Timeline of telephony in Finland

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This is a timeline of telephony in Finland.

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Time period Development summary
1890s The first telephone company is founded in the country.
1910s The First World War devastates large parts of Europe. Russia fears a German attack via Finland and improves telecommunications for defense purposes with Helsinki and Tallinn. The revolution in Russia in November 1917 has dramatic consequences for Finland, which declares independence in December 1917.[1]
1930s Private telephone companies start being covered by statistics.[2]
1960s P&T is in the forefront of using modems for data transmission in the mid-decade.[3]
1970s The Nordic mobile telephony (NMT) standard is developed by the Finland’s state-owned Post, Telegraph and Telephone (PTT), in collaboration with the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish PTTs. Finland would become the first country worldwide to launch a digital network for mobile communications.[4] The automation of the national telephone system in Finland is completed at the end of the decade.[3]
1980s Finland has more mobile telephones per capita than any place else in the world between 1980 and 1985.[5] The capacities of the NMT networks would grow rapidly in the decade.[2] in the mid-1980s, well before its European neighbours, Finland starts deregulating its telecom sector, which would result in a decentralised system of national and foreign - owned telecom operators. An environment of increased competition would provide continuous incentives for upgrading different components of the telecom network and for introducing a variety of technological solutions and innovations among firms participating in the mobile telephony cluster.[4]
1990s Finland becomes a leader in the development of mobile telephony.[6] The world’s first Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) is launched as the successor of the NMT. It would subsequently also become the European standard for mobile telecommunications. As a result, Nokia and other Nordic telecom equipment suppliers would benefit from first mover advantages in the mobile telecom industry worldwide.[4] The number of landline telephones reaches its highest in Finnish households in the first half of the decade. After the peak, the number of households with no landline phone would grow rapidly, as a consequence of young people establishing their own households and deciding not to get a landline connection.[2]
2000s Telia merges with Sonera and Telecom Finland is corporatized.[7] Finnish giant Nokia reaches its peak at a worldwide level.

Visual data

Volume of telephone calls made in Finland from 2007 to 2016, by type of connection (in millions).
Proportion of telephone calls made in Finland from 2007 to 2016, by type of connection (in millions).

