Finland and Russia Negotiate Frequencies and Roaming Charges

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 4.2.2011 12.46
Press release

Minister of Communications Ms Suvi Lindén and Mr Igor Shchegolev, the Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media, agreed that negotiations between the two countries on lowering roaming charges on mobile networks are to be initiated immediately. The first meeting on the topic is to take place in March.

The ministers met in Moscow on 4 February. In addition to the roaming charges, the ministers discussed issues concerning mobile network frequencies.

A central topic was making the 800 mHz band available for mobile communications. Mr Shchegolev announced that in Russia the shift to the use of the 800 mHz band for mobile communications could occur very quickly if the telecommunications companies were willing to bear the cost of the transition. Failing this, the transition could take several years.

According to Minister Lindén, the talks on the 800 mHz band were characterised by mutual understanding. The discussion was based on a previous agreement on the use of the frequency band, which was reached in December in a meeting of the working group on frequency management, a body operating under the Finnish-Russian Commission for Economic Cooperation.

Ms Lindén also told Mr Shchegolev about the changes in the use of the 450 mHz band in Finland. She mentioned the possibility of a transition to CDMA technology, also in use in Russia, in the 450 network. Ms Lindén also stated her wish for a more active cooperation between the countries in the use of this frequency band.

The ministers agreed that the 450 mHz band should be gradually made available for 4th generation mobile networks. The ministers stated the importance of collaboration between the countries in order to create a sufficiently large and appealing market area, which would be attractive to both network operators and device manufacturers, thus ensuring the necessary supply of 4G devices on the market.

For further information, please contact:
Juhapekka Ristola, Director-General, Communications Policy Department, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 400 788 530

Suvi Lindén