World Radiocommunication Conference discusses issues crucial to Finland

The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) takes place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt as of 28 October. The conference decides on the future use of radio spectrum. The WRC aims at facilitating rational use of radio spectrum and providing a suitable environment for future services. Finland participates in the decision-making to shape future communications services at a global scale.

The services of our society rely increasingly upon wireless connections. Intelligent transport systems, remote work and studies, smart healthcare and automation are some solutions leading us towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Satellite services provide new opportunities for monitoring the environment and climate change. All of the above need radio frequencies.

Finland's objective: development for services, growth for business and research

“Finland's objective is to negotiate additional spectrum for 5G technology. Additional capacity and expanding broadband allow for emerging services and business,” says Mikael Nyberg, High-Level Representative for transport and communications policy at the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Nyberg is the head of the Finnish delegation.

“With 5G, we can efficiently use data in consumer services, share media content in mobile networks and control processes and devices in industry and logistics. The new technology will also create a foundation for smart cities and smart healthcare services,” explains Kirsi Karlamaa, Director-General of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. “The future transport system and transport automation in the air, at sea and on land also need fast and reliable communications connections.”

The objective is to ensure sufficient spectrum availability for satellite systems to allow for further growth of space services in Finland and facilitate new business. Another objective to support Finnish satellite operators and related research in Finland. 

The conference also discusses supporting the growth of radio local area networks in the frequency bands between 5 and 6 GHz to be able to provide faster and better quality connections for homes and offices. 

Furthermore, the conference seeks to improve aircraft tracking systems for faster operation in distress and emergency situations. Maritime safety will be enhanced by upgrading the automatic identification system to better detect subsurface objects.

Issues on the WRC agenda 

  • revising the Radio Regulations to accelerate the development of information and communication technologies. This provides new opportunities for wireless services, including maritime transport and aviation, as well as the scientific use of spectrum related to the environment, meteorology, climate and disaster preparedness.
  • managing satellite orbit positions and related radio spectrum to encourage progress in small satellite services, which are growing fast in Finland, and to provide a foundation for a new type of satellite services.
  • spectrum for 5G networks, devices and services. 
  • preparing an agenda for the next World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23), which includes the future use of the frequency band 470–970 MHz. 

Wide range of expertise in the Finnish delegation

The Ministry of Transport and Communications as well as the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom will represent Finland at the conference together with delegates from the Finnish Defence Forces, Nokia Networks, Digita, Yle, Telia and the Finnish Amateur Radio League. 

World radiocommunication conferences are held every three to four years. This year, the conference is organised in Egypt, from 28 October to 22 November 2019. Over 3,500 delegates from more than 190 countries are expected to attend the conference. In addition, almost 300 representatives of international organisations, device manufacturers, network operators and industrial operators will be monitoring the WRC resolutions. The WRC is organised by the International Telecommunication Union ITU. 

Inquiries

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
Kaisa Laitinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 40 772 7643, firstname.lastname(at)lvm.fi, Twitter: @kaisa_laitinen