Finnish telecommunications company Elisa, has become the first operator in the world to begin commercial use of a 5G network and starts selling 5G subscriptions.
The first person to use the 5G network was Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications, who made a video call to Kadri Simson, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure in Estonia. The video call is yet another historical achievement by Elisa: the first GSM telephone call in the world was also made using Elisa’s network.
The world’s first commercial 5G networks were launched on June 27 in Tampere and Tallinn.
“We aim to make Finland the leading nation as a developer of 5G mobile services. The Ministry of Communications is ready to allocate the first 5G licences to the 3,400–3,800 megahertz frequency band in autumn, which will make Finland among the first countries in the world to start building 5G networks,” says Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications.
5G will offer several new features to users of mobile services. For instance, 5G enables considerably faster data speeds and lower latency, as well as allowing a significantly larger number of devices to connect to the network. This higher speed benefited the video call made over the world’s first commercial 5G network. Elisa, together with Huawei, used the first commercial 5G terminal devices in the world to make the call.
“5G makes it possible to use completely new applications in areas like transportation, health care, energy efficiency improvement and entertainment. Finland is already among the global leaders in the use of mobile data. Elisa actively enables Finland to continue leadership in mobile data usage by opening commercial 5G network first in the world. With the help of 5G services, consumers as well as corporate and institutional customers will get lots of new value when modern applications can be used more efficiently and it becomes possible to develop new applications. For example, it will be possible in the future for all viewers to watch the same football match as a high-quality live broadcast without delay using any terminal device,” says Elisa’s CEO Veli-Matti Mattila.
In addition, 5G enables connecting a vast number of different devices to the network simultaneously. This will offer companies whole new business opportunities in the near future, for instance, when developing solutions related to the Internet of Things, such as the NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things).
Together with dozens of different customers from, among others, the retail sector, the forest and mechanical engineering industries, and public administration, Elisa is testing and developing applications and services that use new 5G features and produce new added value for customers.
The new network is the kickstart for 5G and the highlight of several years of development work by Elisa. The company has tested technology and pre-commercial applications that will be used in the 5G networks of the future. Elisa has also been updating its networks to be 5G-ready across Finland, and this work continues.