2010 Finland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Report Cover Image

Last updated: 5 Jan 2011 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 87

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Finland’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and digital media;
  • 3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- January 2011 (9th Edition)
Next publication date:- December 2011

Executive Summary

Finland national broadband promising world-class 100Mb/s by 2015

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Finland - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in Finland.

Turnover in Finland’s telco sector fell in both 2007 and 2008 as the impact of the financial crisis affected consumers and telcos alike. Recovery was seen in 2009, which should continue steadily during the next few years: the key operators are committed to increasing investments in mobile and fibre networks, so allowing consumers to make greater use of IP-delivered content. More than half of total turnover is from the mobile sector, the remainder from fixed network operations, where revenue continues to fall in line with lower access and call charges, and lower use by consumers having switched to mobile-only and VoIP solutions.

Finland’s broadband penetration is far ahead of the EU average. The market is dominated by the main telcos TeliaSonera, Elisa and DNA. Wireless networks are provided nationally via MNOs and Digita Oy’s network (based on 450MHz spectrum), as well as regional WiMAX and WLAN networks.

Finland’s regulator closely monitors the country’s broadband development, comparing strategies with those of its neighbours Sweden, Denmark and Norway. This is partly to encourage regulatory and competition measures where they have proved successful elsewhere. The structure and prices of regional broadband markets also vary among the Nordic countries, with Sweden and Finland having the most favourable end-user prices regardless of connection speed.

The government’s Broadband Action Plan aims to deliver fibre-based broadband for all citizens by 2015. The Plan would deliver 100Mb/s services nationally, a significant improvement on the minimum 1Mb/s envisaged in 2004. To finance the State contribution the government auctioned frequencies in the 2.5-2.69GHz band at the end of 2009, with some of the proceeds going towards network rollout and the shortfall being met by a tax on telcos based on the number of their broadband subscriptions.

The number of fixed-line broadband subscriptions is likely to remain stagnant to 2012 as a number of consumers switch to mobile-only solutions. However, growth will steadily resume thereafter as fibre-based networks, supplemented by 100Mb/s or 200Mb/s DOCSIS3.0 offers from cablecos, are made more widely available.

The mobile sector has been equally successful, with penetration again above the EU average. Finland has one of the most advanced mobile markets in the world and has been an early adopter of emerging technologies: the country launched the world’s first commercial GSM network, it was the first in Europe to award 3G licences, and it has trailed only Norway and Sweden in launching commercial LTE services. The country has also been at the forefront in utilising sub-GHz spectrum for 3G.

There are around ten major mobile network operators or service operators in Finland, though 98% of the market (by subscribers) is controlled by a triopoly of the established players TeliaSonera, Elisa and DNA. These MNOs host several resellers and MVNOs, while Ålands Mobiltelefon operates a network in the Ålands area.

There are several mobile service operators which also provide mobile broadband services, as well as players offering mobile broadband together with fixed broadband services, but without mobile voice services. Market competition as well as regulatory measures have gradually reduced the price of mobile calls and services: indeed mobile call charges in Finland are the cheapest in Europe, while Finnish mobile broadband subscriptions are also among the least expensive.

Finland became the first country in the world to launch DTTV services based on the MHP, in 2001. The switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting was completed in 2007 – digital TV is now broadcasted in five national multiplexers with a varying coverage and channel offering. In 2009 DNA was contracted to build a network to transmit HDTV nationally, and to operate the two associated multiplexes. Signals are expected to reach 60% of the population by the end of 2011.

Key telecom parameters – 2009 – 2011



2011 (e)


Fixed broadband subscribers (million)



Fixed broadband penetration rate



Mobile broadband subscribers (thousand)



Subscribers to telecoms services:

Fixed-line telephony (thousand)



Mobile phone (million)



Mobile SIM penetration (population)



(Source: BuddeComm)

Market highlights:

  • DNA has become the largest cableco following its purchase of Welho in mid-2010. The company provides up to 110Mb/s across its network, and planned to launch commercial HDTV during 2011. The operator is also an MNO, well position as a quad-play provider.
  • The regulator’s auction of spectrum in the 2.5-2.69GHz band in late 2009 cleared the way for network operators to further develop LTE technology. The long term of the licences (valid until 2029) has meant that operators have been encouraged to invest in upgrades. DNA launched HSPA+ mobile broadband with this spectrum in 2010, before migrating to LTE in 2011. TeliaSonera launched the country’s first commercial LTE service in late 2010, while Elisa has contracted a hardware provider for its anticipated launch in 2011. LTE was available in ten major cities by the end of 2010.
  • Mobile data is still dominated by SMS, though the new LTE networks will enable customers to make use of a greater range of high-end applications from 2011 onwards. Data traffic is expected to pass 55,000TB in 2012, compared to 16,000 in 2009.
  • FttH has thus far made only a small impact in Finland, and is promoted principally by housing associations and local governments. Fibre is largely a preserve of the larger cities, while in smaller centres commercial activity is being stimulated by funds made available through the government’s National Broadband Strategy. The government and regulator have targeted a national fibre or cable network enabling 100Mb/s connections across the country by 2015. The regulator estimated that by 2015 about 94% of connections would be within reach of the network. The cost of connections was estimated at between €2,000 and €3,000 per household, with some more remote areas costing up to €10,000 per household.
  • Following the end of analogue TV transmissions, freed 470-850MHz band potentially allows up to 55 channels for mobile TV. The government has licensed a fourth digital broadcasting network dedicated to mobile TV (to Digita Oy). In late 2008 DNA was the first MNO to launch mobile TV in Finland, on Digita’s DVB-H network Operators are experimenting with appropriate business models to attract consumers. Finland’s success in this market would buck the trend seen elsewhere in Europe, where mobile TV has largely failed.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Finland. It provides further information on:

  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • The impact of the global economic crisis;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards in 2010;
  • 3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
  • Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
  • Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
  • ARPU statistics and forecasts.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

Related Reports

Share this Report

TMT Intelligence

A platform to scale your intelligence tasks

Monitor critical insights with our AI-powered Market Intelligence Platform gathering and analyzing intelligence in real time. With AI trained to spot emerging trends and detect new strategic opportunities, our clients use TMT Intelligence to accelerate their growth.

If you want to know more about it, please see:

TMT Intelligence Platform

Research Methodology

BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.

For more details, please see:

Research Methodology

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to BuddeComm's weekly newsletter.