Comparing Network Coverage Canada vs. Finland

Canada seems to be one of the most expensive places when it comes to mobile telephony and mobile Internet services and some people wonder if this might be due to the few people living in such a vast country. But this can easily be dismissed when comparing Canada with Finland, a country that is also thinly populated but has very low mobile telephony and mobile Internet prices:

Canada stretches over an area of roughly 10 million square kilometers. When looking at network coverage maps, however, only a small part of that area is actually covered. Have a look here for details. Let's say 1.5 million square kilometers are covered. Within that area, I would assume that the majority of the the roughly 35 million Canadians lives. If you divide the 35 million people by the 1.5 million square kilometers, that's around 23 people per square kilometer.

And now to Finland. Finland is pretty much completely covered, have a look here. There are 5.4 million inhabitants and divided by Finland's landmass of 0.338 million square kilometers that's roughly 16 people per square kilometer.

In other words, Finland has a very similar population density per square kilometer in the area covered by mobile networks, yet prices are significantly lower. That puts the 'large country + low population density = high prices' myth to rest.


2 thoughts on “Comparing Network Coverage Canada vs. Finland”

  1. yep. prices only came down in 1995 after the PCS auctions and competition came. but then the big 2 bought out the competition leaving 3 major operators (2 of which share their RAN) leaving 2 operators and high prices still. there are few small startups but only in high density areas and high prices once you leave those areas. So yes, us Canadians have very high wireless prices. A title I would rather not be #1 at 🙂

  2. I’d be guessing the U.S of A has a similar situation as Canada due to the limitations to competition that are defacto in the US mobile market.

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