• Internet and mobile phones it is Australia vs Sweden
  • Internet and mobile phones it is Australia vs Sweden
    Written by battye
    Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:37 pm

    Here in Australia, we are blessed with the finest communications infrastructure in the world. Unfortunately, it is not used anywhere near its full capability/potential and the internet and mobile phone networks are monopolised by one provider called Telstra.

    I recently spoke to Mathias from Sweden who gave me the lowdown on their communications system.

    For broadband, do most people in Sweden use ADSL/ADSL2/Cable?

    Mathias: We mostly use ADSL or Glasfiber cable (100mb up and 100mb down).

    Does anyone still use dial-up?

    Mathias: No, I dont think so, mabye less then 0.01% does. We stoped using dial-up around
    the year 2000.

    What is the average downstream speeds and upstream speeds?

    Mathias: We can have different speeds, depending on how much we want to pay every 30th day (once a month). For example, I have 8Mb Down and 1 MB up ADSL, (goes only around 800-1mb/sec down and 80-100kb/sec up). But that is very cheap.

    Then you can have:

    2MB/s down and 200KB/sec up (ADSL),
    10MB/s down and 1MB/sec up (ADSL)
    10MB/s down and 10mMB/s up (cable)
    24MB/s down and 2.4MB/s up (ADSL)
    24MB/s down and 24MB/s up (cable)
    50MB/s down and 50MB/s up (cable)
    100MB/s down and 100MB/s up (cable)

    Most people have 10MB/s Cable, 24MB/s ADSL or 100MB/s Cable.

    But a lot have lately started to use 3G Broadband to Laptops and portible devices. And 3G speed goes to 14.4/MB Down and 1.4 MB/s up.

    For the mobile phone network, what is Sweden using? Still CDMA, or now
    is it GPRS, 3G?

    Mathias: We mostly use 3G; almost every phone have 3G. We have some old phones that
    is going on GSM.

    What are the mobile networks like for speed, particularly the 3G speeds?

    Mathias: Same as the one I said on question 3. 14.4MB/s down and 1.4MB/s up. But Sweden is already now starting to build 4G networks, and I dont know when it is going to be finished, mabye next year? But not sure, and on 4G we will have mobile 4g speed at 150MB/s down and I don't know the up speed, but I will guess on 15MB/s up.

    Thank you to Mathias for answering my questions about broadband and mobile speeds in Sweden. I think it is important to contrast with Australia, to show how far behind we are.

    Like in Sweden, most people in Australia are now using broadband, however I think there are still many people using dial-up. Because of the size of our country, broadband connectivity might not be available to everyone in rural areas. Most Australians would be using ADSL, I am one of the few using cable!

    I notice that in Sweden "it is very cheap" for 800-1000 kb/sec downstream and 80-100 kb/sec upstread. No such luck in Australia! Admittedly, I am with Telstra and they are not a company known for their value for money. Regardless, it is upwards of AUD $60 for 800 kb/sec down and 12 kb/sec up here! And don't think that is offset by large data allowances: $60 for 12GB, $80 for 25GB. It is depressing to go further. Not all internet providers are this expensive, but Telstra is the national carrier and provide both home phone, mobile phones and cable TV - often bundled together. So they have a majority market share.

    On to mobile phones. Maybe it has changed since the introduction of the iPhone - which a lot of people have in Australia - but GSM has been the leading network for qutie some time. Reports from the more populated areas of the country (Sydney and Melbourne) are that the 3G network is not in a good condition except on Telstra. We would be very lucky to get 14.4 MB/sec down here, in fact I doubt it is achievable even on Telstra. I just tried a speed test on my iPhone 3G, which had 4-5 bars of signal, on Optus (second largest telco behind Telstra) and got these results: 1.17 Mbps (1173 Kbps / 143 kB/s). Apparently this is 0.73 times faster than Edge... in other words, slower than what the pre-3G networks were like. The upload speed was nothing to write home about either, at 0.14 Mbps it was 0.4 times as fast as Edge... 60% slower. But this doesn't concern me too much, because I think for a phone it is amazing to have internet on there in the first place (let alone as well implemented as it is in the iPhone), so any broadband like speed is a bonus. Often I am happy with GPRS speeds!

    So yes, Australia is a long way behind the rest of the world. Not America though, they may have the edge on us in home internet, but they are a long way behind in mobile phone technology!

    Thank you again to Mathias for his information about the internet and mobile phones in Sweden!
  • Article search