Finland given an international recognition for forward-looking communications policy

Finland has been given an important recognition for its merits in implementing a forward-looking communications policy and legislation. The GSMA Government Leadership Award was Act on Transport Services contributed to the award presented to Finland in Barcelona on 26 February 2019.

The award has been granted by the GSM Association (GSMA), the international cooperation body of mobile operators, and it was received by Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner.

The award was presented in connection with the MWC Barcelona event, previously known as the Mobile World Congress, which is the world’s second largest annual event in the mobile sector.

Act on Transport Services contributed to the award

In the award justifications, Finland is praised for its forward-looking communications policy as part of the transformation of transport. One of Finland’s central achievements is the new Act on Transport Services in which data is seen as an integral part of the transport system, as the fifth mode of transport, the GSMA states in the award justifications.

“I would like to express our most sincere thanks for this important recognition. The award is a strong sign that we are doing the right things. Digitalisation affects the entire society, including transport,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner.

“The Act on Transport Services is unique and has attracted wide international interest. We are happy that our work has been noticed and is valued,” Minister Berner says.

The award justifications also mentioned Finland’s forward-looking frequency policy, which has been drawn up to ensure that Finland will be among the first countries in which frequencies suitable for 5G will be available.

What is the Act on Transport Services?

The Act on Transport Services lays the foundation for transport as a service. It approaches transport services from the point of view of smooth travel chains. The Act is the first of its kind in the world.

The opening of the data concerning transport services and the requirement for the compatibility of systems play a central role in the Act. They lay the foundation for the development, provision and use of transport services.

The main parts of this act will enter into force on 1 July 2018.

Judges Comments

The Finnish Government has applied an interesting and experimental approach that requires all companies offering passenger mobility services to provide essential data on routes, stops, timetables prices and accessibility through APIs, which also ensure that ticket and payment systems are interoperable. As this develops we believe it will demonstrate how digital communications can work to drive a potentially massive change in a very important sector. In addition, the panel were impressed by the work being carried out to ensure spectrum is available in time for 5G services.

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