It's good to talk in Finland

Finland, already the world's biggest cellular phone user, has set a new record with more than 40 mobile phones per 100 people, the government announced. More than 2 million people have mobile phones in the country of 5 million, and Finns are signing up for new phones at a rate of 50,000 a month, said Mikael Akermarck, a researcher at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

In 1996, about 500,000 people became new mobile phone subscribers, up 35 per cent from 370,000 the year before. Close behind Finland was Norway with 34 mobile subscriptions per 100 people at the beginning of October, followed by Sweden with 33.

Other countries in Europe with more than 20 mobile phones per 100 people are Denmark and Iceland. Britain has 13, Germany nine and France about 7 subscriptions per 100 people. Australia had 28 mobile phones per 100 people, the United States 20 and Japan 19, according to the ministry.

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