Finnish regulator grants 13 licenses for 5G testing

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Finnish regulator FICORA has issued 13 radio licences in just over eight weeks as it looks to stimulate experimentation in 5G about new use cases and technology.

Companies have been applying for licences through an online portal, which, if granted, are then offered on a short or long-term basis stretching from a few days to several years.

For regional 5G testing, FICORA makes available slices of up to 100 MHz in the 3.5GHz band and up to 1,000 MHz in the 26GHz band. It also offers licences for 5G testing in other frequency bands.

The regulator said the licences it has already issued are being used for the likes of product development, propagation and testing of services.

The 3.5GHz band was the most popular and FICORA described it as the "pioneer" frequency for the development of 5G.

In a statement, the company said: "The characteristics of 5G network enable real-time, reliable and secure control activities with a short lag, such as intelligent transport and industrial automation. Energy efficiency enables durable terminal equipment for measuring, for example, and large numbers of online devices as required by the Internet of Things (IoT).

"The research of 5G mobile communications technology mainly focuses on frequencies above 24 GHz where there are sufficiently disturbance-free frequencies to be allocated for testing and research."

Finnish operator Elisa has already conducted trials in the 3.5GHz band with Nokia and plans to tap into it for 5G use when it becomes available in Finland from 31 December 2018.

In February, Finland hosted the first transmission using the industry-agreed pre-stand for 5G, 5GTF. The trial was conducted by Nokia and Intel.

Last September, Sonera trialled a 5G-ready network in the country, hitting data throughput speeds of 4.5GBps in a demonstration with Nokia.