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A man used his smartphone on a tram in Helsinki on 21 June, 2017.
A man used his smartphone on a tram in Helsinki on 21 June, 2017.


Finns use considerably more mobile data every month than their peers around the world, according to a report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Wednesday.

The OECD’s Digital Economy Outlook indicates that the monthly average use of mobile data per subscription in Finland was 11 gigabytes in 2016, representing an increase of four gigabytes from the previous year.

Swedes, on the other hand, used an average of 4.4 gigabytes of mobile data per month, while the OECD average was only 1.9 gigabytes.

Helsingin Sanomat points out that the amount of mobile data used by the average Finn is equivalent to a 40-hour video call or 11 hours of audiovisual streaming. The newspaper also reminds that estimates of mobile data usage around the world vary significantly: Teffecient, for example, has approximated that the average subscriber uses roughly eight gigabytes of data in Finland.

Whatever the case, the country is a superpower in terms of mobile data.

Finns’ eagerness to access the internet with their mobile devices is largely a consequence of the availability of unlimited data plans, analyses Helsingin Sanomat. Finnish mobile data providers have traditionally priced their plans based on transfer speeds rather than data usage, which is a more common basis for tiered pricing in in most countries. 

“Another key factor is that our networks are of a very high quality. The capacity might not be enough in quite a few European countries, even if they had unlimited plans,” Pekka Väisänen, the director of consumer business at DNA, reminds in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat.

Such factors have not only made mobile data an attractive option for consumers but also reduced the need for public wireless networks, adds Jan Virkki, the head of the consumer customer unit at Elisa.

“You don’t see too many cafés attracting customers with a free wireless network in Finland. Finns always have their own connection with them. It’s an interesting phenomenon,” he comments.

The OECD’s Digital Economy Outlook is a biennial report examining and documenting changes, and emerging opportunities and challenges in the digital economy.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva

Finland in the world press

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