Services

1. Aims and duties

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, through up-to-date legislation, the basic level of transport and communications services and the development of the markets. It is also responsible for creating a working market environment for the supply and demand of transport and communications services, with a view to developing them 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 functioning 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, and 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. In addition, it contributes to legislative drafting at EU level.

The aim is a safe, efficient and environmentally-friendly transport system. 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 functioning of the market is highly topical. The Act on Transport Services harmonises different legislation between transport modes and removes obstacles to entering the 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 Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of South Ostrobothnia is responsible for goods transport licence administration across Finland.

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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, YLE.

The Ministry's duty is to ensure that basic services of high-quality and affordable price are available to everyone. The level of the 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, YLE has public service duties defined by law. For instance, YLE produces programmes and services in Finnish, Swedish and also for example in Sami and Roma language and in 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 are 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 that according to the Postal Act must be available to all. The Act guarantees delivery on five days, a moderately priced letter and parcel service and a network of places providing postal services. 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 from 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 Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (Ficora).

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

Programme licence

Television broadcasting in antenna television network is subject to a programme licence. They are issued by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority.

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 Ficora.

Operating licences for postal services

An operating licence granted by the Government is required for postal services involving the sending of letters.

Posti Oy is the only licensed provider of postal services. Its operating area covers the whole of Finland, excluding the Region of Åland. Regional licences have been granted to Esan Kirjapaino Oy, Ilves Jakelu Oy, Esa Jakelut Oy and Alma Manu Oy.

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. Currently, the VR Group holds a licence for the provision of passenger and freight transport services by rail, while Fennia Rail Oy is licensed to provide freight transport services across the rail network and Ratarahti Oy holds a licence for local freight transport services. Aurora Rail Oy is licensed to provide freight transport services and can carry out shunting work on railway 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.

In the future transport system, the users will be actively involved in planning the system. The private sector has the responsibility for innovations and service development and 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 a 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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