Telecommunications report: Mobile data usage up in the Nordics

| 11 December 2019

Cover Nordic Telecommunications Report
In the Nordic countries, mobile call minutes are generally stagnating, but high-speed broadband and the use of mobile data are increasing. These are some of the main findings from a 2018 telecommunications report.

The national regulatory authorities in the Nordic and Baltic countries produce an annual comparative report on their telecommunications markets. Here, some findings from the Nordic countries are highlighted.

Finland leads in mobile subscriptions per capita and mobile data usage

While the other Nordic countries range 1.1–1.4 mobile subscriptions per capita, Finland leads with 1.7 subscriptions per capita.

Data traffic on mobile networks is increasing in all Nordic countries, but Finland has the largest mobile data usage with 30.7 GB used per capita per month. This is more than three times higher than the next highest Nordic country, Denmark, who uses 10.1 GB per month.

These findings are likely influenced by the popular unlimited-data mobile subscriptions in Finland. Interestingly, Finland sends the least amount of SMS messages per capita per month (29), less than half the number sent by Swedes (67), Danes (76) and Norwegians (77).

Among Nordic countries, Sweden is the only one with an increasing number of mobile call minutes – the rest have stagnated.

Denmark leads in fixed broadband subscriptions – Sweden leads in speed

With 0.44 fixed broadband subscriptions per capita in 2018, Denmark leads the Nordic countries. However, when adding dedicated mobile broadband subscriptions to the fixed, Finland leads with 0.72 subscriptions per capita (Denmark follows with 0.64).

Sweden has the most high-speed (100 Mbps or more) broadband subscriptions, with 0.29 subscriptions per capita. The second highest subscription rate is Iceland with 0.24 per capita. In all Nordic countries, the penetration rate continues to increase.

Iceland leads in investments – Norway leads in revenues

Iceland invests EUR 247 per capita in tangible fixed assets and infrastructure, more than two and half times more than the lowest Nordic country (Finland with EUR 95 per capita), followed by Norway (EUR 189), Denmark (EUR 162) and Sweden (EUR 152). Though investing the least, Finland was the only Nordic country other than Iceland to increase their investments from last year.

Revenue from mobile and fixed call services and broadband (TV and international roaming revenue not included) is highest in Norway, at EUR 446 (adjusted for purchasing power). The remaining Nordic countries range from EUR 361–380.

Find report and data:
Nordic-Baltic Telecommunications Market – tables, graphs and documents
Download the full report here (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Transport- och kommunikationsverket Traficom: Finland i täten för mobilutvecklingen i Norden – fasta nätet släpar efter(link is external)

Press releases from the national authorities, 5 September 2019:
Finnish Transport and Communication Agency Traficom: Finland is the Nordic mobile services leader – fixed network is falling behind
Liikenne- ja viestintävirasto Traficom: Suomi Pohjoismaiden kärjessä mobiilikehityksessä – kiinteä verkko laahaa perässä
The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS): Sverige i nordisk fibertopp


About the report: Telecommunications Markets in the Nordic and Baltic Countries 2018 includes data for the five Nordic countries and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The report is published annually by the national telecom regulatory agencies and presents developmental trends for the individual countries through 2018.