Finnish telco DNA is to close its VHF frequency-based terrestrial network in 2020. At the same time, it will also relinquish its terrestrial network licence to focus on cable and broadband distribution, continuing to offer a wide range of TV services throughout Finland.
DNA has provided HD TV services to terrestrial network households via its own VHF terrestrial TV network for almost ten years and has made significant investments in increasing the number of VHF antennae in Finland and selling capacity to broadcasters. Despite this, efforts to attract customers paying for network capacity, who are key to the viability of the business, have not proved successful with the VHF network.
“Our objective was to bring competition to the Finnish terrestrial TV market, which has traditionally been dominated by one operator,” explained Pekka Väisänen, DNA’s Senior Vice President, Consumer Business. “We wanted to challenge this monopoly in terms of both price and quality. We have succeeded in significantly expanding and improving the range of channels available in terrestrial households, as well as moving terrestrial TV distribution to HD, but unfortunately we were not able to bring on board the kind of network capacity customers key to making the business viable.”
DNA will no longer be negotiating new VHF network distribution contracts. The network will be closed by the end of July 2020, and at the same time DNA will also relinquish its network licence for VHF frequencies.
TV service for terrestrial households
DNA will continue to provide TV services for terrestrial households through broadband transmission. Pay channels currently on the VHF network will be transferred to the UHF network in the New Year, when the business acquisition covering terrestrial pay-TV operations between DNA and Digita comes into force. Subscribers will be able to continue receiving these channels without interruption via an UHF antenna on their property. The distribution of Yle’s HD channels via DNA’s VHF network will continue for now, and future distribution plans will be announced separately. Distribution of MTV3 HD and TV5 HD FTA channels via the VHF network will end at the end of this year.