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Overview of digital television in Finland Marrakech 14.-16.9.2005 Pekka Iiramo Controller Finnish Broadcasting Company Finland Population 5.2 million TV-households 2.2 million TV-licence fee price 193.95 € Statement by the Government (1)

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overview of digital television in finland

Overview of digital television in Finland

Marrakech 14.-16.9.2005

Pekka Iiramo


Finnish Broadcasting Company



Population 5.2 million

TV-households 2.2 million

TV-licence fee price 193.95 €

statement by the government 1
Statement by the Government (1)
  • The Government observed, that it is in the interest of consumers for licence-holders to agree on uniform technical solutions which serve the consumers. If pay television services are offered, the operators should strive together to commit themselves to a single card service solution and to uniform customer and subscriber management which serves the consumers.

June 1999

Media- ja EU-kehitys/MÖ

statement by the government 2
Statement by the Government (2)
  • In addition, the Government observed that its objective is that the analogue network could be closed down by the end of 2006 when the analogue operating licences, which are currently in force, are due to expire. According to the Government, it will only be possible to make the final decision on the matter later, once experiences of the start-up of digital television broadcasting have been obtained.

June 1999

Media- ja EU-kehitys/MÖ

statement by the government 3
Statement by the Government (3)
  • The Government will review the situation again by the end of the year 2002. Then it will be possible also to grant new operating licences, if the digital distribution of television programming can be carried out more efficiently than now.

June 1999

Media- ja EU-kehitys/MÖ

planned characteristics of dtt in finland
Planned characteristics of DTT in Finland
  • the aim of the operators was to have a launch in full scale and not step by step
  • the state put an obligation on the operators to co-operate
  • the regulator took the role of being in the background
  • disagreements would be solved within the joint DTT League Finland (not in public debate)
  • launch was to take place with a uniform open system (API) for the set-top-boxes: DVB MHP
  • a one card solution for the digital terrestrial pay TV services in Finland
  • no card for PSB programmes

Media- ja EU-kehitys/MÖ

the allocation of three dtt multiplexes
The allocation of three DTT multiplexes
  • Frequence plan approved on 23 June 1999 placing one multiplex at the disposal of YLE (public service)
  • Operating licences to commercial TV companies granted on 23 June by the Council of State (the Government) for eight channels on two multiplexes for the period 1.9.2000 - 31.8.2010
  • the operators in the same multiplex must agree on how the multiplexes are to be administered and submit the agreement to the Ministry of Transport and Communications
  • The administration of the multiplexes: YLE for multiplex A, MTV Finland for multiplex B and SanomaWSOY-owned SWelcom Oy for multiplex C (decided in December 1999)

Media- ja EU-kehitys/MÖ

the first year before the actual launch
The first year before the actual launch
  • 1.9.2000 - 31.3.2001:
    • a temporary multiplex-solution
    • simulcasts of YLE TV1, YLE TV2, MTV3 Finland and Channel Four Finland
    • pilot transmissions of YLE24 news channel
    • YLE’s experimental transmissions from the Sydney Olympics
  • 1.4.2001 - 27.8.2001:
    • all services transmitted from their own multiplexes
    • experimental transmissions by the Sports Channel
    • YLE experiments, e.g. super-teletext
  • 27.8.2001: launch date

Media- ja EU-kehitys/MÖ

the launch first phase of dtt in finland
The launch & first phase of DTT in Finland
  • temporary multiplex solutions and experimental transmissions took place in the year before the actual launch on 27 August 2001
  • however the MHP boxes were delayed
  • one channel therefore never started
  • less advanced set top box availability was limited in the beginning especially rent boxes for cable reception
  • two pay TV channels dropped out in December 2001
  • penetration in households: approx. 3,000 in autumn 2001; 10,000 in February 2002; 20,000 - 25,000 in May 2002. (In May 2005: 677,000.)
  • as of 31.12.2001 the network coverage was 70%

Media- ja EU-kehitys/MÖ

the dtt strategy of the ministry
The DTT strategy of the Ministry

The Ministry of Transport and Communications released

its digital television strategy on 2 May 2002:

  • the state is to create good operating prerequisites for digital television
  • the state is not to bear economic responsibility and will not claim any part of the future profits
  • there are to be no device subsidies or tax reductions
  • network rentals are not to be paid out of state funds
  • a fourth multiplex is to be used primarily for data transfer

A working group appointed in Oct 2002 presented its

proposals about the fourth network in June 2003

Media- ja EU-kehitys/MÖ

legislative changes
Legislative changes
  • new legislation came into effect on 1 July 2002 and moved the regulation concerning digital television networks to the Communications Market Act
  • the new legislation introduced digital network licences. Applications were submitted by YLE, MTV Finland, SWelcom and the transmission network owner Digita
  • also, the operating licence fee paid by the commercial TV companies was cut by 50% and,
  • digital television operations were freed from paying an operating licence fee during the ongoing licence period
  • In November 2002 Digita was granted the network licences for all three multiplexes

Media- ja EU-kehitys/MÖ

Digitalization of the broadcast network
  • 1.9.2000
  • 3 stations
  • 39 % population coverage

Media- ja EU-kehitys/MÖ

Digitalization of the broadcast network
  • 1.4.2001
  • 5 stations
  • 50 % population coverage
Digitalization of the broadcast network
  • 31.12.2001
  • 10-12 stations
  • 70 % population coverage
Digitalization of the broadcast network
  • 31.8.2006
  • 99.9 % population coverage
government resolution on the switch over to digital television broadcasting
Government resolution on the switch-overto digital television broadcasting
  • 4.3.2004 the Government made the decision on switching off analogue television broadcasting and switching over to solely digital television broadcasting in Finland 31 August 2007.

Media- ja EU-kehitys/MÖ

Digital Television Transmissions in Finland

A fourth multiplex will be used for mobile purposes. Pilot project 8.3.-20.6.2005.

VTT Technical Research Center of Finland is network operator of two regional trial networks.

Network operator Digita, DVB-MHP-transm.




for public service


Sports Ch.



Pay-tv, network coverage at least 70% and thus not must carry channels (operating licence held by C More Entertainment (former Canal+ Finland), as of Feb 2005 owned by SBS Broadcasting.


Canal+ 4 channels *




YLE Teema

The Voice **


MTV3+ *****

Regional ***

Over Turku and Kuopio.

6 radio channels


Nelonen Plus

2 owned by SBS Broadcasting

3 radio channels****


Data/ MHP-services

Partly pay-tv




”Estradi” for short-term broadcasts using leftover capacity. SexTV.fi max 4 hours/week

Digita’s transmission network(Coverage 2001:72%=>A&B: 94% June 2004, 99,9% Sept 2005)

EU and Media Unit/ MS, MÖ