LTE in 450 MHz in Finland – 5 MHz only (Or Perhaps Less)?

A couple of days ago a reader left a comment to a previous post on LTE 900 MHz in the Netherlands that an LTE network now also went live in the 450 MHz range in Finland. Thanks for that! I was intrigued so I had a closer look. The network seems to address mostly businesses and moving vehicles at first and private summer house owners in Finland a bit later.

What's The Deal For Today's Users?

I tried to find out which band is used for that network but couldn't find a definite source. So I assume it's FDD band 31. If that is indeed the case then it's at 5 MHz carrier at most (for which I don't have a confirmation either so it's a guess, too), compared to 10 MHz used in the 800 MHz band and 15 to 20 MHz carriers used in band 3. In other words capacity and top speeds are quite limited. So from that point of view nothing to write home about. On the other hand a 5 MHz LTE carrier in a summer house far off the beaten path is better than nothing at all, at least today. With rising bandwidth demands, however, a 5 MHz carrier won't cut it for long even in far away places…

The historical perspective

Oh yes, why only 5 MHz? It looks like this is a spot left over from old analog networks (e.g. the C-Netz in Germany, which used 451,30–455,74 MHz and 461,30–465,74 MHz according to Wikipedia. This range is not fully overlapping with LTE FDD band 31 but that's not very surprising because in the 1980's, there was no common European, let alone, worldwide standard. But from a historical perspective the 5 MHz bandwidth is interestig because I always imagined that more bandwidth was used for these networks. And then GSM comes along for which 25 MHz of bandwidth was reserved for each direction, i.e. 5 times as much as for the networks that were in use at that time. Quite a bold move for the time I would say.

3 thoughts on “LTE in 450 MHz in Finland – 5 MHz only (Or Perhaps Less)?”

  1. Unfortunately I don’t know any technical details about the system, but here are a few words about the history of the network.

    Originally the 450 MHz spectrum was used by the NMT-450 ( ) network mostly in the 1980’s and 90’s.

    After this network was closed down in 2002, the spectrum was auctioned to be used for nationwide internet access.
    Digita (formerly a part of the Finnish national broadcasting company, at this point owned by TDF) opened a Flash-OFDM network in this spectrum in 2007. The speed at this point was 1M/512k.

    This network was sold to a new company (Datame) in 2011, which upgraded the technology to CDMA in 2012, partly because Qualcomm had stopped making Flash-OFDM equipment. Datame went bankrupt in November 2013.

    After this, Ukko Mobile took over the network, which was upgraded to LTE the summer of 2014.

    Looking at, they now sell subscriptions with the maximum speed of 15M/6M for 99,20€/month (80€+vat), with options as low as 54,56€/month for 36 month contracts. Looking at the references on the site, there are at least the national rail operator (VR) and a medical helicopter company (FinnHems), which probably tells a lot about the customer segments they focus on.

    In addition to my limited knowledge of the subject, I got most of this information from the Finnish Wikipedia (@450, NMT, Digita) and the Ukkoverkot site. The site is all about the 450 MHz LTE network, so any information you get from there (e.g. by Google translate) is on topic.

  2. I wonder about the devices supporting this band. As such LTE has a fragmentation problem where even the latest iPhone doesn’t support a few bands. I’m not sure if any large handset manufacturer would be interested in manufacturing devices for this band.

  3. Hi,

    from what Ive read I think they are mainly aiming for fixed installations and home routers. Also, the 450 MHz band does not particularly suitable when it comes to small antennas that fit inside smartphones…


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