Finland ahead of its neighbours in the use of mobile internet

Published 25.06.2015

Thanks to mobile subscriptions, more than 90 per cent of Finns have broadband

Finland is far ahead of the other Nordic and Baltic countries in the use of mobile internet. The information is presented in the joint statistical publication Telecommunication Markets in the Nordic and Baltic Countries which compares the development of telephone, broadband and tv services in the near-by areas.

Also according to a consumer survey commissioned by FICORA, mobile internet is becoming more common and is sufficient as the only connection for most of the Finns. Although Finland is not placed as high in the international comparison of fast fixed broadband subscriptions, the Finns' satisfaction regarding the speed of internet connections has developed in a positive direction.

In the use of mobile phones, the traditional SMS is still most popular, but instant messaging, such as WhatsApp, has surpassed SMS in popularity among people under 25 years of age. Watching of television and video content is also moving online – every fourth Finn watches video-on-demand-services, such as Netflix and HBO, and more than 60 per cent have found the online tv services of the Finnish tv-operators.

Finland has the most mobile internet connections in the comparison of the Nordic and Baltic countries

Finland was placed first in the development of several mobile services already at the end of last year when it was compared with the other Nordic and Baltic countries. The other countries still have plenty of land-line telephone subscriptions.

In 2014, Finland had, among other things

  • clearly the most subscriptions only used for data transmission
  • clearly the most mobile data transmission (ca 5 gigabytes/month/capita)
  • the most mobile phone subscriptions (1,7 subscriptions per capita)
  • relatively the most (nearly 95 per cent) call minutes from mobile phones
  • the least land-line telephone subscriptions (one of ten) and call minutes from the fixed network

In the light of comparison, mobile broadband is gaining ground in Finland, whereas fixed broadband is more general elsewhere in the Nordic and Baltic countries. High-speed fixed fibre-optic broadband (100 Mbit/s or faster) has become general in Sweden (13 per 100 capita), whereas it is still rather rare in Finland (7 per 100 capita).

More than 80 per cent of Finns still send SMS – instant messaging more popular among people under 25 years

FICORA has in its consumer survey also studied which services the Finns regularly use with a mobile phone. The results indicate the share of Finns using, for example, e-mail, social media and internet radio with their mobile phone. The survey also addressed the penetration of SMS and instant messaging.

  • SMS held its ground as the most popular mobile phone service – more than 80 per cent of Finns send SMS
  • The number of SMS is, however, smaller than in many other countries. In Finland it is about 50 messages /month/capita, whereas the corresponding number in Denmark is 128 messages per capita
  • Instant messaging, such as WhatsApp, increase heir popularity in all age groups
  • Watching videos, instant messaging, and the use of social media with the mobile phone are increasing

Finnish tv operators' web services more popular than Netflix or HBO

This year, the consumer survey also included a section on the use of audiovisual services. The survey gives new information, for instance, on the online tv viewing habits in various age groups. The survey indicates how much different-aged Finns watch programs on tv operators' online services or, for instance, videos on Youtube.

  • The Finnish tv operators' own online tv services, such as Yle Arena, MTV Katsomo or Nelonen Ruutu, are used by around 60 per cent of Finns
  • More than half of Finns watch Youtube
  • Around 40 per cent watch recordings on a set-top-box or tv's hard drive
  • 25 per cent watch video-on-demand services, such as Netflix, HBO, Filmnet and Viaplay
  • 15 per cent watch IPTV services

FICORA's consumer survey contains versatile information of the communications services being used by the Finns, such as fixed and mobile internet connections, and mobile and land-line subscriptions. All information can also be reviewed by age group. At the same time, users' satisfaction with the speed and availability of their subscriptions were investigated. The survey was carried out as a telephone interview during March and April, and the sample represents Finns between 15 and 79 years of age. 3 000 people replied to the survey.


The results of the consumer survey in Finnish

Telecommunication Markets in the Nordic and Baltic Countries - statistical publication

The publication with background material is also available from the statistics service of PTS, the Swedish telecoms authority

Further information

Head of Sector Intelligence Joonas Orkola, FICORA, tel. +358 295 390 493

Communications Market Specialist Hanne Mikkonen, FICORA, tel. 358 295 390 652

Key words: Internet , Telephone , Television , Broadband , Mobile broadband , Mobile phone , Speed , Text messages , News , Surveys

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