Services

  1. Objective and tasks
  2. Passenger and goods transport
  3. Communications market
  4. Basic Communications Services
  5. Operating licences
  6. Mobility as a service

1. Objective and tasks

The Ministry aims to

  • ensure that the mobility, communications and transport needs of people and businesses are easily and efficiently met;
  • enable customer-oriented development of transport and communications services;
  • increase welfare and growth with the help of innovative services.

Key duties of the Ministry

It is the Ministry's duty to ensure the basic level of transport and communications services and the development of the markets. This is ensured through up-to-date legislation. It is also responsible for creating a working market environment for the supply and demand of transport and communications services. The aim is to develop transport and communications services on the basis of information and customers' needs.

The Ministry's purview also covers passenger transport and logistics services, universal service in television and radio broadcasting and postal services, provision of media content and consumer affairs.

The Ministry is active within the EU in creating a positive operating and regulatory environment for transport and communications services and development of new services.

Comprehensive transport services

In the electronic communications sector, services are already provided on market terms. Availability of reasonably priced and high-quality communications services is ensured through principles of universal service that are provided in legislation.

In the transport sector, ensuring the effectiveness of the market is highly topical. Transport services are meant to be converted into a service package along the lines of the communications service sector. In the future various transport service chains should work seamlessly together. The role of the public sector is to enable and create favourable operating conditions. The responsibility for innovations and service development lies with the private sector. Finland is a pioneer in this "mobility as a service" thinking.

2. Passenger and goods transport

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible for drafting Finland’s legislation on railway, aviation, maritime, bus, coach and taxi transport legislation. In addition, it contributes to legislative drafting at EU level.

Our aim is a transport service system that is safe, efficient and environmentally friendly.

It is the mission of the Ministry to promote transport markets and new, customer-oriented services. Promotion of competition ensures efficient and diverse services. The Ministry is obliged to ensure the availability of basic transport services by purchasing them, if necessary.

In the transport sector, ensuring the effectiveness of the market is highly topical. The Act on Transport Services harmonises regulation on different transport modes and removes obstacles to market entry.

The Government has decided to open passenger rail transport to competition. The aim is to improve the service level of rail traffic, make it more responsive to customer needs and to increase the market share of passenger rail services. This means that VR will no longer have exclusive right to rail transport services in the Finnish rail network and that other operators can enter the passenger rail transport market.

The provision of professional passenger transport services in return for payment is subject to licence in all transport modes. Transport permits and licences are issued by Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

Goods transport services are also subject to licence. The national responsibility for licence administration in goods transport services lies with the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of South Ostrobothnia.

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3. Communications market

In line with the Government Programme the Ministry aims at creating a well-functioning market environment for the supply and demand of transport, communications and digital services. This provides new business opportunities, promotes exports, and increases the line of services.

Regulation of communications markets aims at technology-neutral, high-quality, reasonably priced and comprehensive services.

In Finland the communications sector, and particularly telecommunications, has for a long time been open to competition. Despite the limited amount of spectrum, a sparse population and a small communications market, Finland is able to provide communications services that are inexpensive and represent high standards on international terms.

The objectives of the media market development are to provide the Finnish audience with high-quality contents and to ensure that the Finnish media sector is able to respond to the international competition.

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4. Basic Communications Services

The basic services in communications are telephone, broadband and postal services together with television and radio broadcasting of the Finnish Broadcasting Company Ltd.

The Ministry's duty is to ensure that basic services of high-quality and affordable price are available to everyone. The level of basic services is secured by means of legislation. If necessary, the basic services are ensured by public funding.

Public service of the Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE

The Finnish Broadcasting Company Ltd has public service duties defined by law. For instance, YLE produces programmes and services in Finnish and Swedish as well as in the Saami language, Romani language and sign language. YLE's diverse programme services for television, radio and the Internet must be accessible to all people in Finland, regardless of their income level or place of residence.

The costs for YLE's public service will be funded by a public service broadcasting tax. It is annually levied from people and organisations in connection with other income tax.

Broadband as universal service

In Finland, consumers and businesses are entitled to an access to a reasonably priced and smoothly functioning telephone subscription and 2 Mbit/s broadband service in their permanent place of residence or business location. The right does not apply to summer houses. The subscriber connection under universal service obligations must allow the user to have access to emergency services, to make and receive national and international calls and to have access to other ordinary telephone services.

A broadband connection with a speed of 2 Mbit/s has been defined as a universal service, and telecom operators designated as universal service providers must provide every permanent residence and business location with access to such a service with a reasonable price. The subscription may be implemented as a fixed or wireless connection. The 2 Mbit/s connection speed enables the use of basic online services, such as banking services and online newspaper and magazine browsing.

Universal postal service

Universal postal services mean the basic postal services which under the Postal Act should be available under equal terms to all. The Act ensures letter services and service points as well as delivery on five days a week in those areas where there is no early morning delivery of newspapers.

In an urban area, if newspapers are delivered early in the morning, a minimum of three-day delivery is allowed.

Universal service products include letters under 2 kg that have been paid for in cash, while newspapers, magazines, and deliveries with no address do not fall under universal service.

Ficora has designated the Finnish Posti Oy as the provider of universal postal services in Finland.

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5. Operating licences

Network licences

Provision of network services in a mobile communications network is subject to a licence. The operating licences are granted by the Government.

For television operations a network licence is required for broadcasting in the antenna network. The operating licences are granted by the Government. However, a licence is not required for cable or satellite-relayed television operations.

Network licences for short-term television broadcasting are issued by the Transport and Communications Agency.

A radio licence issued by the Agency is needed for other uses of radio frequencies.

Programme licence

Television broadcasting in antenna television network is subject to a programme licence issued by the Transport and Communications Agency.

The Finnish Broadcasting Company is allowed to broadcast radio and television programmes without an operating licence within the frequencies that have been allocated to it by the Government.

A programme licence is needed for radio broadcasting, excluding short-term and small-scale operations. Radio licences are granted by the Transport and Communications Agency.

Railway operating licence

To be able to operate on the Finnish railways an undertaking must apply for a licence from the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The VR Group holds a licence for the provision of passenger and freight transport services by rail. Fennia Rail Oy holds a licence for freight transport services across the entire network and Ratarahti Oy for local freight transport services. Aurora Rail Oy has a licence for freight transport services. It may operate shunting services at marshalling yards in the Finnish rail network.

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6. Mobility as a service

A long-term aim pursued in transport policy is a change that would turn mobility into a service (Mobility as a Service, MaaS). Transport services are meant to be converted into a service package along the lines of the communications service sector. Finland is a pioneer in this "mobility as a service" thinking.

Mobility will to a greater extent become a service in which physical mobility and digital services merge into a high-quality door-to-door service that meets the users' needs. In the future various transport service chains should work seamlessly together. This means a holistic change in the entire transport system and in the roles of the transport operators.

Users actively involved

In the future transport system the users are actively involved in planning the system. The private sector has the responsibility for innovations and service development. The role of the public sector is to enable the change and provide favourable operating conditions. The responsibility for innovations and service development lies with the private sector.

The technological development that is simultaneously taking place in many sectors makes it possible to turn mobility into service. Wireless broadband, smart phones, other portable smart devices and location services have become more widely used and intelligent cars have entered the markets. Information also plays a key role. Transport information together with the transport and communications infrastructure form a platform on which transport services can be further developed.

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