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International Calls, Telephone Services & Networks in Finland

Police and Emergency Services: Phone 112
Directory Enquiries: Phone 118
General Enquiries:
Phone 020202  Timetables, route guidance, weather & more!

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Please note: any information on charges and prices given on this page is subject to change.

Mobile VoIP - International Calls at Local Rates

Mobile VoIP is an application of VoIP (technologies allowing Voice communications Over the Internet) that allows you to connect to a VoIP network via your mobile phone and make international calls, using a third party provider for the international leg of the call. Savings are typically 90% or more... Expat phone home!

A highly recommended VoIP service provider, which provides cheap international calling rates, is Rebtel. Founded in 2006 in Sweden, Rebtel is an award-winning Mobile VoIP provider. Its technology allows you to make mobile-mobile and mobile-land line international calls, and works by creating local land line numbers in both the country of origin and country of destination, and routing the international part of the call over VoIP. For the user, this means only being charged for the cost of a local call, not the expensive international part.

Unlike similar providers offering calls over VoIP, calls with Rebtel are made without any additional user-installed software, computers or Internet connections. They also work with any mobile phone and carrier. You can also make free international calls between more than 50 countries. Enjoy maximum calling at minimum rates!

Mobile / Cell Phones in Finland

Getting Connected
There is no 'set-up fee' for a mobile phone in Finland so this is usually the cheapest way to get a phone number. However, if you are a foreigner without an established credit history in Finland you may need to pay a deposit to open a mobile phone line. This can be substantial - perhaps € 500 - but if you pay your bills on time the amount is fully refundable when either you cancel the service, or the 'trial period' of up to 2 years is over.

Mobile phones are no longer an expensive way of communicating, and the cost of mobile internet access has dropped substantially. Rates for all services can vary significantly between operators, so shop around for the best deal and ask about packages and promotions; these are increasingly common as competition increases.

You can often arrange a telephone line over the phone; the SIM cards will be posted to you.
Get connected: call a Mobile Phone Operator

Getting a Phone
'Mobile phone' is matkapuhelin, kännykkä, känny, or käsipuhelin in Finnish. If you need to get a phone:

Landline / Fixed Phone Services in Finland

So you're a nostalgia buff and you want a landline? Seriously, you'll probably be the only person on the block to have one, so maybe you can start a retro trend! Contact Elisa regarding installation of landlines.
Elisa.com > In English > Subscriptions > Fixed Phone

Pricing depends on the package you purchase; this is an indication only for a home phone:

Finnish Telephone Networks / Mobile Phone Operators

Following are Finland's major mobile communications operators. Many are also Internet Service Providers and TV service providers.
Phone numbers operate during normal business hours.
Remember you can try opening Finnish-only sites in Google Translate; go to www.translate.google.com, paste the site's address in the left-hand box and click the Translate button.

Operator Web Site Phone Enquiries
Cubio Finnish/English/Russian   09 4247 5000
Globetel Finnish/English/Swedish 09 228 9100
DNA Finnish/English 044 144 044
Elisa Finnish, limited English/Swedish   050 950 500
Sonera Finnish only 0200 17000
Saunalahti Finnish only 09 4243 0456
Tele Finland    Finnish only 040 4123 123

Prepaid Mobile Services in Finland

Prepaid phone subscriptions from operators such as Sonera are available from outlets including R-Kioskis and larger service stations, as well as online. Simply buy a package, install the supplied SIM card in your mobile phone, key in the codes provided and you can start making calls. Your new phone number is included with the package. You will be alerted when your airtime is running out, and can then "recharge" the subscription from a prepaid dealer or online. Sonera has information about their Prepaid services in English at
www.sonera.fi > Puhelin ja liittymä > Liitymät > Easy Prepaid: English PDF links are on this page

Prepaid packages are an easy way to get started with a mobile phone service; the downside is that the charge per minute, or message, is comparatively high and you are unable to make international calls.

International Calls from Finland

Regardless of the operator you subscribe to for your regular service, you can choose which operator you would like to handle individual international phone calls. Operators' rates per minute vary dramatically. Not only that but one operator may have cheap rates to one country while their rates to another country are comparatively high. Check the operators above for their rates to various countries; you may find one that will allow you to "phone home" regularly at a great saving. Please note that you have to add the local network charge to the prices given on the Web pages. Sometimes the prices are shown without the 24% sales tax.

To call with a different operator: Normally when making an international call from a mobile phone you key the + sign first; this simply specifies that the call will be placed through your regular operator. Instead, key in the prefix of the operator you want to handle the call*. For example 991 (Saunalahti), 990 (Sonera) or 999 (Elisa). Then dial the country code, the area code and the actual phone number as usual.
Ex: 999 (Elisa prefix) 61 (country code) 2 (area code) 9234 5678 (number)
*Some operators require you to register - check their sites for details

Calling on the Internet

Free calls can be made computer-to-computer using a service & software such as Skype. Your computer will need a soundcard, a microphone and speakers/headphones, or a headset. If you have a camera, you can also make video calls. Most laptops these days have the requisite equipment built-in; if not, the peripherals are cheap. Sound and video quality has constantly improved over the last decade; sound is now at least of telephone standard, and video quality is good even with average connection speeds. So, free video calls to Australia! 30 years ago this was science fiction.

Cheap calls can also be made with Skype from your computer to landline telephones and mobile phones; these are not free but are charged via a debit-based user account system. They are a fraction of the cost of using your phone; the cost of using Skype to call an Australian landline from my PC in Finland is less than one-fifteenth the cost of using my phone. You can compare the rates at the web sites of your providers ex. Skype and Elisa.

Nearly all programmes for Internet calls work on the same procedure:

  1. Fill in the user registration at the web site
  2. Download the programme
  3. Buy "phone" time (if you want to call phones, as well as other computers, from your computer)
  4. Make the call

Skype
Started in 2003, Skype is the leader in the field; it works extremely well, it's free, and it's easy to download and install. It works with Windows, Mac and Linux. Apart from the features above, it allows you to do video conferencing, file transfers, messaging and much more. I've been using it almost ten years - it's phenomenal!
Skype: www.skype.com

Competing Services
The following services have similarities to Skype; depending on your needs they may be preferable: