Vodafone Ghana has released an all new K3806 modem, which has so far proven to give relatively very fast internet download and upload speeds, comparable to Expresso’s CLIQ and MTN’s Fastlink Modem in practice.
The company is offering double value on tariff as a welcome package for new users, which means for GHS85.00 one gets the modem, a free SIM card and 4GB of data, and for the first two months of usage, every recharge also comes with double the credit as well.
Until Vodafone’s new USB Stick was released about two months ago, the MTN Fastlink and the CLIQ from Expresso were relatively faster than all others on the market.
Vodafone had always claimed its modems offered up to 14.4megabit/sec download speed, but in reality Vodafone’s modem was then one of the super slowest in the country.
But the all new Vodafone modem still claims a theoretical peak download speed of 14.4mb/s, but a practical download speed of up to o up to 10.8mb/s, which is by far higher than even the highest theoretical speed that any other network claims.
Its stated upload speed is also 14.4mb/s in theory, but 5.7mb/s in practice, which is arguably faster than the practical download speeds of the next in line on the market.
MTN and Airtel claim to offer up to 7.2mb/s download speed in theory, but industry experts have said for those modems that claim to offer up to 7.2mb/s download speed, the highest they could offer in practice is about 5mbs, and that is even when the user has one full base transceiver station (BTS) all to him or herself.
The recent Oakla Speedtest rankings, for instance, revealed practical broadband internet speeds on MTN stood at 1.51mb/sec, which is great, but slower than Vodafone’s 6.13mb/sec measured at the same time, and same place in March this year.
It is not clear whether the 10.8mb/s practical download speed, and 5.7mb/s practical upload speed Vodafone claims is actually real, but it was easy to tell by using the modem that it is relatively very fast and gives great experience comparable to the Expresso CLIQ and the MTN Fastlink.
Indeed, some technical staff of Vodafone Ghana admitted that the Expresso CLIQ and MTN Fastlink had been the fastest on the market until the revamped Vodafone modem was released.
They noted, however that, the difference between their new modem and the others on the market is that “all things being equal our modem gives you a practical speed of 10.8mb/s and an ultimate speed of 14.4mb/s, both of which are way higher than what the others promise as their ultimate.”
“We now have three modems on the market, Vodafone K3806, Expresso Cliq and MTN Fastlink – the rest are just there in name,” an industry critic remarked.
The Vodafone modem works great in GPRS, EDGE, 3G and HSDPA depending on where one is and at what time of the day, and what one is doing on the internet.
But the technical staff at Vodafone explained that the user’s experience, in terms of speed could be affected by various factors beyond the control of the user and of Vodafone.
“Speed can be affected by factors such as your location, weather condition, the congestion level of the BTS you are accessing, whether you are browsing, streaming or downloading files, what kind and size of files you are downloading, the kind of website you are on, what other activities are on the website, and a whole lot of other factors beyond Vodafone’s control,” they said.
They noted, however that, Vodafone has data packages such as the Browser, for beginners; the Streamer, for people who do a lot of social networking and do a lot of live online music and video streaming; and the Downloader for those who do a lot of downloading.
“Each package is specifically designed to meet the needs of each of the special segments,” they said.
The packaging of the modem is also sleek and very attractive, coming with three case options – white, red and black; so the user can, from time to time, change the case to make the modem look new always.
Pundits have said Vodafone had no choice than to add its modem to the list of fast broadband internet services that won it the network with the highest internet speed in Ghana in for two years running in the Ookla Speedtest rankings.
Vodafone is the biggest communication company in the world, and in Ghana, it is the second largest operator by subscribers, with about 4.7 million subscribers representing 21% market share as at May 31, 2012.