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Finnish youth using their mobile phones / Lehtikuva

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Phone call durations increased in the spring in both the fixed telephone network and the mobile network as the majority of Finns transitioned to working remotely and studying at their own homes. Data transfer amounts and the speeds of broadband subscriptions also continued to increase, though this has been a persistent trend for a long time now, with no notable growth spikes.

The number of fixed network telephone subscriptions has long been falling, with the trend continuing as expected during the first half of 2020. Meanwhile, the number of mobile network subscriptions has remained stable for a long time. The numbers of phone calls have been decreasing steadily in both networks. Conversely, phone call minutes and thus the average duration of phone calls increased for the first time in years. In the mobile network, the total amount of time spent talking was over 8 million minutes, with the average duration of a single phone call being 5 minutes. It would seem, then, that people kept in contact by phone more than usual during the restrictions imposed in the spring.

This figure presents the development of phone call minutes, the number of phone calls and the number of subscriptions in the mobile network as a time series from the second half of 2015 onwards. The development of call minutes reversed during the most recent period covering the first half of 2020. Call minutes grew by 17%, whereas in previous years they had been gradually decreasing.
Figure 1. Mobile network subscriptions and the number of phone calls continued to decrease, but call minutes increased significantly.

 

The volume of data transferred in the mobile network increased during the first six months of 2020 by 15% compared to the previous six-month period, when the corresponding figure was 11%. Mobile data volumes have been growing rapidly for a long time. During the first half of the year, the average Finn consumed 44 gigabytes of data per month.

This figure presents mobile network data transfer volumes in millions of gigabytes as a time series from the second half of 2015 onwards. Data transfer volumes have been steadily increasing. During the most recent period covering the first half of 2020, the total volume of data transferred was 1,400 million gigabytes, indicating a growth of 15% compared to the previous period.
Figure 2. The volume of data transferred on the mobile network is growing rapidly.

 

In spring 2020, fixed network broadband subscriptions continued to develop along the same lines as in previous years. The increase in subscription speeds is quite clearly linked to technological change. The share of fibre-optic subscriptions and cable TV network based cable modem subscriptions that enable fast broadband connections has increased from 62% in 2016 to 81%, with the total number of subscriptions now being 1.47 million. Over the same period, the share of subscriptions with download speeds of at least 100 Mbps has increased from 26% to 46%, to a total of 828,000 subscriptions. Subscriptions with the highest download speeds available to consumers, meaning over 300 Mbps, are still somewhat rare, although their relative growth is rapid.

The figure shows the percentages of broadband subscriptions with a download speed of less than 100 megabytes and, on the other hand, at least 100 megabytes as a time series every six months from 2016 onwards. In addition, the figure shows the percentages of broadband subscriptions that have been implemented with copper and, on the other hand, with an optical fiber or cable modem. As of June 2020, 54 % of subscriptions were less than 100 megabytes, 46 %at least 100 megabyters, 18 percent were made with coppe
Figure 3. The share of fast connections out of all fixed network subscriptions has increased apace with the increase in fibre-optic and cable subscriptions.

 

According to statistics, mobile subscription data transfer speeds have also increased. Subscriptions offering download speeds of 100–300 Mbps, in particular, have been rapidly increasing in popularity since 2016, having increased their share from 18% to 48% of all subscriptions. Just under a fifth of subscriptions still have a maximum download speed of less than 10 Mbps. It should be noted that when talking about mobile network subscriptions, the indicated download speeds are maximum speeds in ideal conditions.

This figure presents the numbers of mobile network subscriptions divided into four speed categories based on data transfer rates as a time series from the second half of 2015 onwards. The speed categories are under 10 Mbps, 10–99.99 Mbps, 100–299.99 Mbps and at least 300 Mbps. The numbers of subscriptions in the two slowest categories have been falling, while the numbers of subscriptions in the two highest categories have been growing. The speed category that currently has the highest number of subscription
Figure 4. 100–300 Mbps has become the most popular speed in mobile subscriptions.

 

By the end of June 2020, there were just over 1,300 5G base stations in Finland. Base stations are being added to the network at a swift pace, as evident by the fact that their numbers have tripled since the end of the previous year. By the end of June 2020, 5G networks had been set up in 38 cities.

5G cities by the end of June 2020: There were 38 cities in Finland that had 5G networks by the end of June 2020 and 69 cities without 5G networks.
Figure 5. 5G cities by the end of June 2020.

 

The 4G mobile network’s 100 Mbps service coverage extended to 18% of Finland’s land area by the end of June 2020. As such, coverage had increased by two percentage points in the last six months. In ideal conditions, download speeds of 100 Mbps were available to slightly over 93% of all households. In contrast, no significant changes occurred in 30 Mbps and 300 Mbps service coverage during the first six months of the year.* 

100 Mbps mobile service coverage extended to 57% of Finnish main roads and highways, with the total coverage of all road classes being 41%. Rail network coverage was 58%. 

The speed-category-specific coverages of the mobile network represent availability in ideal conditions. They do not account for network congestion or structural and geographical obstacles.

4G 100 Mbps coverage in June 2020: The 4G network’s 100 Mbps service coverage extended to 18% of Finland’s land area in June 2020. Coverage increased by two percentage points in six months. Highway and main road coverage was 57%.
Figure 6. 4G 100 Mbps service coverage in June 2020.

 

This information is based on data reported by telecommunications operators to Traficom every six months. 

*4G 30 Mbps service coverage has been corrected in 2019 year-end statistics retroactively due to a change in the data provided by operators. 

 

HT

 

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