The Acting General Manager of Tigo Ghana, Obafemi Banigbe has admitted the telcos cannot possibly guarantee the broadband internet speeds they advertise because they do not have control over several factors that determine the broadband speed each customer got.
All the telcos in Ghana have been making a boast of some high internet speeds that customers could experience on their networks, but customers? experience have not matched the wild promises by the telcos.
Most of the telcos have advertised customers could get up to 7.2 megabits/second of broadband speed, while at least one, Vodafone actually promised up to 14.4 megabits/second on one of its modems and even 40 megabits/second at its internet cafes in parts of the country.
But Obafemi Banigbe said ?there is no network in the world that can offer all of its customers 7.2 megabits/second of internet speeds for 24 hours all day long.?
?Even if you have one base station all to yourself the maximum speed you will get is 6 megabits/second ? that is if you have all the bandwidth all to yourself,? he said.
Mr. Banigbe explained that the 3G technology, which was variously called 3.5G or 3.75G was essentially High-Speed Packet Download Access (HSPA) and it had speeds of between 256 kilobits/second and 7.2 megabits/second.
?Some may even call it 4G but it is just semantics because the technology is the same and the speeds are within the same limits,? he said.
He however noted that the internet speed one could experience on a network depended on several factors, some of which the network could control and others totally out of the control of the service provider.
?It may depend on where the customer is, which Base Station is serving the customers, how many other people are active on that Base Station and what they are doing on the internet, and many other factors,? he said.
Other factors may include which website one was browsing and how congested the international connection to that website was, what kind of material one was accessing from the internet, whether one was stationary or in motion, and several others that neither the user nor the service provider had control over.
Internet speeds in Ghana was recently ranked highest in African and 72nd in the world, and it averaged at 5.13 megabits/second. Vodafone topped in Ghana with 6.13 megabits/second, followed by Zipnet/Broadband Home at 2.02mbps, while MTN came in third with 1.51mbps, but none of the other telcos, including Tigo showed on the radar.
Obafemi Banigbe noted that the technology industry was now working on Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology to ensure that what one person does on the internet would not affect another person?s experience in terms of speed, but until that was done, no service provider could guarantee the maximum speeds they have advertised.
He however assured Tigo customers that the company was committed to upgrading every Base Station that registered several users, to ensure that the customer?s experience on Tigo was of the highest quality and real speed.
Mr. Banigbe also admitted that the pay-as-you-go service on Tigo, which charged customers immediately they got connected to the internet even when they are not browsing, was irrelevant, adding that Tigo rather encouraged customers to opt for any of the several packages instead of pay-as-you-go.
?At Tigo we cut out all the ceremony and connect you straight to the internet once you connect your modem so we start charging you even before you browse, but if you buy any of our bundles it does not matter if we connect you straight and start charging because the bundle entitles you to a specific package,? he said.
Mr. Banigbe urged Ghanaians to opt for any of the three newly launched time-based internet packages, which offered unlimited browsing, and easier to understand because the credit is quoted in terms of time rather than megabytes and gigabytes.
He said customers could buy a day?s package for 99Gp by texting ?DAY? to 2065, a week?s package for GHC5.99 by texting ?WEEK? to 2060 and a month?s package for GHC39.99 by texting ?MONTH? to 2040 and browse, watch videos and play music online, skype, facebook and do much more with no limit on capacity until the time one paid for elapsed.