On the 1st November, Valokuitunen opened an office in Oulu, based on the Technopolis premises. ICTOulu had the pleasure to chat to their CEO Heikki Kaunisto at BusinessAsema.
Valokuitunen is a two-years-old business, having founded in 2020, and their role and mission is to build fibre-optic networks in Finland. They are owned by Telia (40%) and the Capman Infra fund (60%). In fact, they are a completely domestic firm, as all investors in the company are Finnish entities.
Co-operation with Telia is very important for their operations, as they utilise Telia’s comprehensive core network. This enables them to make a local customer subscriber network. They don’t offer an actual internet connection – instead, a service layer is designed on top of the infrastructure, to which an internet user can choose the service provider of their choice. This operating model is the key thing that separates them from other firms.
Regarding the financial basis of the construction work, Kaunisto states: “Valokuitunen is building the fibre-optic network on market terms, we are not applying for subsidies.” It’s clear that market conditions are also sufficient, as demand is strong, and megatrends point to a strong continuation of data traffic growth.
When asked about the relationship between mobile connections and optical fibre, Kaunisto states: “Mobile traffic complements fibre connections and vice versa. Mobile cannot cover all the growing communication needs, and additionally, in terms of energy consumption management, mobile connections have their own challenges. We clearly need both.”
The availability of high-speed internet is appearing more and more as part of basic infrastructure, which can even already be compared to the electric grid. Kaunisto emphasises the criticality of information and the functionality of data transfer as a basic need in both households and companies.
Valokuitunen’s presence in Oulu
The firm’s office in Oulu strengthens their presence in the region. The branch’s focus is sales-oriented, and its regional responsibility is not only in this region, but also more broadly in Northern Finland. Looking at advance sales, there is a strong demand for optical fibre in Oulu. The outlook is that traditional, low-quality copper-based technologies are on the way out. The company will also be launching campaigns in the region, and there will be face-to-face meetings with residents.
Kaunisto explains the prospects as follows: “We want to grow strongly in Oulu and we also need professionals for both sales and design. Professionals – stay connected, as we have great opportunities!”
Valokuitunen is still a young business, but the investments that have already been made are impressive. In Finland they have already put 50 million euros into building fibre optics and the degree of fulfillment within the agreements they have made are the best in their comparison group.
ICTOulu wishes Valokuitunen a warm welcome to Oulu!