NEWS | 21 Aug 2014

The Nordic countries increasingly mobile

Data volume over mobile networks is quickly increasing throughout the Nordic region. But there are differences between the countries in access and use of telecommunication services. Finland has the highest number of mobile subscriptions per capita and Denmark has the most fixed broadband subscriptions, while Sweden is at the top when it comes to fast broadband. This is shown in a joint telecommunication markets publication from the Nordic telecom regulators.

 The data underline the high access and use of Internet and mobile telephony in the Nordic countries, and point at the growing interest in mobile services. The growth in mobile data traffic per subscription per year was above or equal to 50 per cent in all countries during 2013 (including both mobile broadband and telephones). At the same time the traditional services, such as access to a fixed telephone, are decreasing. There has also been a decrease in SMS messages, mainly due to the use of Skype and other mobile messages services.

The mobile Finland

So far, mobile services have had the greatest impact in Finland. The country has the highest number of mobile subscriptions (broadband and telephone) per capita, and Finns are the most vivid users of mobile telephony for speech, measured in mobile call minutes per subscription in a year. Finland also has the highest data consumption in mobile networks and  the largest growth, closely followed by Sweden. However, the use of telephone and data transmission services in the fixed networks is not as common in Finland as in the other Nordic countries.

Higher broadband capacity in demand

The penetration of fixed broadband is highest in Denmark, followed by Norway and Iceland. The increase in the number of fixed broadband subscriptions has stagnated, with at most only a few per cent of growth. Instead, the trend is towards a greater demand for more broadband capacity in all countries. Especially among Swedish broadband users, very fast broadband (100 Mbps) seems to be in demand. Sweden is well above its neighbouring countries when it comes to subscriptions per capita, although Finland also shows a large growth in the number of fast subscriptions.

 IPTV largest in Iceland

The report also includes an overview of IPTV and pay TV. As for the number of IPTV subscriptions per capita, Iceland is far ahead of the other Nordic countries, with an average of 26 of 100 people who have IPTV compared to 6-7 of 100 in the other Nordic countries. The overview of the number of pay TV subscriptions in Sweden, Denmark and Norway shows a stable trend over the past five years. The order of magnitude between the countries also stands firm: Sweden has the most subscriptions (54 of 100 inhabitants in 2013), followed by Denmark (50 of 100 inhabitants) and Norway (43 ​​of 100 inhabitants).

Links to Nordic and national telecom reports and statistics:

Nordic Telecommunications Market database (tables)

Report: Telecommunications Markets in the Nordic and Baltic Countries 2013 (PDF)

Nordic telecom markets 2013 – Links to Nordic national reports and databases (from Nordicom's table database, excel file)

About the report: Telecommunication Markets in the Nordic Countries includes data for the five Nordic countries and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The report, published annually by the national telecom regulatory agencies, presents development trends for the separate countries through 2013. Find more data in the joint Nordic-Baltic database or in the report (PDF) via the web portal Nordic Telecommunications Market.