More frequencies for wireless broadband

Published 20.02.2012

The World Radiocommunication Conference of the International Telecommunication Union ITU has decided to allocate the 700 MHz frequency band to wireless broadband systems from the year 2015 onwards.

Frequency allocation for other use than TV broadcasting will still require the final decision of the next conference, organised in 2015. Prior to this, member states need to investigate what are the frequency needs of TV broadcasting and wireless broadband, taking into account the wireless programme making systems and the technical conditions for the co-existence of the various systems.

Krista Kiuru, Minister of Housing and Communications, is satisfied with the results of the negotiations.

'The results of the negotiations give future national frequency resolutions more room to manoeuvre. The schedule decision is a good compromise in a situation where the majority of the countries would prefer to allocate the frequency to mobile services already in this conference', says Kiuru.

The utilisation of the frequency range was proposed to be implemented already in 2012 by African and Arab countries, but, after strong opposition from European countries, the conference finally reached the consensus of allocating the 700 MHz band to wireless broadband after 2015. In Finland, the decision gives some flexibility to future national-level decisions.

The next conference will seek to find additional frequencies for wireless broadband networks also in other frequency ranges.

Agreement reached on 800 MHz terms of use

In the previous radiocommunications conference, the terms of use of the 800 MHz frequency range, allocated to wireless broadband networks, were also agreed on. The decision enables neighbouring countries to utilise different systems without causing interference. In Finland, the decision will simplify the technical coexistence of future wireless broadband networks and the aeronautical radio navigation systems of Russia. Use restrictions that impact Finland were agreed in detail already last year in a bilateral agreement with Russia.

Needs of public broadband authority networks under investigation

The data transfer needs and requirements of authorities are growing rapidly. The broadband needs of authority and disaster communications and their possible harmonisation on a global scale will be topics of the next conference. This area involves authority radio communications that guarantee order and security in society both under normal circumstances and during crisis or emergency situations.

Improved tracking and tracing systems

The conference also decided on additional frequencies for satellite-based tracking and tracing systems. In the future, tracking and tracing systems will constitute an important sector of wireless communications, monitoring and telecommunications technology. The European Galileo system can offer new services through the utilisation of additional frequencies.

The Geneva World Radio Conference closed on Friday, 17 February 2012. The Finnish delegation was led by Juhapekka Ristola, Director-General at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and Director Kirsi Karlamaa from the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority. Moreover, the Finnish delegation included representatives of the Finnish Defence Forces, the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, and Digita.

Additional information provided by:

Kirsi Karlamaa, Director, Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, tel. +358 40 823 2121
Pasi Toivonen, Development Manager, Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, tel. +358 40 530 5458
Kaisa Laitinen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 40 772 7643

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