This article covers three ICT-realted sectors:
- 5G and 6G Solutions
- Cybersecurity and
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
5G and 6G Solutions
The advanced nature of the Finnish telecommunications market has led to many services and technologies introduced in Finland much earlier than elsewhere in the world. Finland was the first country to launch a broad 6G research program in 2018 and established the world’s first 6G test network. As a result, many international companies use Finland as a test laboratory for experimental launches of new products and services before going global.
In Finland, the government sets regulatory incentives and funds basic research. In 2019 the Ministry of Transport and Communications, responsible for the operation of transport and communications markets and critical communications networks, launched a digital infrastructure strategy with the goal of turning Finland into the world leader in communications networks by 2025. The strategy contains measures for promoting the implementation of 5G and supporting optical fiber construction.
Finland ranks first in the 2022 EU Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), a metrics tracking Europe’s digital performance and progress. As of 2021, Finland, with 7.4 percent, has one of the highest proportions of ICT specialists, and Finland has one of the most digitalized SME sectors (82 percent have a basic level of digital intensity). Finland ranks highest overall in digital transformation of businesses and has one of the highest proportions (97 percent) of households with internet connections. Finland was the top performer in the integration of digital technologies, and more than 60 percent of enterprises in Finland buy sophisticated or intermediate cloud services. Finland scored more than 95 points (out of 100) in online availability and scored close to 100 in mobile friendliness. The great performance is credited to excellence in digital public services and the integration of digital technologies, both enabled by public and private sector cooperation and an active start-up-scene.
The President of the Republic of Finland approved amendments to the Act on Electronic Communications Services, and the amended Act entered into force on January 1, 2021. The objectives of the change included the improvement of the consumer’s position, the promotion of investments into communications networks and the availability of communications services. The amendments also aim to ensure the security of communication networks. The reform implemented the requirements of the EU Directive on Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS Directive), the European Electronic Communications Code (Telecoms Package Directive), and it put into place measures included in the common toolbox to secure the EU’s 5G networks to protect critical parts of the communications network.
Telecommunications operators and their operations are regulated by Traficom. Regulations concern targeted communications, such as telephone, text message, broadband and email services, and mass communications, such as cable television, IPTV, terrestrial television, and radio services. Detailed information can be found at Traficom. Traficom promotes competition and seeks to reduce entry barriers in all telecommunication markets and guides the use of the spectrum. A telecommunications operator must submit a written telecommunications notification of the intention to operate public telecommunications to Traficom prior to starting operations. Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications or the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency grant these. In 2021, the state of Washington and the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on applications of connectivity and other technologies for sustainable growth.
In June 2023, Finland and the United States signed a Joint Statement on Cooperation in Advanced Wireless Communications confirming their common ambition to cooperate in key areas of 6G research and development and to increase interaction between Finnish and U.S. actors.
In July 2023, the United States and the Nordic countries, including Finland, committed to step up cooperation on technologies such as 5G and 6G, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and quantum technologies recognizing the crucial significance of critical and emerging technologies for global prosperity and security. Cooperation on fundamental and applied research enables the United States and Nordic partners to stay at the technological forefront and to develop technologies and standards that align with common values and interests, underlining the strategic importance of international connectivity.
- Broadband spectrum
- Fiber optics
- Mobile broadband technology.
Finland is a great launchpad to take 5G – and 6G – solutions global. Enabled by the strong network infrastructure and an innovative prospective partner pool, Finland has numerous 5G testbeds available for commercial use ranging from fully isolated 5G infrastructures to actual real-life test ranges. Finland is currently one of the few markets where all the 5G bands; low, mid, and high frequency; are available for use. This means Finland has the same millimeter wave (mmWave) capabilities as the United States, but 5G solutions also have access to the other spectrums currently unavailable in the United States, which allows full exploration of the possibilities of 5G-enabled products. Even 6G solutions can already be prototyped in Finland.
