A CHANGE OF THE FREQUENCY PLAN (Sept 2010)
The frequency plan and its purpose
As by the law (1015/2001 [114 KB] ) 6 §, 2nd momentum stated on 15.5.2010 of radio frequencies and telecommunication devices the government confirms the general principles for the use of frequencies, licenses, product development and tv and radio broadcast for commercial use as well as YLE.
The Government has passed an act (1169/2009) on the use of radio frequencies and frequency planning on 22nd of December 2009.
Some background of the change
Traditionally a major part of the radiomicrophones have operated on frequencied that are principally dedicated for tv broadcast. The changeover to digital TV and the subsequent EU-wide assigning of the left over frequencies for mobile use are the reason behind the changes and restrictions for radiomicrophones also in Finland.
Currently of the frequency band 470-862 MHz the bands 790.100–821.900 MHz and 854.000–862.000 MHz are assigned for licensed radiomicrophone use.
By the changes made to the radio-ordinance by ITU (International Telecommunication Union) at WRC-07 the 790-862 MHz frequency band can be used for mobile communications devices in all European countries the latest in 2015. In Finland the use of this frequency band for mobile devices is possible already now, requiring that the use will not interfere or restrict the primary use of these frequency bands in the neigbouring countries, which are aviational radio navigation, fixed transmission and broadcast services.
The government decided in June 2008 to designate the 790-862 MHz frequency band for mobile network use, stating also that there is also radiomicrophone and military use at this frequency band.
The frequency band of 790–862 MHz is changing for mobile use, and the radiomicrophone users need new frequencies to be assigned. The substituting frequencies proposed are 174–230 MHz and 470–694 MHz, that are primarily addressed for TV broadcast use. Radiomicrophone use is secondary to TV broadcast in that the radiomicrophones can not demand protection from TV broadcast and must not cause disturbance to the broadcast use.
Additionally to the forementioned frequency bands of 174-230 MHz and 470-694 MHz a frequency band of 694-790 MHz will also be assigned for radiomicrophone use. The use of radiomicrophones in this band is secondary to the TV broadcast and valid until 31st December 2020. Some of the current radiomicrophones operating at 790-862 MHz can be technically reconfigured to operate at 694-790 MHz, thus prolonging the working life if the current units, and allowing a step-by-step changeover to the new frequencies.
The mobile networks at the 800-band will operate in two 2 x 30MHz bands (791–821 MHz and 832–862 MHz).
This enables the use of radiomicrophones also in the band of 821–832 MHz in the so called center gap of the mobile network. The details on the use of this band will be communicated by Ficora at a later date.
Accredited radio microphones between bands 790.100 to 821.9000 MHz and 854.000 to 862.000 MHz may yet continue unchanged. Timetable for the 800 MHz spectrum depends on the introduction of mobile networks. The use of spectrum for mobile operations can be agreed with neighboring countries.
It is stated in the current act, that in the frequency window of the so called 800 digital wireless network are also present the radio microphone and military communications users. The act does not include any other regulations regarding the use of radio microphones or their frequency plans.
The proposed revision of the act ensures sufficient and reasonable frequency range for the radio microphones by allowing their secondary use also in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-694 MHz, that are primarily assigned for TV broadcast use. Additionally, the use of radio microphones is allowed at 694-790 MHz until 31st of December 2015
2 § TV networks
The 1st moment of act 2 § states that the frequency bands for TV broadcast are 174-230 MHz and 470-790 MHz. The moment is proposed to be changed so, that in the frequency band of 470-694MHz also radio microphone use is allowed. The usability of frequency band 470-694 MHz for mobile broadcast will be researched more throughly in the future. Therefore the 694-790 MHz band can be assigned for radio microphone use up until 31st of December 2020. It can be foreseen already now, that progressing in this matter within the radio conference will take a considerable amount of time. That is why it is essential to plan the changeover period to fit the future situation as well as possible.
The frequency bands of 174–230 MHz and 470–694 MHz are therefore appointed also for the use of radio microphones as secondary users. The 694–790 MHz band is also appointed for the radio microphones as secondary users up until 31st of December 2020. The radio microphones are not to cause any interference to the TV broadcast, and they can not demand protection from interferences from the broadcast.
The 3rd moment in the act states that in the band of 174–230 MHz has two nationwide multiplexes for TV broadcast. Additionally in the 470-790 MHz band there is one multiplex for local broadcast.
The Government accepted a change on 23rd of June 2010 into the act on TV and radio broadcast and licensed teleoperations at Ahvenanmaa county (1158/2002). An unused VHF-frequency band can be taken into use in continental Finland. Therefore the act is proposed to be changed so, that at the frequency band of 174-230 MHz will recide three multiplexes, of which two are nation-wide and one almost nation-wide.
The geographical area covered by the new third multiplex would be roughly 85% of Finland’s land area.
The licensing procedures of the third multiplex can start immediately after the act has been validated.
10 § Terreastial systems suitable for electrical communications services
According to the current article the terrestial systems suitable for electrical communications services are using the frequency bands of 2500―2690 MHz nationally, and 3410―3590 MHz for local operations.
Additionally, in the 2nd moment of the article the use of the forementioned frequency bands is described in further detail.
In §9 of the current act it is stated that the frequency band used for the mobile data network is 790-862 MHz. This frequency band has also military and radio microphone use.
After the act has been put into action the so called 800-bandwith regulated in § 9 has been harmonized by an EU decision (2010/267/EU). In principle the frequency range is parallell to other terrestial systems suitable for electrical communications services mentioned in § 10. Therefore as a technical change it is proposed that the current § 9 will be overruled and the frequency band appointed for the use of the 800 mobile network is added into § 10.
As a change to the current act’s §9, § 10 is proposed to be changed so, that the mobile network use is defined for the bands 791-821 MHz and 832-862 MHz respectively. This allows assigning the so called center gap into other use, such as radio microphones.
Inception of the act
The act is proposed to put into effect on the 15th of October 2010.
Consequences of the change
This change aims to ensure that the users of radio devices will have appropriate and interference free frequencies at their disposal.
Due to the upcoming 800 MHz mobile networks radio microphone use will need to be transferred into new frequency bands. This change assigns the compensatory frequencies for radio microphone use and ensures that radio microphones will have a sufficient number of frequencies at their disposal in the future. The users of radio devices can now purchase equipment to fit these new frequency bands and thus ensure a risk free investment.
This change also contributes to more efficient and appropriate us of the radio frequencies.
It is of a common benefit of all frequency user groups that the decisions made are communicated as early as possible. To forecast the imoact of the now proposed changes it is very important that manufacturers, distributors and sales organisations are aware of the changes made and will take them into consideration regarding their future operations.
Telecommunication companies and other representatives of the user groups of radio frequencies were invited to a hearing regarding the changes. A plea for statements was given 8th of June 2010 and 17 statements arrived. The majority of statements were mainly positive about the change. The most significant critical observations were voiced out on the massive cost of unnecessary renewal of the radio microphone equipment and the practical problems in finding sufficient frequencies. The length of a possible transition period divided the opinions radically into both directions. In the statements there was plenty of proposals and remarks on the future of the radio microphones and the politics involved therein.
After the forementioned statement round the draft was sent for another round as the change for the 3rd momentum of §2 was not included in the draft that was sent out in June 2010. Additionally the transition period for radio microphones has been changed mainly based on the statements received to reach 31st of December 2020.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications proposes that the Government validates the act of changing the frequency planning as presented herein.