Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has issued a decree under which the minimum level of speed that must be provided by universal broadband service providers will increase to up to 5Mbps.
In a statement, the MoTC confirmed that the decree comes into force from Monday, October 25, 2021, while it specified that as per the decree, minimum downlink speeds must be at least 3.5Mbps, while ‘normal’ speeds – defined as ‘the speed that is maintained in 90% of cases during each four-hour measurement period’ – must be at least 4.5Mbps, with maximum speeds required being 5Mbps.
All consumers and businesses in Finland, where Nokia tech giant is headquartered, were initially entitled by law to a broadband subscription offering download speeds of at least 1Mbps from 1 July 2010.
Plans for an increase to the minimum mandated downlink rate was then announced when the MoTC in April 2015 confirmed it would require operators to provide a higher minimum rate of 2Mbps.
It was however, not until May 2016 that designations of universal service providers for 2Mbps broadband connections were made.
But the new decree means, no broadband service provider, fixed and mobile, would be allowed to offer downlink speeds below 3.5Mbps and normal speed of less than 4.5Mbps.
Service providers who fall short of the requirements of the decree risk being sanctioned.
Meanwhile, as of July this year, Ghana’s fixed broadband speed of 53.28Mbps was ranked number one in Africa and 79th globally. Meanwhile, fixed broadband speeds in Finland could go as high as 300Mbps, which is about six times Ghana’s.
On the mobile broadband front, Ghana is ranked 135th in the world with a download speed of 12.9Mbps and an upload speed of 9.62Mbps. Finland recorded as high as 29.8Mbps mobile broadband speed, which is more than twice what Ghana has.
In reality, though, mobile broadband speeds in Ghana usually read below 100 kilobits, and hardly even gets to 1Mbps for even 4G networks.
Industry experts think it is time for minimum mobile broadband speeds to be decreed in Ghana, just like it has in Finland, so that service providers would be held to the standards, particularly as consumers continue to complain about service quality and high cost of data.