Finnish mobile phone call charges still the cheapest in Western EuropeMobile call charges in Finland continue to be the cheapest in Western Europe. Services provided through third generation, 3G, phones are also inexpensive.
The call charges in Finland and 17 other countries, including the EU-15 Member States, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, were compared in a survey in March 2007 that was commissioned by the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland.
The overall call charges in Europe mostly stayed at the level of last year. The biggest decreases in prices took place in the Netherlands and Luxembourg, while charges in Finland and Spain clearly went up. The biggest increase in charges, around 12 per cent, was in Finland, mainly because of the call initiation fee.
A total of 55 types of post-paid consumer subscriptions were covered in the survey, and subscriptions with 2-4 operators were included from each country. The survey basket used consisted of 150 minutes of weekday, weeknight and weekend calls a month, 25 SMS text messages, a monthly subscription charge and value added tax. The charges in the basket also included the call initiation fee.
In Finland the cost of the survey basket was 17.7 euros. Inexpensive survey baskets were to be found in Luxembourg, 17.9 euros; Sweden, 18.1 euros; and Denmark, 23.4 euros. The most expensive price baskets were in France, 46.3 euros and Great Britain, 45.2 euros. The price variation between the countries has remained the same.
Inexpensive 3G services
The survey also covered the prices for third generation mobile services in ten Western European countries in April 2007.
Inexpensive survey baskets were to be found in Germany, 68.5 euros; Finland, 69.3 euros; and Italy, 74.0 euros;, whereas clearly the most expensive basket was in Belgium, 205.5 euros.
The survey basket describes active use of a 3G subscription in one month's time. The basket consists of 500 minutes of calls, 100 SMS messages, and 50 Mt of data transfer. That amount of data transfer provides around one hour of video clips, for example. The basket also includes a 3G phone of average price. The prices of the baskets are indicative, because in many countries the services are sold in packages different from the ones used for the survey basket.
The number of 3G subscriptions has increased rapidly. Of the countries included in the survey the largest number of 3G subscriptions is currently in Italy, 18 million. In Finland the figure is around 700,000.
Mr Rainer Salonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 9 160 28395, +358 400 812 508