Broadband services 

Updated: 31.10.2014 - Next update: 31.3.2015

The number of mobile broadband subscriptions continues to grow strongly

The use of mobile data transfer services has increased considerably in recent years, based on both the number of subscriptions used for data transfer and the amount of data transferred in the subscriptions. At the end of June 2014, more than 6.6 million mobile subscriptions used a data transfer service subject to a monthly charge. In addition to this, 500,000 subscriptions used a data transfer service invoiced in some other way. Data transfer subscriptions based on a monthly charge can be further divided into unlimited and limited subscriptions, based on whether the monthly charge covers unlimited data transfer or whether the data transfer is limited. After the maximum data transfer volume, the data transfer speed can become, depending on the agreement made, slower or subject to an additional charge. Around 56 per cent of the data transfer subscriptions subject to a monthly charge had an unlimited data transfer volume at the end of 2013.

The number of fixed broadband subscriptions has remained fairly stable for several years now. Of the fixed broadband subscriptions using different technologies, the largest increase over the past few years has been in the numbers of Ethernet subscriptions and cable modem subscriptions. The investments made in fibre-optic networks can be seen as an increase in the numbers of FTTH (Fibre to the Home, fibre-optic local loop to home) subscriptions, but also in the numbers of other subscriptions, such as Ethernet subscriptions, using the fibre-optic network. Correspondingly, the largest decrease has been in the numbers of DSL subscriptions. Despite of the drop, these subscriptions amount to clearly more than half of all fixed broadband subscriptions.

More statistics related to telephone and broadband services as well as further information on the development of these can be found on FICORA's statistics pages.

Finnish Communication Regulatory Authority FICORA

Description of indicator

The minimum speed of a broadband subscription from the network to the user is 144 kbit/s. Slower data transfer subscriptions than this are practically no longer available in Finland. The broadband subscription volume contains both consumer and corporate subscriptions. The number of subscriptions includes both prepaid subscriptions, which are paid for in advance, and postpaid subscriptions, which are paid afterwards, and which form the majority of the subscription volume.

Broadband subscriptions can be divided into subscriptions implemented by means of the fixed network and mobile network subscriptions. These categories can be further divided into different implementation techniques, which enable, among others, data transfer speeds that differ from each other.

Mobile network data transfer subscriptions are used in many different ways. The subscription volume includes data transfer services related to voice and messaging services for mobile phones, but also subscriptions intended solely for broadband use. The latter subscriptions are mainly used so that they are connected to different computers. The first-mentioned subscriptions are usually used by one person only, whereas the latter subscriptions usually serve, for example, an entire household via one or several terminal devices, similarly to leased lines.

Here, a mobile broadband subscription refers to a mobile subscription with a broadband connection speed and a fixed, monthly charge without spend limits set in advance. In other words, the data transfer services that are as similar as possible to fixed network broadband services. It is not relevant what kind of terminal device is used, whether it is a telephone, a USB modem or a tablet computer.

Fixed network subscriptions can be divided into solutions implemented by means of the telephone network, the cable television network and the fibre-optic network. In addition, connections implemented by radio technology have been included in fixed network subscriptions. These connections use other network than a mobile network.

DSL subscriptions are broadband subscriptions based on a metallic telephone network. So far, ADSL has been the most popular DSL technology, but it has already been largely replaced, among others, by VDSL technology, which is a faster connection technology than its predecessor. Meanwhile, cable modem subscriptions are implemented by the cable television network. Other broadband connections include, among others, apartment building subscriptions where the building is connected to the data transfer network by a fibre-optic connection, as well as various wireless solutions based on radio technology (such as WiMAX).

The data is collected bi-annually from telecommunications operators with activities in Finland. The subscriptions have been reported in the number of pieces according to 30 June and 31 December.