European Public Regulated Service based on the Galileo satellite navigation system to be introduced in Finland in 2024 – assessment memorandum circulated for comments

Press release 16.11.2021 16.45 fi sv en

Europe seen from space. (Image: Shutterstock)

Part of the Galileo satellite navigation system, the European Public Regulated Service (PRS) is scheduled to be introduced in Finland in 2024. The Ministry of Transport and Communications invites comments on the assessment memorandum by 10 December 2021. The memorandum examines the need for amendments to national legislation to allow the introduction of the service.

The location and time data produced by satellite navigation systems are a part of everyday life. In addition to consumer applications, many of society’s key functions rely on satellite navigation systems. The purpose of the PRS is to provide the authorities and companies critical to the security of supply with location and time data that, thanks to the encrypted transmission signal, is resistant to both intentional cyber attacks and unintentional disturbances.

The assessment memorandum contains a summary of the current national and EU legislation related to the PRS, as well as an assessment of what kind of legislative amendments will be required for the introduction of the service in Finland. The assessment memorandum and the feedback received on it will be used in the preparation of legislation concerning the PRS. According to the memorandum, amendments to the legislation are necessary for the national introduction of the PRS. It has been estimated that the provision of the PRS service is a public administrative task that can only be entrusted to State Security Networks Ltd by law.

The assessment memorandum proposes that the Act on Electronic Communication Services be amended. In accordance with the policy guidelines set out by the Government’s Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy in November 2020, the state-owned enterprise State Security Networks Ltd and the Finnish Defence Forces would be designated as the PRS providers. Additionally, the duties of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom as the authority responsible for the service would be specified in greater detail, and the Ministry of Transport and Communications would be designated as the party responsible for strategic guidance and supervision.

When the PRS is in use, Finland’s public administration and other authorised national operators will have access to authenticated location and time data services that are independent of navigation systems outside Europe, such as the US GPS system. This will significantly improve Finland’s cyber security and security of supply. The future user groups of the service in Finland include the police, Customs, Defence Forces and rescue services and companies in sectors that are critical in terms of the security of supply, such as the energy, telecommunications, banking, transport and logistics sectors. In Finland, the PRS will supplement the VIRVE network used by the authorities.

The Galileo system went live in 2016 and currently consists of 22 operational satellites. Funded by the EU Member States, Galileo is the only global satellite navigation system controlled by civilian authorities.

What's next?

The Ministry of Transport and Communications invites comments on the assessment memorandum by 10 December 2021. Comments may be submitted by all organisations and citizens by e-mail at kirjaamo.lvm@gov.fi.

The feedback received on the assessment memorandum will be utilised in the preparation of the government proposal. The draft government proposal will be circulated for comments in early 2022. The legislation is intended to enter into force by 1 September 2022 at the latest to make it possible to introduce the PRS nationally at the beginning of 2024.

Inquiries:

Maija Ahokas, Director of Unit, tel. +358 400 316 178, maija.ahokas@gov.fi, Twitter @mmaija

Suvi Kankare, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 342 105, suvi.kankare@gov.fi