International Calls, Telephone Services & Networks in Finland
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Directory Enquiries: Phone 118
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Jump Down to:
- Mobile VoIP - International Calls at Local Rates
- Mobile / Cell Phones & Accounts in Finland
- Prepaid Mobile Services
- Finnish Telephone Networks / Operators
- International Calls from Finland
- Calling on the Internet
- International Country Codes
- Landline / Fixed Phone Services
- Additional Information
Please note: any information on charges and prices given on this page is subject to change.
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, providing cheap international calling rates, is Rebtel. Founded in Sweden in 2006, Rebtel is award-winning and increasingly popular. Rebtel allows you to make mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-landline 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!
Accounts: Getting Connected
There is no set-up fee for a mobile phone account in Finland so this is the cheapest way to get a phone number (landlines have a set-up fee). However, if you don't have a 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. Alternatively, when you first arrive in Finland a prepaid service can be the quickest and cheapest way to get set up.
Mobile services are reasonaby priced 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 look at packages and promotions; these are increasingly common as competition increases.
You can usually arrange a telephone line over the phone; the SIM cards will be posted to you.
Get connected: call a Mobile Phone Operator
Buying a Phone
'Mobile phone' is matkapuhelin, kännykkä, känny, or käsipuhelin in Finnish. If you need a phone:
- Many of Finland's mobile phone operators offer a phone as part of a service package. This is not necessary though, as it is in some countries; you can set up an account and buy your phone separately.
- You can buy phones from numerous retailers - even the ubiquitous R-Kioskis sell them occasionally, packaged with prepaid calling cards. These days basic phones start from about €30 and you can get a pretty good phone for about €80. At the other end of the spectrum, you can expect to pay over €500 for a top model
- If money is tight ask Finnish friends or acquaintances if they have an old phone you could use - many people have phones left over from past upgrades
- You can also try Huuto.net, the Finnish equivalent of Ebay, established in 1999 and good for buying almost anything second-hand. Look in the Puhelimet section, which lists thousands of phones. Tori.fi is another popular and reliable 'online flea market'.
Prepaid packages are an easy and fast way to get started with a Finnish mobile phone service, and in recent years prices have dropped significantly. Additionally, in the past you could not make international calls with prepaid packages but that is no longer the case.
Prepaid phone subscriptions are available from various operators and can be purchased from outlets including R-Kioskis and larger service stations, as well as online. Simply buy a package, install the supplied SIM card, key in the codes provided and 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 'top up' the subscription from a prepaid dealer or online.
Vectone Mobile offers a variety of prepaid mobile services in Finland, including low international rates. To get started, you can order a free SIM card online which you'll receive within 5 working days. Vectone Mobile subscriptions can be topped up in R-Kioskis as well as online.
Detailed information in English: www.vectonemobile.fi En, Fi
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.
*Most limited-language sites work in Google Translate; paste the site's address in the left-hand box and click the Translate button.
|Operator||Web Site||Phone Enquiries|
|Globetel||www.globetel.fi Fi, En, Sw||09 228 9100|
|DNA||www.dna.fi Fi, Sw, pt.En||044 144 044|
|Elisa||www.elisa.com Fi, Sw, pt.En||01019 0240|
|Sonera||www.sonera.fi Fi, pt.En, pt.Sw||0200 17000|
|Saunalahti||www.saunalahti.fi Fi, pt.En, pt.Sw||01019 0230|
|Tele Finland||www.tele.fi Finnish only||040 4123 123|
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
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:
- Fill in the user registration at the web site
- Download the programme
- Buy "phone" time (if you want to call phones, as well as other computers, from your computer)
- Make the call
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!
The following services have similarities to Skype; depending on your needs they may be preferable:
- Linphone: www.linphone.org
- Google Voice: www.google.com/voice
- Deltathree Go2call: www.go2call.com
- VykeMobile: www.vyke.com
So you're a nostalgia buff and you want
a landline? You'll probably
be the only person in a 10km radius 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:
- a non-recurring subscription fee of € 99 (+ additional charge if an installer must visit your home)
- ongoing monthly fees of € 16,81 + call charges
- Local call rate of 12¢/call + 1¢/min regardless of time of day
- You will receive telephone directories and free-of-charge services including Caller ID, Call Forwarding & Call Waiting
- Charges differ for business lines
- Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority: Functional, technical, provider and regulatory information on Internet & Telephone, TV & Radio, Post, and Information Security in Finland. En, Fi, Sw