NEWS | 30 Jun 2016

The Nordic countries increasingly mobile - Finland at the top

Iceland has the highest number of IPTV subscriptions per capita, Sweden has the most high-speed broadband subscriptions and Finland is at the top when it comes to mobile services. At the same time, data volume over mobile networks is increasing rapidly throughout the Nordic region. This is shown in a report from the Nordic telecom authorities.

The annual report on telecom development trends in the Nordic and Baltic regions points to both similarities and differences between the countries. The comparisons below include the five Nordic countries only.

Increase in mobile minutes
The total number of mobile subscriptions is generally stagnating. Still, the use of mobile minutes continues to grow in all of the countries, except for Finland. MMS-messaging is also increasing (in all of the countries), while SMS-messaging is moving  in the opposite direction with declines in all countries except Norway.

Finland has the highest number of mobile subscriptions per capita. However, it is the Swedes who speak for the most minutes on mobile phones, and who, along with the Danes and the Norwegians, are much more active in sending SMS and MMS messages than both the Finns and the Icelanders.

Considerable growth in mobile data
Data volume in mobile networks is growing strongly in all countries. From 2014 to 2015, the total volume of mobile data in the Nordic region increased by more than 60 per cent. The biggest increase was in Finland and the smallest was in Sweden.

Finland is far ahead when it comes to the consumption of data, using 2.5 times as much data per inhabitant and month than Sweden in the second place (10 and 4 G respectively).

More mobile and fixed broadband subscriptions
Broadband penetration is high in the Nordic countries, and access to both mobile and fixed broadband continues to increase. Finland has nearly 70 broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants (fixed plus mobile), placing it at the top of the list. When only considering mobile broadband, Finland is well ahead of the other countries.

As for fixed broadband subscriptions, Denmark takes the lead with a penetration of over 40 per cent, while Finland comes last. When it comes to high-speed broadband (100 Mb), Sweden is well above its neighbours, but the demand for greater broadband capacity is growing in all countries. The latter is explained by the increasing consumption of audiovisual content online.

IPTV largest in Iceland
The report also includes an overview of access to IPTV as well as cable and satellite television. IPTV penetration is highest in Iceland where there is no cable TV. On average, 27 out of 100 Icelandic inhabitants have an IPTV subscription, while the other Nordic countries have rates from 7 to 10 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants.

Cable TV penetration is highest in Denmark, followed closely by Finland and Sweden, while Norway has a larger satellite penetration than the other Nordic countries.


Links to Nordic and national telecom reports and statistics:

Press releases from the national authorities:


About the report: Telecommunication Markets in the Nordic and Baltic Countries 2015 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 2015. Find more data in the joint Nordic-Baltic database (established in 2007, including the Baltic states since 2013) or in the report (PDF) via the web portal Nordic Telecommunications Market.