Usage volumes of electronic communication services in 2015

The use of mobile network services has undergone major changes in Finland in recent years. Instead of using traditional voice and messaging services, communication is increasingly carried out via services based on an internet connection, as a result of which the use of mobile data is increasing exponentially.

Fewer calls are being placed from mobile phones

In 2015, a total of 4.1 billion calls were placed in the mobile network, with the total duration being approximately 15.2 billion minutes. The number of call minutes placed remained nearly unchanged, whereas the number of calls placed fell by 5 per cent. In the mobile network, the number of calls began to decrease as early as in 2011, and a similar turn took place in terms of call minutes in 2013.

This recent development has meant that fewer calls are being placed from mobile phones, but the average duration of calls has increased. Last year, the average duration of a single call was 3 minutes and 40 seconds, an increase of nine seconds from the year before. Compared with the situation ten years ago, the duration of calls has increased by up to 41 per cent, meaning that calls are now longer by more than one minute.

In the fixed network, the number of calls and call minutes decreased last year, as in previous years. The number of calls placed using landline telephones decreased by 18 per cent and call minutes by up to 23 per cent from the year before.

Last year, approximately 2.9 billion text messages were sent in Finland, a decrease of 12 per cent from the previous year. The number of text messages sent changed to a downward trend in 2013, compared to which the number of text messages sent last year was smaller by one third.

The annual growth has continued in terms of multimedia messages sent, but their number, however, remains highly marginal compared with traditional text messages. Last year, Finnish people sent 89 million multimedia messages.

Year Fixed network call (min) Mobile call (min) Mobile call (pcs) SMSMMSMobile data (terabyte)
2005 7755 11035 4248 271317
2006 5523 12493 4443 301022
2007 4053 13546 4809 318829500
2008 3048 14559 4967 3487365000
2009 2319 15120 4986 38004016000
2010 1867 15919 5137 40034033000
2011 1532 16045 5093 42424662000
2012 1258 16074 4945 432655 103000
2013 1131 15742 4700 388273179000
2014 935 15299 4350 329088325000
2015 725 15184 4140 288789627000

Figure: Use of voice and messaging services in the mobile network, call minutes in the fixed network and mobile data (figures for calls, call minutes and messages are in millions)

The most significant factor for the decrease in traditional voice and messaging services is social media. Instead of telephone conversations or text or multimedia messages, more and more discussions are being held and images are being shared via rapidly increasing internet services, such as WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram. These free services are largely used on mobile phones and tablets that utilise wireless data transfer connections. The volume of data transferred in the mobile network has increased exponentially in recent years.

In 2015, a total of 630,000 TB of data was transferred in the mobile network, which is 93 per cent more than in the year before. The growth in the volume of data transferred accelerated steadily in 2012–2015, and it is interesting to see whether annual growth this year exceeds the threshold of 100 per cent.

The use of services per inhabitant per month

On average, every Finnish person placed 63 calls per month in the mobile network. The average calculated call duration was 3 minutes and 40 seconds. On a monthly level, this means that an average Finn talked for nearly four hours a month on their mobile phone. An average Finn only talked for 11 minutes a month on a landline telephone. Last year, an average Finn sent approximately 44 text messages a month, and only 1.4 multimedia messages per month. On average, Finnish people used 9.5 GB of mobile data per person per month.

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Figure: Call minutes and sent text messages per person per month

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Figure: Mobile data transmission per person per month

This article is a part of FICORA's Communications Sector Review 1/2016.

Key words: Internet, Telephone, Land-line phone, Mobile phone, Articles, Reviews, Statistics

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