The 5G Test Network Finland (5GNTF) project, which comprises around 50 members from industry, academia, and the Finnish public sector, offers testing, trial and piloting services, and ample opportunities for collaboration within the ecosystem. With varying focus areas at different sites, 5GTNF can cover a large variety of vertical industry use cases by providing support for high data rates, low latencies, reliable communications, and a massive number of devices. 5GTNF is a joint initiative between the Finnish public and private sector. The 5G Momentum project is another one open for companies to participate in different trials and projects. To support industry in finalization of 5G there is also a 6G ecosystem. The 6G Flagship Program, steered by the University of Oulu, was the world’s first 6G research program, where opportunities vary from multi-partner projects to tailored company-focused projects. In addition, the leading European 6G research project Hexa-X, and its successor Hexa-X-II, is coordinated by Finnish telecommunications giant Nokia with participation from technology-focused universities in Finland. Business Finland launched the 6G Bridge program in 2023 intending to make Finland the global leader in providing new value with 5G Advanced and 6G technologies for sustainable industries and societies. The EUR 130 million budget program will run from 2023 to 2026.
Finland has three main annual or bi-annual trade shows with a heavy focus on ICT. These are: Teknologia in Helsinki in November, Slush in Helsinki in November/December, and Shift in Turku in August. Visit the tradeshow websites for the latest information.
Government procurement opportunity listing site depends on the value of the contract. Procurements over a certain EU threshold are listed on the Tender Electronics Daily. Procurements over a certain threshold are also listed on the national listings site HILMA. HILMA (Hankintailmoitukset.fi) is the official service for notices on public procurement in Finland. Public buyers publish notices on upcoming and ongoing tendering procedures and the results of procedures. For national contracts, the threshold is between $ 63,180 and $ 526,500, depending on the contract type, and for EU contracts, the threshold is between $ 147,420 and $ 5,635,656.
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment – procurement
The Ministry of Transport and Communication
Interested parties may contact Commercial Specialist, RiikkaAho-Mäkinen, Riikka.Aho@trade.gov
As a high-tech country, Finland has a need for cybersecurity solutions. Government awareness of and support for cybersecurity sector is strong, with the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC-FI) coordinating industry-specific working groups to engage private sector companies. The National Cyber Security Centre Finland (NCSC-FI) at Traficom has developed a certification process for the Cybersecurity label that has been in use since 2019. Receiving the right to use the label requires that products meet the criteria set by the NCSC-FI. This will be verified by testing the devices. It also publishes publicly available monthly cyber weather reports with updates on key information security incidents and phenomena. The Finnish government has allocated a budgetary supplement of $42-58 million from 2023 to 2026 to improve the performance of security officials and cybersecurity systems. Funding provides for procuring new devices and increasing personnel.
While the number of cyber security incidents remains relatively low by global standards, the percentages in Finland’s official police yearly statistics show high growth rates, especially in information systems interference, hacking, and data protection crimes. Problems have increased particularly in the construction, transportation, and logistics sectors.
Cloud-based access management
Threat prevention and protection
As the official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish, cybersecurity solutions that work with both languages have a competitive edge. Due to the high-tech nature of Finnish society, all cybersecurity solutions and components to help build such solutions have a market. As quantum computing develops there will be greater need for quantum durable encryption solutions. Since cloud services are used more and more, those that can resist denial-of-service attacks (DoS) will likely enjoy increased demand.
Events: Cyber Security Nordic, November 7-8, 2023, in Helsinki.
FinnSec, October 11-12, 2023, in Helsinki
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Finland was among the first EU countries to create a national AI strategy in 2017 with the goal of turning Finland into a leading country in the application of artificial intelligence. Based on the national AI strategy, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in November 2020 launched an Artificial Intelligence 4.0 program that will identify objectives and measures to promote digitalization in the country. The program focuses on the development and introduction of artificial intelligence and other digital technologies in companies. According to the 2022 Nordic State of AI report, Finland has the second-highest AI adoption rate in the Nordics and the third in the EU. The proportion of Finnish organizations adopting AI grew to 16 percent in 2021 from 12 percent in 2020, an increase of more than 30 percent. Finland is also a top-ranking country when it comes to government AI readiness.
