Buy a local SIM card to reduce your bills.
Finland is sometimes referred to as a Scandinavian country and at other times Nordic, but it is in fact both. Extremely popular with tourists, the republic has some amazing local SIM card deals that could reduce your bills. You can buy 1GB of data from their leading telco provider for as little as EUR9.90 (AUD13). So, whether you’re planning a week-long holiday or a Scandinavian tour, check out the best SIM card options available.
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Telco providers in Finland
There are three main operators in Finland: Telia, Elisa (prepaid packages are operated under the Saunalahti brand) and DNA. All three have been tried and tested by locals and international travelers, and can be trusted. Their deals are among the best in world. Operators go through a strict approval process before being allowed to operate in the country, and each one competes with the others to offer the best deals. Finland has good network coverage and a healthy overall speed.
Finland’s operators provide good 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE wireless services. All three operators sell prepaid credit, which allow users to take advantage of cheap offers and deals. Locals call their SIM Cards “SIMs”, and they can be purchased from official stores and approved resellers by using your passport. Credit can be purchased from the same stores, supermarkets and at the airport when you arrive. Top-ups can also be purchased online by using your credit card. Below, we have broken down each telco provider to highlight exactly what they can offer you during your visit to Finland.
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Telia is the largest operator in Finland with the biggest market share. It offers customers good 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services. Telia Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers and can be activated by showing your passport or any form of ID to the retailer. Credit can be purchased from the same stores or at most supermarkets and newsagents across the country. Credit can be purchased in the following denominations: EUR10, EUR20, EUR30, EUR40 and EUR50. The first three top-ups come with a EUR5 bonus.
Telia’s starter pack can be purchased for EUR5.90, which comes with EUR7 of credit. However, make sure you shop around because there are often deals and promotions available. R-kioski sometimes sells Telia products at huge discounts, and they currently offer the starter pack for EUR3.90. SIM cards are available in standard, nano or micro sizes.
The standard default data rate is one of the lowest in the world, charged at just EUR0.01 per MB, with a EUR0.99 cap. Text “Prepaid Saldo” to 15400 to check balance.
Telia also offers a data-only SIM for modems, tablets and routers. Ask the retailer for the “Telia Prepaid Netti” and they will know what to give you. This SIM card can be purchased for EUR24.90, which includes "unlimited" high speed traffic in 3G and 4G up to 50Mbps, valid for 31 days. A cap of 3GB per day often applies. Again, discounts are often available so shop around. Text “PREPAID SALDO” to 15400 to check balance. Text “PREPAID VOIMASSA” to 15400 to check expiration date. You can also check both the credit balance and the expiration date on the Telia app.
NOTE: It’s important to note here that the Telia prepaid SIM card can only be used in Finland.
Unlimited data packages per day (a cap of 3GB per day may apply):
- EUR19.90 – 7 days of unlimited data
- EUR29.90 – 31 days of unlimited data
Combo packages including domestic calls, domestic SMS and data valid for 31 days:
- EUR9.90 – 100 mins of voice, 100SMS and 1GB data
- EUR19.90 – 500 mins of voice, 500SMS and 5GB data
- EUR29.90 – 1200 mins of voice, 1,000SMS and 10GB data
Telia’s APN: internet, website:http://www.telia.fi
Saunalahti is run by Elisa and has the fastest speed and best coverage in Finland. 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services are available. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers and can be activated by showing your passport or any form of ID to the retailer. Credit can be purchased from the same stores or at most supermarkets and newsagents across the country.
SIM cards can be purchased for EUR5.90, and include EUR6 of credit. Nano, standard or micro SIMs can be purchased. To use the English language option on your SMS notifications and prompts, text “ENGLISH” to 18258. The default PIN code for SIM card access is 1234. Dial *100# to check balance.
