Advanced Television

Finland is Europe’s most data hungry country

December 6, 2017

Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, estimates that 4G adoption in Finland reached 56 per cent of total mobile subscribers in 2016, with customers in the Nordic country using more data per capita than in any European country due to the availability of low-priced, unlimited access to sophisticated mobile networks.

The report in summary:

  • Kagan estimates that total Finnish mobile subs topped 10.0 million in 2016, representing a mobile adoption rate of 182 per cent of the total population. Penetration rates this high are usually indicative of markets with a high proportion of prepaid subs or a highly developed M2M market, but Finland lacks both of these features.
  • High mobile penetration in Finland is a derivative of low-priced, unlimited LTE markets. Unlike most European and North American countries, Finland never eschewed the unlimited data plan and instead, most plans feature pricing models differentiated by throughput speed, not data volume.
  • Advanced and financially accessible LTE networks belie an emerging trend of substituting slower fixed-network subscriptions with mobile broadband. As such, postpaid connections represents the vast majority (88.9 per cent) of subs, as Finnish consumers are apt to purchase more than one postpaid connection, often for a tablet or mobile hotspot.
  • Mobile service revenue in Finland has been on an upward trajectory, rising by a CAGR of 1.1 per cent between 2012 and 2016 and reaching 1.7 billion euros in 2016. Total ARPU, while rising, is low by European standards, growing to an estimated 14.36 euros in 2016.
  • We expect mobile subscribers to rise modestly over the next 10 years, growing by a CAGR of 0.7 per cent between 2017 and 2027 to an estimated 10.8 million subs. Mobile penetration has little room for growth as prepaid subscribers continue to fall and population is projected to grow by an anemic 0.32 per cent over the next 10 years. The subscriber growth we anticipate will derive largely from expanding M2M subs and, to a lesser extent, the substitution of fixed broadband for mobile, particularly when 5G services come online in 2020.
  • Our model projects mobile service revenue will grow by a CAGR of 2.7 per cent between 2017 and 2027, outpacing expected inflation of 1.84 per cent over the same period.
  • Prices in Finland are low by the relative standard of its peers, and our model assumes an upward price correction extending into the next decade, particularly with the launch of new service based around the launch of 5G networks.

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