In the fall of 2018 Technology Industries of Finland established an AI Accelerator, FAIA, as part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’s Tekoälyaika project. FAIA fosters the AI ecosystem by helping established companies launch AI-driven products.
- Machine learning
- Expert systems
- Evolutionary computation
- Neural Networks
Finland offers great opportunities in the use of AI and serves as an excellent platform for pilot projects due to its limited and single market, net neutrality, abundant technology resources, and legislative support. The fast-growing startup ecosystem is at the forefront of Finland´s renewal. Also, existing companies and public organizations have gone through a variety of structural reforms that open opportunities for the application of AI. Finland has unique data repositories, which makes it an attractive operating environment for companies and researchers.
- Finnish Center of Artificial Intelligence
- The Ministry of Finance
- The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Interested parties may contact Commercial Specialist Riikka Aho-Mäkinen Riikka.firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety and Security
Growing awareness of safety and security solutions, increased outsourcing of public security functions, and technology convergence and integration represent some of the biggest current changes in the safety and security industry. Security systems, products, and services are increasingly becoming an integral part of day-to-day life, and the importance of industry is growing. Today’s safety and security industry is rapidly expanding beyond its traditional boundaries. Despite Finland’s low overall crime rate, its safety and security market has grown continuously for the last ten to fifteen years and is expected to continue doing so. Crime involving the use of drones has emerged as a new phenomenon. The incidence of cybercrime has increased. In particular, the number of cases of online fraud, identity theft, and sexual abuse of children continues to grow. Police are constantly developing capabilities to investigate cybercrime. Finland’s April 2023 accession to NATO has also increased the demand for new security solutions linked to Finnish-Russian border controls.
General interest in private security products and services, public funding cutbacks in law enforcement resources, and outsourcing of safety and security-related services by private and public entities have increased market demand. A license is required for many private security sector activities. The National Police Board grants trade permits for dealing in firearms; permits for commercial export, import, transfer, and transit. The safety and security sector is very scattered with over 400 companies in the market, mostly small to medium-sized companies. The largest security companies, which represent a minority in the market, nevertheless employ close to 80 percent of the industry’s personnel and generate most of the sector’s turnover. There have also been mergers among some of the largest corporate actors in the safety and security sector.
Information security products and services, guard services, and structural security products are the largest sub-sectors, but new emerging business areas include security of logistics, home security, environmental and infrastructural security solutions, and drones used in guard services and fire detection/prevention. The largest industries contracting security services are the manufacturing industry, real estate and construction, and trade in general. U.S.-made safety and security products have a good reputation and are considered to be of high quality. On the downside, some products – especially on the fire safety sector - are also seen as expensive and not compatible with EU standards.
- Information security products and services
- Cloud based access management
- Integrated security technologies
- Biometric/3D identifiers
- Home/office security
- Wireless smart locks
There are no trade barriers for safety and security equipment. Customs duties vary between two to five percent. Products that are imported or exported within the EU must have CE marking and, in some cases, must meet EU product standards. Customers are expecting more comprehensive security solutions from security guard services. The Ministry of the Interior has launched three projects for 2023 to amend border guard legislation. These amendments mean that border guards could apply technology more effectively in border control and maintaining border security. The need for change relates in particular to the ability of the Border Guard to detect, locate, recognize, identify, and monitor radio-frequency signals and devices that transmit and receive them.
There are few safety and security-related shows in Finland. The biggest, FinnSec Expo, is organized bi-annually, with the next iteration scheduled October 11-12, 2023. The Euro-Safety Expo, which occurs biannually, will next take place in Tampere, September 10-12, 2024.
- The National Police Board
- The Ministry of the Interior
Interested parties may contact Commercial Specialist Tiina Ketelä-Juvonen, email@example.com