Full timeline

Year Event type Details
1877 (end of year) Infrastructure The first telephone line is erected in Helsinki towards the end of the year; 18 months after the telephone was patented in the United States.[2]
1882 Organization An early telephone company is founded in Helsinki.[2]
1894 Organization A private company for long distance telephone traffic is created in Finland, linking local networks among the cities, towns and villages. The Telegraph Office would take no part in the telephone expansion, which remains fully in the hands of national non-state Finnish interests.[1]
1905 Policy Telephone lines for local cross border traffic between Tornio in Finland and Haparanda in Sweden are permitted after clandestine lines are revealed.[1]
1918 (February) Policy Carl Gustaf Mannerheim, the Finnish commander-in chief, declares the telegraph service to be a Finnish department. The Telegraph Administration takes over the telegraph system and the telephone line to Saint Petersburg and some military long lines to coastal areas. This forms the embryo of a state operated long-distance telephone service.[1]
1919 Infrastructure A telephone service opens via sea cable from Helsinki to Tallinn in Estonia.[1]
1923 Acquisition The Finnish Telegraph Administration acquires the East Finland Telephone Co in Viipuri, its first local telephone network. Gradually, the Administration would acquire more rural networks.[3]
1924 Publication The Statistical Yearbook of Finland starts being published, providing data on the activities of the State telegraph and telephone companies.[2]
1928 Infrastructure The first telephone cable across the Baltic Sea via Åland facilitates telephony between Sweden and South and Central Finland.[3]
1932 Publication The Finnish Yearbook starts publishing data describing the activities of private telephone companies. Private telephony activity is found to be many times more extensive than that of the State. State telephone companies have 227 exchanges whereas private telephone companies have as many as 1,998 of them. Likewise, in the same year the State has 1,763 "subscriber apparatuses" whereas private telephone companies had 133,456.[2]
1935 Acquisition Major parts of the long distance telephone network are nationalized by the Finnish Government in order to ensure continued expansion of the network into less profitable rural areas.[3]
1938 Infrastructure A second telephone cable between Sweden and Finland is installed.[3]
1939 Background The Soviet armies cause major devastation in Finland after their attack late in the year.[3][3]
1939 – 1945 Statistics A total of 815 local telephone companies have been set up in Finland by the Second World War.[2]
1944 Background The Continuation War finishes, implying heavy damage to telecommunications in the north of Finland when retreating German troops inflict major destruction.[3]
1946 A manual telex service is launched in the country. Automation would start a decade later.[3]
1952 Infrastructure A third telephone cable between Finland and Sweden opens, just in time for the 1952 Summer Olympics.[3]
1952 – 1962 Acquisition Some 287 local telephone companies are bought by the Finnish P&T during this period. Most of them require thorough technical upgrading and automation.[3]
1964 Technology Data communications via modems in the telephone network is introduced in the country.[3]
1967 Technology Automation of incoming international telephone calls begins in the country.[3]
1971 Technology The Autoradiopuhelin (ARP), a zero-generation (0G), is introduced as the first commercially operated public mobile phone network in Finland.[5][8] Mobile telephony is started as a manual mobile telephone network in the 160 MHz band, which is installed nationally to serve road vehicles.[3]
1974 Technology A computer controlled AKE 13 telephone switch is inaugurated to handle international direct dialing of traffic, initially to the Nordic countries.[3]
1978 Statistics The ARP reaches 100% geographic coverage with 140 base stations.[8]
1978 Organization Tecnotree is founded as a telecommunications company. It develops and supplies messaging and charging solutions for operators and service providers.[9]
1980 Statistics There are almost twice as many telephones per 100 population in Helsinki as in the rest of the country.[2]
1981 (October 1) Technology Finnish mobile telephony company Mobira launches the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) service, the world's first international cellular network and the first to allow international roaming. NMT (Nordisk MobilTelefoni or Nordiska MobilTelefoni-gruppen, Nordic Mobile Telephony in English) is the first fully automatic cellular phone system. An analogue system, NMT is specified by Nordic telecommunications administrations (PTTs) and opens for service in response to the increasing congestion and heavy requirements of the manual mobile phone networks: ARP (150 MHz) in Finland, MTD (450 MHz) in Sweden and Denmark, and OLT in Norway. NMT is based on analog technology (first generation or 1G) and two frequency bands exist at the time: NMT-1800 and NMT-900.[8]
1982 Technology The automatic NMT (Nordic Mobile Telephone) 450 network first appears in the statistics, with 2,648 subscriptions.[2]
1986 Statistics The ARP reaches peak of 35,560 users.[8]
1987 Technology The NMT 900 network first appears in the statistics, with 2,038 subscriptions.[2]
1987 Policy The Adoption of the Telecommunications Act is enacted, with the purpose of dissociating commercial telecom operations and regulatory functions, and liberalizing the terminal equipment industry. Administration of the telecommunications sector is transferred from the Transport Executive in the department of Economic Affairs to the Ministry of Transport and Communications.[4]
1988 (September 19) Organization Radiolinja is founded as a GSM operator.[10]
1988 Policy The New Radio Act is adopted, allowing for competition in corporate networks and data transmission to be partially liberaliszed.[4]
1990 Data concerning mobile phones is added to the Finnish Statistical Yearbook, concurrently with data on transmissions networks.[2]
1990 Statistics The import of telecom equipment and parts represents 0.8% of Finnish GDP.[4]
1990 Policy The special rights of the Finnish National Board of Post and Tel ecommunications are abolished, allowing for the introduction of free competition in data and GSM networks.[4]
1990 – 1991 Policy Licenses to regional radio-telecommunications networks are granted. Free competition becomes allowed among corporate networks.[4]
1991 Technology The world’s first Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) is launched in Finland as the successor of the Nordic Mobile Telephone, and subsequently also becomes the European standard for mobile telecommunications. As a result, Nokia and other Nordic telecom equipment suppliers would benefit from first mover advantages in the mobile telecom industry worldwide.[4][11]
1991 Technology Local company Radiolija develops early (2G) miniaturized mobile telephones.[6]
1992 Policy Switched data transmission is exempted from licences. Competitive licenses to long-distance and local telecommunications are granted.[4]
1993 Statistics 94 per cent of all households in Finland have at least one landline telephone.[2]
1994 Policy Local and international telecommunications are subject to free competition.[4]
1994 Telecom Finland is corporatized.[7]
1995 Background Finland joins the European Union and its Single Market. This would imply a full removal of trade and investment barriers and a substantial increase of trade volumes with other EU member states. Trade in intermediate and finished telecom equipment would be particularly facilitated between Finland and its EU trading partners thanks to the harmonisation of essential product regulations and specifications plus the introduction of the EU Suppliers’ Declaration of Conformity for telecom and electrical equipment and parts among EU countries.[4]
1995 Policy Competing licenses to distributed control system networks are granted.[4]
1996 Policy The Telecommunications Act is amended.[4]
1997 Policy The Telecommunications Market Act is adopted, and the Telecommunications Act is repealed.[4]
1998 Telecom Finland is renamed Sonera.[7]
1999 (July) Statistics More Finnish households already have a mobile phone than a landline telephone.[2]
2000 Statistics The Finnish telecommunications industry as a whole employs some 83,000 people in over 4000 firms, representing 6.9% of the GDP.[4]
2003 Statistics Manufacturing of telecom equipment represents 90% of total ICT manufacturing value-added in Finland.[4]
2000 Statistics The Finnish telecommunications industry represents 8.4% of the GDP, up from 6.9% in 2000.[4]
2000 Decommission The ARP network is closed at the end of the year, along with NMT-900.[8]
2002 (December) Organization Telia merges with Sonera.[7]
2004 (May 17) Organization Tele Finland is established by TeliaSonera as a mobile virtual network operator. in order to respond to the demand for inexpensive GSM calls in the country.[12]
2006 Statistics The import of telecom equipment and parts represents over 3% of Finnish GDP. In absolute terms, in Finland, imports of telecom equipment and parts has actually almost been multiplied by ten since 1990.[4]
2006 Statistics Finnish multinational Nokia peakes, taking 41% of the mobile phone market worldwide.[13]
2007 (August) Statistics About 41% of Finnish households still have a landline telephone while 97% have at least one mobile phone.[2]

