure strategy, the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ policy outlines that the user rights to the next 5G frequency band, 26 GHz, will be granted in Finland in spring 2020.
A wide range of benefits
In addition to consumers, companies also heavily utilise 5G technology. The increase in various IoT solutions allows for e.g., the real-time monitoring of processes, remote use of machinery, and better anticipation of maintenance needs. 5G network slicing can also be used to create separate networks tailored to meet the needs of individual users, such as production facilities, hospitals and homes.
5G helps to optimise various functions and to save money, energy and the environment. The extremely high speed and timeliness of the networks allow for e.g. smart cities and smart traffic. The efficiency of 5G also promotes online gaming, and plays a role in increasing the popularity of e-sports.
In Finland, consumers can already buy 5G phones and routers, with product ranges expanding rapidly.
Finns are some of the world’s most enthusiastic mobile data users
We Finns are used to being able to use online services wherever and whenever. Internationally, we are the biggest users of mobile data: In Finland, the average amount of data transferred onto a single SIM card is 17.3 gigabytes per month, which is the highest in the world. In Finland, all mobile operators offer unlimited data transfer contracts, which makes it easy to use mobile data.
Competition is extremely fierce on the Finnish mobile market. The price of mobile data in Finland is very affordable. According to an international review, one gigabyte of data costs on average €0.03 in Finland, whereas it costs €1.90 on average in other OECD countries.
Fixed and mobile networks are constantly being built and improved in Finland. Finland has around 5.5 million inhabitants. We have 8.5 million mobile broadband contracts and over 1.7 million fixed broadband contracts. More than half of these are optical fibre.