Study: 3G network data rates 1.5 times higher than last spring – tablet already serves as a travel TV

Omnitele Ltd.

November 8th, 2011
Helsinki, Finland

Did you try using a 3G connection a few years ago and feel disappointed with the performance? If you did, you might now want to try again, as network coverage and data rates today are in a completely different league. According to a study carried out in September, data transfer rates have increased by a factor of up to 1.5 over last spring.

3G network speed is going up fast. Data rates in the 15 largest Finnish cities were tested during September, and the results were considerable: the data transfer rate of the best operator was now around five megabytes per second, with the weakest operator reaching three megabytes per second.

“These are average figures; the best rates were of course many times higher. Conversely, we also measured poor rates, which means that there is a great degree of variation both within and between operators,” says Ville Laakso, Head of Network Design and Development at Omnitele Ltd., the company in charge of the study.

Data transfer rates are affected by three network features: coverage, capacity and the technology employed. The variation observed in the study can be explained through differences in the extent to which operators have introduced network capacity and technology.

The previous data rate study was conducted last spring; at best, rates have since increased by a factor of 1.5.

“Mobile technology is constantly taking giant leaps. Continuous monitoring is necessary if we want up-to-date information. The challenge for the operators is that network updating is a fairly costly business,” Laakso says.

“Competition on the domestic market is fierce, however, which should work to the benefit of consumers. Operators have to invest in network development, which serves the interests of the consumer.”

Improved speed and convenience for consumers

3G network data rates have been pretty good for some time now, so why on earth do they need constant development? Jarno Haikonen, Business Director of broadband operations at DNA, is quick to list at least three reasons:

“The number of mobile broadband users is rising constantly. There are also more devices than before, with smartphones and tablets being used in addition to computers. The quality and number of applications and services are also on the increase with the introduction of video and map services requiring more bandwidth,” Haikonen says.

“Compared to a few years ago today’s 3G rates are from a different world. A few more years and they will be even higher.”
For the average consumer higher data rates will mean increasingly diverse services as well as more speed and comfort of use.

“For example, when we were at our summer house this year, the children watched cartoons online using a tablet instead of turning on the computer or TV.” To be able to reap the full benefits of 3G network data rates, consumers should check that their devices are up to date and capable of exploiting the latest features. There is no need to become an engineer, however, as help is readily available.
“When buying a new device, ask the salesperson what you can do with it. There’s plenty of information available on the web, and you can also contact your operator if necessary,” Haikonen says.

The study carried out by Omnitele Ltd covered around 44% of the Finnish population. Measurements were performed during September 2011. The aim was to chart data transfer rates in the study area in the 3G networks of DNA, Elisa and Sonera using a USB modem supporting the latest 3G network capabilities. The measurements were performed using drive testing and site testing.

For more information, please contact:
Johanna Hurmerinta, Marketing and Communications Manager, Omnitele Ltd.
tel. +358 44 767 1387 email:

Jarno Haikonen, Director of Broadband Operations, DNA Ltd
tel. +358 40 5696556, email:

Omnitele Ltd.
Omnitele Ltd. is a pioneer within the wireless industry with twenty two years of leading edge network and business consulting experience worldwide. The company was founded in 1988 to set up the first GSM network in the world. Omnitele’s strengths lie in the experience received from over 1.000 projects in 78  countries. The expertise areas are mobile network planning and development, technical consulting and operator business development. Omnitele aims to increase and improve overall operator performance and quality of services.

DNA Ltd is a Finnish telecommunications company providing high-quality, state-of-the-art voice, data and mobile communications and TV services to private customers, corporations and other organisations. DNA Group’s turnover was EUR 690 million and its profit EUR 65 million in 2010. DNA has over 3 million mobile communications and fixed networks customer contracts. For further information, please visit