Can any of the Finland in-country experts comment on cell phone coverage within Finland, particularly away from major cities. Web information suggests that I need a phone compatible with both 900MHZ and 1800MHZ to have countrywide coverage, and some cell phones (advertised in the USA as "world phones") are compatible with one or the other but not both. I'm looking for some practical experience of cell phone users traveling throughout Finland. Do I need a cell phone which works at both 900/1800 MHZ to cover the Finland countryside?
We have a multi-frequence cellphone network here. Phones with only one frequence do work but it is possible that in Karelia, where you are going, these phones don't work perfectly. Probably the best way to solve this problem is to by a cellphone here, they aren't very expensive, if you don't need all the extra features, the cheapest ones cost ca. 50€ = ~50$. And then we have these prepaid phonecards that you can buy and use.
I'm not an expert in these things, but this is the way I see it. All the latest cellphone models from Nokia, Sony-ericsson, Motorola and Siemens should be compatibles with both of the frequences, but are they made the same way as our models??
If you have GSM 900MHz you have coverage everywhere where there is coverage. 1800MHz has limited coverage, especially in the countryside.