Amendments to the decree on spectrum usage in Åland, new frequency band to be introduced for increased 5G network construction
The primary aim of amending the Decree on Spectrum Usage in Åland is to specify the so-called 700 MHz spectrum with the purpose of granting network licences for Åland. In future, licensed telecom operators could use the spectrum for building a 5G network on a broader scale, for example. On 25 November 2021, the Government issued a decree on amending the Decree on Radio Spectrum Usage in Åland.
The decree will enter into force on 1 December 2021. The licences for the 700 MHz spectrum are to be granted in early 2022.
At the same time, the Spectrum Decree was updated to bring it more closely in line with the decree on radio spectrum usage in Mainland Finland. In addition to the specification of the 700 MHz spectrum, four other frequency bands suitable for the provision of electronic communications services were added to the scope of the Decree. They could be used to build wireless broadband connections in the Åland Islands in the future, which would promote the introduction of new digital services in Åland.
The Spectrum Decree was amended to include the so-called 26 GHz spectrum, i.e. 25.1–27.5 GHz, and the so-called 1.5 GHz spectrum, i.e. 1427–1518 MHz. In addition, the amendments allow for the provision of a minor local network service in a mobile communications network operating within a limited area and practising public telecommunications. Such a network could be possible for a port or airport, for example, if the activities can be considered local and minor. Under the decree, the frequencies of 24.25-25.1 GHz and 2,300-2,320 MHz were allocated to local communications networks. These four frequency bands are already in use in Mainland Finland.
The Government granted licences for the 3.5 GHz frequency band in Åland in 2020, which made it possible to construct the first 5G networks in the county of Åland.
The decree will enter into force on 1 December 2021. The Government is preparing to grant network licences in Åland for the 700 MHz spectrum. Telecom operators may use the frequency bands for constructing networks in accordance with the terms and conditions of the licences as soon as the licences have been granted.
Heidi Mäntylä, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 342 073, heidi.mantyla(at)gov.fi