Finns & mobile data

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POSTED: June 16, 2017

Yesterday a European Union directive went into effect, prohibiting mobile phone carriers from charging so-called roaming charges when a subscriber leaves one country and enters another. From yesterday every subscriber should pay the same price wherever they call from in Europe.

Finland has negotiated an exception and four Finnish phone companies – elia, Elisa, DNA and Moi Mobiili – will continue charging roaming charges for at least the next year. According to an online report by YLE, this exception springs from the work of FICORA, the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, whose spokesperson Petri Makkonen explained:

The aim [of the decision to allow the charges] is to ensure that domestic mobile prices do not rise. Without these exceptions, the cost of a mobile network subscription could rise hugely, and could make it impossible for [Finnish] operators to continue offering their customers unlimited data.

The same report suggests that

Finnish mobile customers use more data than any other country in the world. According to a survey carried out last year, Finnish residents consume an average 7.2 gigabytes of mobile data every month. By comparison, the figure in second-place South Korea was 3.8 gigabytes.

The same study, carried out by telecoms competition specialist Tefficient, found that when compared to other EU countries, mobile data in Finland is relatively cheap, too.

Most Finnish phone companies offer plans with unlimited data, so perhaps the continuation of roaming charges may prove a price worth paying unless you spend half of every week in Germany or Spain. I don’t.