Finnish fibre networks attract infrastructure investors

Finnish fibre networks attract infrastructure investors

Fibre networks are increasingly regarded as part of basic infrastructure. In consequence, they have become a target for infrastructure investors and the investors are building their presence also in the Finnish market. For example, on 31 October CapMan Infra announced to have formed a joint company with Telia Finland (CapMan 60%, Telia 40%) that is to embrace Telia’s Open Fibre business. Telia’s Open Fibre concept has focused on building FTTH connections in one-family homes outside the city centres and is currently available in about 12 municipalities. The objective of the new company is to boost fibre deployment. Earlier this year Telia and Caruna, the biggest electricity network provider in Finland, announced about co-operation in building electric and fibre networks at the same time. Electricity companies are actively replacing overhead lines with underground cables and the co-operation seeks to place electric cables and fibre cables in joint ditches. This certainly makes sense.

Another example is Adola Oy that was formed by Cinia, a public Finnish telecom infrastructure provider, and DIF Capital Partners (Cinia 19.9%, DIF Capital Partners 80.1%). The firm was set up in November and it plans to “provide over 100,000 FttH connections to public, private and commercial customers with a focus on Finland’s underserved areas”. Yet another example in this direction is Elenia, a major Finnish electricity network company covering over 100 municipalities, with plans to roll out fibre networks when they upgrade their electricity network overhead lines to weather-proof underground cables. Elenia is owned by Allianz Capital Partners, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and The State Pension Fund of Finland.

All of these examples are good news to people living in one-family homes outside the city centres. In most cases, they are currently served only with mobile and copper networks but their chances to get access to fibre networks become better. Initiatives to build electricity and broadband networks together help in tackling the biggest challenge, high investment costs per household, so that return on investment becomes more attractive.