Finnish mobile phone call charges still the cheapest in EuropeMobile call charges in Finland continue to be the cheapest in Western Europe, rates having decreased by a fifth since last year.
Call charges in Finland and 17 other countries - the EU-15 Member States, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland - were compared in a survey in April that was commissioned by the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland.
The charges in almost every country surveyed had either dropped or were the same as a year ago. The biggest decreases took place in Sweden, Switzerland and Finland, while charges in Greece and France clearly went up. The price difference between the least and the most expensive country has increased by almost a fifth during the past year.
A total of 56 types of post-paid consumer subscriptions were covered in the survey, and subscriptions with 2-4 operators were included in each country. The survey used a "price basket" consisting of 150 minutes of weekday, weeknight and weekend calls a month, 25 SMS text messages, a monthly subscription charge and value added tax. The basket of charges also included the call initiation fee.
In Finland the cost of the survey basket was 15.90 euros. The countries ranking immediately after Finland were: Sweden, 18.10 euros; Luxembourg, 21.20 euros and Denmark, 22.60 euros. The most expensive price baskets were to be found in big countries such as Germany, 46.80 euros; Great Britain, 43.40 euros; and France, 43.30 euros.
The average basket price, weighed by the number of subscriptions in all the countries included in the survey, had gone down by three percent since March last year. Changes in the charges varied a lot between the countries. The most substantial fall was 41 percent, recorded in Sweden. There were usually only small price variations in the bigger countries.
The survey did not cover the prices for third generation mobile services because they are not yet widely in use.
The per-minute charges for pre-paid subscriptions are generally more expensive than those of post-paid subscriptions but the pre-paid subscriptions do not involve any separate monthly fees. However, in most countries the price difference between these subscription types is small.
Mr Rainer Salonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 9 160 28395, +358 400 812 508