Study of the mobile services markets in 2005: Package offers brought increased text message traffic

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 26.4.2006 15.34
Press release
Some 2.8 billion person-to-person messages were sent in Finland in 2005 - an increase of 29 per cent on the previous year. Personal text messaging is still the most-used mobile phone service.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland has been investigating the markets for SMS and other mobile phone services, now for the seventh time. The study divides the markets into three groups: person-to-person messaging, content, and data services. Last year the total value of the markets increased by 16 per cent on the previous year, to about 284 million euros.

The growth in text message traffic was particularly due to a change in pricing, with the operators offering packages in which a certain number of text messages are included in the monthly charge. The price of individual messages continued to fall in 2005. Nevertheless the total value of the text message market grew to 178 million euros, which was 13 per cent more than the year before.

Content and data services account for a good third of the mobile service market. The data service markets grew most last year, increasing by 43 per cent to 30 million euros. The content service markets grew by 16 per cent to 71 million euros. The most profitable content services are the information search services, ring tones and chat services.

It is thought that operators will be marketing more mobile phone services in the next few years, while competition in recent years has focused on the cost of calls and text messages.

The study also looked into the numbers of mobile phones working with different technologies. Third generation mobiles are foreseen to become more widespread during this year, one of the reasons being the ending of the ban on "tie-in" sales of phones and services.

At the end of last year, some 2.5 million mobile phones had colour screens - almost half of the mobile phones in Finland. There were about 1.2 million mobiles with built-in cameras, and about 300,000 smart phones, or about 6% of all subscriptions.

The study compared the SMS markets in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the UK and Italy. Danes are the most active senders of text messages, with an average of 149 messages sent a month from every subscription in the country. The average number of messages sent in Finland was 44, and in Sweden 20.

Mobile Services Markets in Finland in 2005 (in Finnish, available on the Ministry's website

Further information:
Mikael Åkermarck, Research Officer, tel. +358 9 160 28396 or +358 400 533 847
Kari T. Ojala, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 9 160 28725 or +358 400 812 509