In spectrum planning, FICORA and its customers and stakeholders bring together views on radio spectrum needs in Finland for years to come. In accordance with the national views, FICORA tries to influence decisions on spectrum use at the level of international cooperation.
The aim is to ensure that international spectrum decisions are in line with the national interests of Finland. In Finland, frequency planning is based on the maximal flexibility of frequency use and minimal regulation.
In many new applications, the harmonisation of frequency bands is a precondition for creating mass markets that enable the cost-efficient manufacturing of devices that use the latest technology.
Frequencies have to be refarmed if they cannot otherwise be assigned to new technologies or applications. Any refarming has to take sufficient account of the investments made, ensure the continuity of the supply of services and safeguard the interests of end customers.
Technologies and markets develop in different ways in different countries. International spectrum planning has to allow certain flexibility at national level so that local conditions can be taken into account. Flexibility can be increased by using transition periods.
The aim of overall spectrum planning and individual decisions on licences and spectrums is to ensure that the availability of usable spectrums meets the demand. Overall planning reflects forecasts based on consultation, foreseeable technological development and known trends.
The United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organises organises the international World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC) approximately every three years. The WRC is the highest international body regulating the use of the radio spectrum. The decisions made in the conferences influence what kinds of services device manufacturers and telecommunications operators can begin to produce.
The WRC decisions form the international Radio Regulations that specify the allocation of frequencies to different forms of radio trafficservices (uses) and conditions for use. The Radio Regulations are appended to the ITU Convention. The Convention has been implemented in Finland with a decree.
The agenda for the World Radiocommunications Conference is prepared by the previous conference. After the agenda has been drawn up, regional telecommunications administrations begin their own preparations. In Europe, the body responsible for the preparations is the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT). In CEPT meetings, the administrations of the 48 member states try to reach a unanimous opinion on the matters on the WRC agenda.
Alongside CEPT preparations, the administrations of all member states begin their national preparations. In the Finnish WRC preparations, the groups using frequencies have a say in formulating the Finnish opinions and negotiation objectives. When national views have been defined, they are advanced at European level in CEPT's pan-European proposals and at global level in the World Radiocommunication Conferences.
The Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) working under CEPT drafts, develops and maintains a European table of frequency allocations and applications, (ECA Table) which includes an agreement on spectrum use within Europe. The ECA Table, which is more detailed than the frequency allocation table included in the international Radio Regulations. The ECC also issues decisions and recommendations that guide spectrum use. FICORA participates in the work and consults spectrum users in Finland.
At European Union level, the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) drafts opinions on communications policy affecting the EU. The European Commission issues decisions on spectrum use. The decisions are binding on the member states. The Commission mandates CEPT/ECC to conduct studies on the technical and administrative aspects of spectrum use. Based on the work and in cooperation with the member states, the Commission drafts spectrum decisions in the
International cooperation and CEPT's decisions form the basis of the Finnish spectrum plan that is issued in the form of FICORA's Radio Frequency Regulation 4. The Frequency Allocation Table annexed to the Regulation includes information on the rights, restrictions and purposes of use based on which the use of each frequency band is regulated. Any plans of changes concerning spectrum use are also included in the Frequency Allocation Table.
Provisions on licence-exempt radio transmitters are issued in FICORA's Regulation No. 15. The content of the Regulation is based on the corresponding European decisions issued by CEPT/ECC.
The aim of daily spectrum planning is to meet the demand and assign to radio equipment users frequencies that are suitable for their needs and sufficiently interference-free. Planning ensures that new and altered frequency assignments do not cause unreasonable interference or other limitations to the usability of frequencies that have already been assigned. The aim of frequency planning is to meet the users' needs so that present decisions and measures will not limit future solutions too much.
FICORA's units responsible for frequency planning receive feedback from customers and radio monitoring. Experience gained from solving interference problems is used in improving and specifying planning methods which are constantly developed. The aim is to be able to carry out more and more demanding calculations and to be able to respond to the increasing loads on frequency ranges and the technical development of radio systems.