You knew this was coming, right?
Yes, I know, most people reading this probably won’t care. But at some undetermined point in the future someone, somewhere out there on the internets will want to know:
How can I get a cheap data SIM for Finland?
A quick search on Howard Forums yielded but one result specific to this part of the world:
I spent two weeks in Finland last year; used about 350 MB of data […] I could have gotten a local SIM for €20 or so, with unlimited data, but that’s a PITA for a brief trip. A lot of countries require you to register pre-paid SIMs and won’t sell them to foreigners.
That might be true for some places, but is not the case for Finland at all. Here’s how you can enjoy fast LTE data on your Finnish holiday for under $10 USD.
What you’re looking for is the Smart Prepaid 4G SIM from a carrier called DNA. For 7,90 € ($8.75 USD / $11.50 CAD at today’s rates) here’s what you get:
- Unlimited voice
- Unlimited SMS/MMS
- 3GB of fast LTE data
How fast is the data? A sample test on my Nexus 6:
So long as your handset is SIM-unlocked and supports LTE bands 3 or 7 you should be able to enjoy similar speeds. Over the seven days I was there I used my phone exactly as I do at home—and, in addition, downloaded 500MB of podcasts for the flight back home. When all was said and done I had used a hair over 2GB.
The text messaging came in unexpectedly handy when my girlfriend wanted to book a table at a popular restaurant; the reservation was made entirely over SMS. When you consider that Nokia’s entire lineup of handsets supported SMS as early as 1993, such things only make sense.
So if you’re landing at Helsinki Airport how do you get your data SIM right away? Easy, just look for a convenience store in the Arrivals Hall called R-kioski. There are actually two Arrivals Halls in the International Terminal—2A and 2B. If you come out of the baggage claim in the wrong one like we did (2B) it’s only a short walk to the R-kioski in Hall 2A. Once there just ask—in English—for a data SIM, and the DNA one is likely what you’ll get. There’s no handing over your passport or anything else to slow you down; just pay for it and you’re done!
The DNA SIM is a hybrid mini-micro-nano product so you don’t have to worry about which one to get. Be prepared for one minor inconvenience, though… The SIMs have a four digit PIN which you’ll have to enter on every boot, so make sure you take note of it somewhere—preferably not on your phone.