Good result for Finland from the World Radiocommunication Conference

The World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) ended last week and decided on the future use of radio spectrum as Finland desired: facilitating rational use of radio spectrum and providing a suitable environment for future services.

The services of our society rely increasingly upon wireless connections, that is upon use of radio frequencies. The aim of the WRC is to revise the Radio Regulations to accelerate the development of information and communications technologies.

“We have prepared for the issues discussed in the conference for several years and we had a wide range of radio frequency experts to ensure that issues important for Finland proceeded as desired. The result was excellent for the future of the society”, says Director-General Kirsi Karlamaa.

Finland achieved its objectives

New frequency bands were assigned for 5G technologies. In practice, the additional capacity and expanding broadband allow for new opportunities for services and business development. New technology will benefit the entire society by providing faster and more reliable communications connections ‒ for example in industry, logistics, healthcare, transport system and transport automation as well as media content. The allocation of the new 26 GHz band for 5G networks means more bands for mobile technology than ever before. This means a possibility to build very high capacity networks in areas where the need for them is high.

The WRC resolutions make it faster and easier to start satellite operations. For example, the application process for short-term satellite service operations was eased and frequencies were assigned to these services on a global basis in accordance with Finland’s objectives. These measures allow for further growth of space services in Finland and facilitate new business and research services. 

The Conference was also able to protect weather observations by means of weather balloons, which is also important for the Finnish industry. This service was jeopardized as it was suggested that satellite services would operate on the same radio frequencies as weather observations. 

Maritime safety is enhanced by upgrading the automatic identification system to better detect subsurface objects.

The WRC-19 accepted 19 topics to be put on the agenda for World Radiocommunication Conference 2023. An important result for Finland and Europe is that the agenda contains the future use of the frequency band 470-960 MHz, tv broadcasting included, and possible wireless broadband in the UHF band 470–694 MHz. This would mean flexibility, additional resources and new opportunities for wireless communications services, such as sharing media content. 

A more detailed final report will be published soon.

Wide range of delegates from Finland

The Ministry of Transport and Communications as well as the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom represented Finland at the conference together with delegates from the Finnish Defence Forces, Nokia Networks, Digita and Telia. 

World Radiocommunication Conferences are held every three to four years. This year, the conference was organised in Egypt, from 28 October to 22 November 2019. About 3,400 delegates from about 150 countries attended the conference. In addition, almost 300 representatives of international organisations, device manufacturers, network operators and industrial operators monitored the WRC resolutions. The WRCs are organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) under the United Nations. The conference resolutions are legally binding to all 193 member states. 

More information about the WRC on the videos (in Finnish):

Mikael Nyberg from the Ministry of Transport and Communications (External link)  
Petteri Jokela from Traficom (External link)  
Pasi Toivonen from Traficom (External link)

Earlier news on the topic (External link)

World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) (External link) 

Enquiries

Pasi Toivonen, Chief Specialist, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, tel. +358 295 390 463, firstname.lastname(at)traficom.fi, Twitter @UMTS900

Tapio Penkkala, Development Manager, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, tel. +358 295 390 434, firstname.lastname(at)traficom.fi, Twitter @penkkalatapio