Radio spectrum and its use

The national and international regulation of radio frequencies covers the frequency range between 9 kHz and 3,000 GHz. However, for financial and technical reasons radio frequencies can currently only be used up to approximately 80 GHz. That corresponds to less than 3% of the entire regulated radio spectrum.

Radio frequencies travelling at the speed of light are a natural resource whose supply is not exhausted or diminished by use.

Several things affect the usability of radio frequencies. A radio transmitter affects other radio equipment in its coverage area. The effects are greater the closer a piece of equipment is to another in terms of frequencies and geographical location. If the interaction is strong enough, it will cause:

  • harmful interference
  • loss of transfer capacity
  • lower transfer quality.

The characteristics of radio frequencies limit their use. The higher the frequency used the more difficult and expensive the manufacturing of radio equipment becomes.

The way radio waves travel also makes the use of high frequencies more difficult for most purposes. In Finland, approximately 95 % of radio equipment subject to a licence currently operates on frequencies below 10 GHz and 99 % on frequencies below 25 GHz. If licence-exempt radio equipment is also counted, approximately more than 99 % of all radio equipment operates on frequencies below 10 GHz.

Radio spectrum use in Finland [pdf, 78 KB]

The section "Statistics and reports" includes information on how many frequencies are available to different applications and modes of radio traffic.

The use of frequencies in the range 68–1.000 MHz
The use of frequencies in the range 1–3 GHz
The use of frequencies in the range 3–6 GHz
The use of frequencies in the range 6-10 GHz

Key words: Spectrum, Regulations, Licences

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