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

What the timeline is still missing

Visual data [1] [2] book [3]

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "1880 – 1920 Manual telephony". teliacompanyhistory.com. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 "From hand-cranked connections to hands-free mobile calls - history of telecommunications in Finland seen through statistics". stat.fi. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 "1920 – 1980 Automatic telephony and broadcasting". teliacompanyhistory.com. Retrieved 28 October 2017. 
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 "CASE STUDY NO. 1: MARKET OPENNESS, TRADE LI BERALISATION AND INNOVATION CAPACITY IN THE FINNISH TELECOM EQUIPMENT INDUSTRY" (PDF). oecd.org. Retrieved 25 October 2017. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Finland was the laboratory of the telecom world". teliacompanyhistory.com. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Wierzbicki, Andrzej Piotr. Technen: Elements of Recent History of Information Technologies with Epistemological Conclusions. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Liberalization of the telephony markets". teliacompanyhistory.com. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 "Scandinavian heritage: From 0G to 5G – Part 1". uros.com. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  9. "Tecnotree". crunchbase.com. Retrieved 10 November 2017. 
  10. "The Evolution of Telecommunications". m-stat.gr. Retrieved 10 November 2017. 
  11. "GSM (Global System for Mobile communication)". techtarget.com. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  12. "TeliaSonera Finland steps up market efforts - Launches independent service provider". cision.com. Retrieved 10 November 2017. 
  13. "Finland and Nokia: an affair to remember". wired.co.uk. Retrieved 12 November 2017.