Internet calls have increased significantly

Published 15.08.2017

The results of the consumer survey commissioned by FICORA in spring 2017 describe the Finns’ use of communications services from several points of view. A little less than one quarter of Finns subscribed to pay TV channels and more than one third Internet TV services subject to a charge. The Finns also use their smart phones in a more diversified manner. Especially, the use of voice and instant messaging services over the Internet has increased substantially lately. The majority of Finns take care of the passwords, updates and information security for their devices.

On spring 2017, 3001 consumers over 15 years of age were interviewed over the phone by Kantar TNS Oy.

Using messaging and online services with a mobile phone

In spring 2017, 35 per cent of the respondents used their smart phones for Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook calls and for other such services. Half of them used Internet calls at least once a week and more than one fourth daily. The use of Internet calls has increased by 10 percentage points from spring 2016. Correspondingly, the use of instant messaging, such as WhatsApp and Snapchat, has increased by 8 percentage points to 64 per cent. Almost all of the other surveyed services have also been used increasingly.

A little less than one quarter of the respondents have used mobile payment, and 90 per cent of these users have not experienced any problems with this payment service.

With the exception of SMS, the use of messaging and online services with a mobile phone was clearly less common in the older age groups. For example, 53 per cent of people under 25 years use Internet calls, but the share drops to 11 per cent for people over 65 years. Correspondingly, the use of instant messaging applications varies from 93 per cent to 18 per cent.


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Figure 1. Online and messaging services used by mobile phone 2016–2017.

Internet connections at home

There were no significant changes in the penetration of Internet connections compared to spring 2016. In spring 2017, 93 per cent of Finnish households had an Internet connection. Half of the respondents had both fixed and mobile Internet connection. Already one quarter of these users considered that the mobile connection is their primary connection at home, even though they also had a fixed connection.

Mobile Internet is preferred at home (74 per cent of the respondents), and almost as many prefer it on the move (72 per cent). 53 per cent of consumers use mobile Internet at work, and 52 per cent at holiday homes. When abroad, 40 per cent of consumers use mobile Internet, which is 5 percentage points more than in spring 2016.

Along with the use of mobile phones, Internet calls became more common also on the primary Internet connection at home, showing an increase from 34 per cent to 38 per cent, and, correspondingly, the use of instant messages grew by 2 percentage points to 45 per cent. More than 80 per cent of the respondents used e-mail services, information search services and bank services; however, the use decreased, which may be due to the increase in the use of mobile phones. Variation between age groups is not as big for the primary Internet connection at home as they are for mobile phones.

Subscription and use of TV and video services

In spring 2017, 77 per cent of respondents watched free video and tv contents online. 72 per cent of consumers watched free Internet TV services of television companies, for example Yle Areena, Katsomo and Ruutu. This share increased to 44 per cent for people over 65 years. Other free video services, such as Youtube, were watched by 57 per cent of all Finns.

A little less than one quarter of the respondents (23 per cent) ordered pay TV channels and more than one third (35 per cent) Internet TV services subject to a charge. Both ways to subscribe to paid contents were used by 12 per cent of consumers. Other Video-on-Demand services, such as Netflix, HBO Nordic, C More and Viaplay, were clearly more popular than TV services of television companies in terms of contents subject to a charge. 30 per cent of the respondents watched the first mentioned services, while 9 per cent watched the latter mentioned services.

In all, 79 per cent of consumers watched some TV programmes or videos over the Internet. More than half of them watched contents more frequently than once a week and about a quarter daily.


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Figure 2. Subscribing and watching of TV contents and online videos by age group.

Online information security

According to the survey from spring 2017, 34 per cent of the respondents used different passwords for different services, 41 per cent said that they use several passwords and 9 per cent that they always use the same password. Very few said that they use a password management software (about 2 per cent of the respondents), even though password management seems to be a problem for many.

Different passwords were most commonly used among the 50–64-year-olds. In the age group 15–24, only 29 per cent used different passwords for different services. On the other hand, reuse of several passwords was most common among the 15–24-year-olds (54 per cent). The age group of 15–24 likely uses so many services that it is hard to remember a different password for each service.

Women indicated to have a slightly safer attitude towards passwords than men: 7 per cent of women and 11 per cent of men use the same password. One and the same password was most commonly used by people over 65 years (12 per cent).


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Figure 3. Using passwords for online services by age group.

Automatic updates were used by 65 per cent of the respondents. In addition, 22 per cent said that they only update their devices themselves, and 4 per cent did not regard updates necessary at all.

Of the respondents 18 per cent told that they carefully look into the information security of the device before buying, 32 per cent said that they in some way look into the matter, 29 per cent assumed that the devices are secure, and 14 per cent did not pay attention to the information security features when buying the device.

There are clear connections between the choice of passwords and update of computer software. The more active a person takes care of one of the aspects of information security, the more active the person also takes care of the other aspects, as well.

There are no exactly corresponding results available from other countries. However, it can be roughly estimated that passwords are used a little more carelessly in Finland than in other countries. Especially, using the password management software is not as common in Finland as it is in Sweden or in the United States. Correspondingly, automatic updates seem to be more common in Finland than among the Internet users on average.


Key words: Information security , Internet , Telephone , Television , Broadband , Data protection , Mobile broadband , Mobile phone , Password , Articles

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