Mobile commerce history: The Nordic countries are also in the vanguard of mobile electronic commerce, or m-commerce. Although it is still a novelty, people in Finland are beginning to use their phones to pay for soft drinks from a vending machine, for parking and for car washes.
In Sweden, trials are under way to allow people to check train schedules and to book and pay for tickets by phone. An advertisement in Stockholm shows a shopkeeper asking, "Will that be cash or phone?"
The Nordic countries are digital Valhalla, the forefront of the new information economy based on wireless communications. As a result, American technology companies and venture capitalists are rushing to set up or expand their offices in the growing high-tech centers near Helsinki and Stockholm. Microsoft opened a new research and development office in Stockholm last month, as did Motorola.