FICORA says testing of mobile services using 800MHz band to take place this summer

6 Jul 2011

Finland’s telecoms regulator, the Finnish Comms Regulatory Authority (FICORA), has revealed that, having received ‘several’ radio licence applications for the testing of mobile communication systems over the 800MHz band, it will begin granting the trial concessions within the next week or so.

The 791MHz-821MHz/832MHz-862MHz frequencies have previously assigned for use by radio microphones and military applications, but the government subsequently announced that the radio microphone use would be shifted to new frequencies – 174MHz-230MHz/470MHz-789MHz. With a view to ensuring that there was no interference by mobile networks on the revised spectrum allocation, in April 2011 the regulator carried out tests in the city of Lahti with companies including Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Elisa. On the back of the tests FICORA says it has now ‘defined the geographical areas where it would be possible to begin testing the mobile networks without harmful interference’ using the 791MHz-801MHz band. The regulator has listed ten geographical areas at which the trials will take place, with those being: Kayla, Kumpuvaara, Singerjarvi, Oulu, Alavieska, Ylivieska, Hiltula, Kangasala, Latikkala, Salo and Valtatie.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in December 2010 an agreement was reached between Finnish and Russian spectrum authorities which allowed Finland to use the 800MHz frequency band for the provision of mobile services. A meeting of the working group on frequency management, a body operating under the Finnish-Russian Commission for Economic Cooperation, ruled that because Russia uses the band for air navigation systems, frequency coordination between the two countries was necessary. Test use in Finland must not interfere with frequency use in Russia, or the current use in Finland. It is thought possible that Finland may now consider allowing Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial networks using 800MHz spectrum, which has lower deployment costs than use of the 1800MHz and 2600MHz frequency ranges.