Nkom proposes updated spectrum coordination agreement with Finland and Sweden for border areas

25 Mar 2021

Norwegian telecoms regulator the National Communications Authority (Nasjonal kommunikasjonsmyndighet, Nkom) has successfully negotiated a new spectrum coordination agreement with neighbours Finland and Sweden, which it says is designed to facilitate the easy use of 5G technology in border areas.

In releasing the proposed agreement for consultation, and having set a deadline of 23 April 2021 for feedback from interested parties, the Nkom noted that it had proposed merging all existing agreements on relevant frequency bands in the border areas between the three countries into a single document. Currently, there are several coordination agreements between the countries related to different frequency bands, and the Norwegian regulator suggests these are partly outdated and not fit for purpose. As such, the new expanded agreement will cover the vast majority of frequency bands currently being used for mobile services today, as well as those that are planned to be used in the future. Specifically, the agreement covers the following spectrum bands: 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1500MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz, 2600MHz and 3600MHz. Of note, however, the agreement states that it ‘does not concern use of GSM technology and preferential GSM-frequency assignments’, which ‘can continue to be operated according to existing agreements’.

According to the Nkom, authorities in its neighbouring countries agreed that it would be easier to maintain a single document, rather than several separate frequency agreements, and it suggested that the new coordination agreement will become a ‘living document’ that is updated regularly.