FICORA details outcome of spectrum discussions with Russian authorities

4 Jun 2013

Finnish Comms Regulatory Authority (FICORA) has outlined the results of discussions held with the Russian authorities regarding the use of spectrum for mobile and television services in the border areas.

In detailing the outcome of the negotiations, FICORA revealed that with regards to frequencies between 470MHz-694MHz Russia had accepted proposals under which such spectrum will be equally divided between the two countries in border areas. With all channels in the band to be divided between Russia and Finland in accordance with the latter’s proposals, it has been confirmed that a final frequency plan is expected to be produced in the autumn of 2013.

Meanwhile, a coordination agreement related to 2.6GHz spectrum was reviewed, with FICORA noting that one of the reasons for examining the existing pact was the increased usage of mobile communications in Russia. According to the Finnish regulator, an updated agreement for use of the 2.6GHz band ‘better enables the usage of mobile communications in the border areas’. With the 800MHz band spectrum set to be used for mobile communications from 2014 in Finland, Russia is understood to have confirmed that the band in question will no longer be used for TV services in that country. However, FICORA noted that a final decision regarding the handling of 800MHz spectrum will not be made until an agreement is reached between both sides on all frequencies suitable for TV services.

Finland’s decision to utilise the 694MHz-790MHz band for wireless broadband services from 2017 was also a matter of discussion with the Russians, though it was only noted that planning work for coordination of this spectrum will ‘continue in future meetings’. With regards to the 900MHz band, an existing coordination agreement between Russia and Finland has, meanwhile, been updated in order that specific frequencies can be used more extensively in the border areas. Rounding out the areas of analysis, FICORA confirmed that the existing coordination agreement related to 1800MHz spectrum was complemented ‘so that it enables more extensive building of GSM and LTE … in the border areas’.