DNA wins 5G frequency band – 5G services begin 2019

DNA has won 5G frequency band in the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority’s frequency auction. The 5G services will be provided from the beginning of next year, and they will enable connection speeds of over 1 gigabit per second (1Gbps) for DNA customers.

The auction of the 3.5 GHz frequency band ended on 1 October 2018. DNA won the 5G frequency band it pursued for a price of EUR 21 million. DNA’s 5G licence will come into force on 1 January 2019.

5G will enable significantly faster mobile data and a shorter latency. This will in turn enable higher-quality and more versatile mobile data services for customers.

“5G is an important step forward regarding mobile services, and we already have been developing DNA’s mobile network for 5G readiness. The use of mobile data has greatly increased in recent years, which increases the need for a 5G network,” says DNA’s CEO Jukka Leinonen.

During the last two years, the volume of mobile data in DNA’s network has doubled. According to Tefficient’s latest report*, DNA’s customers have the highest mobile data usage per subscription in the world. For example, in August 2018 an average of 21 gigabytes of mobile data per subscription was used in DNA's network. The forthcoming 5G networks and their associated services are likely to accelerate the use of mobile data and extend it into new areas.

Optical-fibre level broadband with 5G

During the first phase, DNA will offer high-quality 5G private and corporate broadband connections.

“5G will enable fast and stable connections in many properties that cannot get an optical fibre connection,” says Leinonen.

DNA’s 5G service provision will begin next year as soon as 5G devices will be introduced on the market. For example, the first 5G smart phones are expected to go on sale during 2019, which will enable 5G services to spread to a wider user base.

DNA’s mobile network already extensively using 5G technology

DNA has been systematically developing its mobile network towards 5G. The network has been equipped with 5G-capable technology and network capacity has been increased to meet the demands of 5G. The introduction of 5G technology will begin when the 5G licence comes into force, and its broad-ranging introduction will begin when 5G-capable devices become available.

  • The IPv6 protocol that enables two-way connections between customer devices has been extensively available in DNA’s networks since 2015, and the DNA network was prepared for two (2) million simultaneous IPv6 users already in 2017. IPv6 is a requirement for the comprehensive use of many 5G services.
  • In February 2017, DNA and Ericsson tested 5G opportunities in a laboratory 5G test network.
  • In spring 2017, the maximum speed in DNA’s mobile network was in places increased to 1.2 gigabits per second.
  • DNA’s backbone and metro networks have been modernised to meet 5G capacity and connection speed requirements. 5G readiness was achieved in the backbone network in May 2018.
  • In May 2018, DNA and Ericsson conducted 5G field and speed tests on a 3.5 GHz frequency granted for test use by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority.
  • In July 2018, DNA and Ericsson implemented a public 5G network for the DNA Smart Home at the SuomiAreena event in Pori.

DNA’s 5G licence is valid for 15 years.