Updated 7 months ago

Estonia is undeniably one of the most well-connected countries in the world; pretty much everywhere enjoys fast internet speeds and the number of cell phones per person is one of the highest in the world. But at the end of the day, Estonia is still a small country -- which means that the market is small as well (Estonia has three major cell phone providers and three major TV/Internet providers) and there’s a big competition on reasonably priced services. Here’s what you need to know in order to make the most of it.

Telecoms and internet

In spite of how digital Estonian society is, the best way to get a monthly contract with a wireless service provider is still to step into one of the major telecom companies’ branches. The main names are Telia, Elisa and Tele2, and there may be slight differences between them when it comes to data speed (especially in the most remote rural locations), so make sure to review and compare before choosing.

If a monthly contract sounds like too much of a commitment to you, you can choose to buy a prepaid calling card instead, as all three companies offer numerous options with rechargeable SIMs. Although there might be slight differences per company, in general, a calling card doesn’t cost more than 10 euros, and usually includes messages, a few hundred megabytes of data and free calling time. You will find them at the telecom companies’ branches, but also at supermarkets, gas stations, R-kiosks and at the post offices.

When it comes to the internet, it is usually combined with a TV service and a landline, if needed (although landlines have become a thing of the past). Telia is once again a key player in the industry, along with Starman and STV, and in all of them, you can choose to go with just one service or create a package that fits your specific deals. The available options may vary slightly based on the location of your apartment, so check their websites first to see what applies in your case (the landline deals are the same in every location though). Be aware that many of the websites are in Estonian and Russian, so if your Estonian is not up to par yet, it would be better to just stop by one of their branches and speak with a representative in English.

Postal services

Is there a place for analogue communication in a digital society? Apparently, there is. Omniva (previously called Eesti post) is the national postal service: it has post offices all over the country, which are open on weekdays and on Saturdays. Opening hours vary, but you can check them out at their website, where you can also figure out Estonia’s postal code system and find your own.

If you want to mail a letter or a postcard, look for the orange mailboxes placed outside the post offices, in shopping centres and in gas stations. Each box says when the mail will be picked up, but you should know that within the Baltic and Nordic countries most letters will take from one to three days to arrive, and up to a week if you send them overseas. You will find stamps at the post offices, but also in kiosks and grocery stores. If you’re waiting for a letter to arrive in the mail, you should also check your mailbox on Saturdays, because the service here operates six days a week.

  Useful links
Telia
Elisa
Tele2
Starman
STV
Omniva National Postal Services

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