Elisa Estonia reports 40 % decline in roaming services use

Estonian operator Elisa has announced that the number of users of roaming services declined by 40 percent year-on-year in the first half of this year.  Nevertheless, the use of data traffic when roaming jumped by 38 percent.

Elisa roaming statistics show that in the first half of 2020, 40% fewer people used data communication abroad, but nevertheless the volume of data communication used abroad increased by 38%, to a total of 2.77 petabytes. Popular destinations in June and July were Latvia, Finland and Lithuania.

The consumption of data communication abroad by Elisa’s private, business and calling card customers has increased by leaps and bounds since the European Union’s roaming regulations came into force in 2017, and this year is no exception. In the first seven months of this year, Elisa’s customers abroad used 2.77 petabytes, or almost 2,900,000 gigabytes of data. For this volume, you can watch, for example, Netflix in 4K quality for 47 years or in full HD quality for 110 years. Compared to the previous year, the amount of data communications used abroad increased by 38%.

However, the number of foreign visitors to Elisa’s customers decreased by 40% compared to the previous year. Mailiis Ploomann , Head of Elisa’s Telecommunications Services, said that behind the big decline are travel restrictions and recommendations to prevent travel around the world. “If you take a look at data communications by country, it turns out that the use of data communications in many of Estonia’s favorite travel destinations has dropped enormously.”

Roaming data show that, for example, data usage fell by 86% in Bulgaria, 51% in Italy, 60% in Croatia and 85% in Turkey. “However, the large increase in roaming is due to neighboring countries such as Finland, Sweden and Norway, where Estonians who remained in the country due to travel restrictions probably used data communication. Based on this year’s data, the use of roaming is not expected to slow down either, as already in the first half of the year significantly more data communications were used abroad, “Ploomann added.

Based on roaming data, Elisa’s customers visited Latvia the most this summer, followed by Finland and Lithuania. If we compare travel earlier this year, the most visited countries were Finland, Sweden, Latvia, but Poland and Germany were also popular. Statistics from 2019 showed that Estonians use roaming in large volumes during the winter and dark periods, when they flee not only to rest but also to work remotely in warmer climates.

The majority of Elisa’s customers used to visit abroad a couple of times a year, and by the end of this year it will become clear how much the global virus outbreak has affected the average travel habits of Estonians.

Popular destinations in June and July based on roaming availability

1. Latvia

2. Finland

3. Lithuania

4. Russia

5. Sweden

The use of roaming fell the most:


1. In Bulgaria, 86%

2. In Turkey – 85%

3. Switzerland – 80%

4. Ireland – 78%

5. Croatia – 60%


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