The standard default data rate is EUR0.066 per MB with a daily maximum of EUR0.99. The following voice, text and data packs are also available:
- Rajoitukseton 3G: EUR24.90, unlimited domestic calls, 5000 domestic texts and unlimited data – valid for 30 days. Activation: Text “3G” to 15020
- Rajoitukseton 4G: EUR29.90, unlimited domestic calls, 5000 domestic texts and unlimited data – valid for 30 days. Text “4G” to 15020
|EUR6.60||256kbit/s||Valid for 1 month||Text “DATA256” to 15020|
|EUR27.80||256kbit/s||Valid for 6 months||Text “DATA6KK” to 15020|
|EUR14.90||4Mbit/s||Valid for 1 month||Text “DATA31” to 15020|
|EUR6.60||21Mbit/s||Valid for 1 week||Text “DATA7” to 15020|
|EUR16.90||21Mbit/s||Valid for 1 month||Text “DATA21M” to 15020|
|EUR19.90||50Mbit/s||Valid for 1 month||Text “DATA50M” to 15020|
Check prices at time of purchase because there are often deals and promotions available. They have been known to offer as much as 50% discount on some prepaid packages, so keep your eyes peeled.
Saunalahti’s APN: internet, website:http://elisa.fi
DNA is the smallest operator in Finland. 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE services are available. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers and can be activated by showing your passport or any form of ID to the retailer. Credit can be purchased from the same stores or at most supermarkets and newsagents across the country.
The following prepaid SIM cards are available:
1) DNA Rajaton Prepaid SIM: voice, SMS, MMS and data – EUR7.90 (Can be discounted to EUR3.90, so shop around). This SIM card is charged per day and will reset itself at midnight. Unlimited domestic voice, SMS and 4G data is charged at EUR0.89 per day. There’s a cap of 5GB per month.
2) DNA Super Prepaid SIM: voice, SMS, MMS and data – EUR7.90 (often discounted) and includes EUR7 credit. The standard default data rate is charged at EUR1.525 per MB with a maximum.
The following data packs can also be added:
3) DNA Dataprepaid Tablet SIM: data-only SIM card for laptops or tablets – unlimited data for 30 days charged at EUR24.90, sometimes discounted to EUR19.90. Check stores for deals and promotions. Packs with either 1GB or 10GB of data can also be purchased, valid for 180 days and are on sale for EUR9.90 and EUR24.90. Once you register the SIM card you will also receive 9GB data bonus.
The following data add-ons can also be purchased:
- 7 days of unlimited data – EUR7.90
- 30 days of unlimited data – EUR19.95
- 10GB for 90 days – EUR19.90
- 30GB for 90 days – EUR29.90
DNA’s APN: prepaid.dna.fi, and website:www.dna.fi
- Finnish and some Swedish are spoken in Finland. English is also widely spoken. If you think you will have trouble with the local languages then you may want to download google translate on your phone before you leave.
- Locals call SIM cards “SIMs”.
- Ask the retailers to set up the SIM cards for you, because they will know how to do it. If not, follow the instructions we have highlighted above or go to the official operator website to seek advice.
TripAdvisor tips for the best SIM cards and where to buy them
While it’s well known for reviews, booking hotels, flights and holidays, TripAdvisor also has many user comments that can help guide you through the SIM cards that have been tried and tested in Finland.
Here are some top tips from TripAdvisor users:
“They claim iPhones are really poor in low temperatures. Keep your phone warm in case you are here during the winter.”
“Ensure your phone is ‘unlocked’ and have data roaming facilities.”
“I recommend Elisa for SIM card use in Finland. I just paid EUR12 at airport R-Kiosk (convenience store) for one-week unlimited use”
Pros and cons of telco providers in Finland
All networks require you to have a SIM-unlocked, GSM-compatible international phone. To double check you have this phone, or to find out whether it’s possible to unlock your device, contact your provider before you leave home.
- Good value for money
- Finland has good coverage
- Prepaid credit when required
- No in-store contract needed
- Could be compatible with your current phone
- Cheap handsets are sold in stores
- No devices offered with the SIM card packages
- Can only be used on SIM-unlocked GSM phones
- Telia can only be used in Finland