Finnish wireless broadband start-up Digita says the country’s Ministry of Transport and Communications has approved its rollout schedule for a nationwide wireless broadband network, after months of delays regarding the coordination of radio frequencies with neighbouring countries. Digita has contracted Siemens for the deployment of the network in the 450MHz band, based on Flash-OFDM technology, ahead of its planned launch of wholesale services to ISPs on 1 April 2007. At that date coverage is expected to reach from Helsinki to Turku and Tampere in southern Finland, and from Oulu to Ivalo in the north. The network will be extended to meet demand with the aim of covering nearly 80% of the country by June 2008, and the entire territory by December 2009. ‘The goal is to make Finland the world’s first country with a wireless broadband network covering the whole nation,’ Digita Chief Executive Sirpa Ojala said.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Digita was awarded a wireless broadband licence in June 2005, beating off bids from six rivals. The company was granted spectrum in the 450MHz band freed up by the closure of Finland’s analogue NMT-450 networks. Digita had originally planned to build the network in three stages, with a commercial launch due in September 2006. Following the government’s delays in clearing the frequency for use, the company has now accelerated its rollout plan.