Sweden’s 4g network is growing at a rapid pace. A few years ago, the fast mobile broadband network was only available in Stockholm’s inner city, but today it covers large parts of the country.
Some completely opt out of fixed broadband at home and only surf mobile, while others see mobile broadband as a good supplement when we are on the move. Choosing the right mobile broadband can seem difficult, but in reality it is enough to ask yourself three basic questions to choose the right one.
“What hardware do I need?”
Mobile broadband is sold in different packages. The cheapest is of course to just get a subscription. You will then receive a SIM card that you can insert into any modem/router of your choice (see previous page). Getting all the settings to work can be difficult, and many choose instead the operators’ complete packages with sim cards and hardware that are guaranteed to work together.
A few years ago, a USB modem was the obvious solution, but since it could only be used on a computer, it is starting to be outcompeted by the mobile router, which also works well with mobile phones and tablets.
There are both stationary routers and battery powered routers for the trip. The stationary ones usually provide better surfing speed, but are less flexible because they require power. In our test, we focused on the battery-powered travel routers, but as you can see in the table, most subscriptions can be combined with any gadget.
“How much am I consuming?”
The other important question is how much data you consume. All subscriptions have a maximum ceiling, and as you on the next spread, the difference is big. In other words, to choose the right subscription, it is important to find out how much data you need.
Something you don’t need to keep track of, however, is whether you’re going to surf via 3g or 4g. Previously, this required different subscriptions, but nowadays basically all subscriptions have 4g support. If you are in a place where there is no 4g, the 3g or gsm network is automatically used.
“Which operator should I choose?”
The last question is which operator to choose, and it is of course the most difficult. With the operators’ coverage maps (pcforalla.se/thanking maps andbroadband map.pts.se) you can check their coverage for the places where you want to surf, but the data is not completely reliable.
Your surfing speed is also affected by local obstacles such as mountains and thick walls, so the only sure way is to test a subscription before committing.
As you can see in our test, however, there are general differences between the operators.
The mobile operator 3
Still one step behind
Mobile operator 3 has not invested heavily in the 4g network. While 99 percent can get 4g with competitors, the corresponding figure is only 80 percent for 3. This is noticeable in Bredbandskollen’s speed measurements.
Last year, despite this, 3 were the winners of the test. Low speed was compensated by an attractive price list. This year they have raised the price and worsened the conditions. Because Tele2 has done exactly the opposite, they change places on the podium.
Free surfing in Denmark.
Slower than the competition.
Worst 4g coverage.
Operator locked router.
Slow surf throughout the country
Net1 has chosen a different technical solution than its competitors. Their geographical coverage is better, while the maximum speed is worse. In other words, if you live in a reasonably large city, Net1 is a bad choice. If, on the other hand, you have a remote cabin or are planning a long-distance boating holiday, then Net1 may be right for you.
Another advantage is that Net1’s subscriptions are Scandinavian, so you don’t pay anything extra to surf in Norway and Denmark.
Coverage throughout Sweden.
Free surfing in Denmark and Norway.
Operator locked router.
No cash card.
The price makes Tele2 a winner
When we tested mobile broadband last year, we criticized Tele2 for its price list. A high monthly fee and a low maximum ceiling deprived the company of the gold medal. Fortunately, they have taken the criticism to heart and now offer more surfing at a lower price. This makes Tele2 the cheapest choice for all our type users.
If we look at the speed, they are behind Telia and Telenor. However, the difference is relatively small, and that makes Tele2 the clear winner of the test.
Good battery life on the router.
A little slow.
Ridiculously expensive for the big surfer
Telenor describes its mobile broadband as a complement to a fixed broadband, and it shows in the price list. As you can see on the next page, the monthly bill can end up at SEK 11,000.
Telenor’s trump card is instead about speed, and they boast that their network is significantly better than competitor Telia. However, if we look at Bredbandskollen’s statistics, it turns out that the differences are small.
Telenor has a good service, but the high price makes them come last in the test.
Good 4g coverage.
Low maximum ceiling.
Get a subscription.
No cash card.
Nicest router not enough
Routers rarely arouse desire, but Telia’s Huawei model is really delicious. It comes in gold and white, and resembles a thin phone. If that doesn’t appeal, there is also an uglier but more powerful router.
Now the router is not the most important thing, and if we look at what Telia has to offer, we are not as impressed. The maximum ceiling is as low as Telenor’s, which makes Telia unattractive to large consumers.
What pulls the rating up is the speed and access to wifi surf zones for faster surfing.
Fast connection and good 4g coverage.
Free surf in surf zones.
Low maximum ceiling.
Huawei router lacks antenna input.
8 Price Pushers Challenging the Giants
The operators do not only have their own subscriptions. They also rent out their networks to independent actors. Many compete with limited budget subscriptions that are a little cheaper.
Here are the eight price-pressers:
Facts about the subscription
Click on the tables to view in large format
That’s how fast you can surf
In Bredbandskollen’s statistics, it is possible to see how fast users surf – in practice. We have compiled the numbers in the areas where it is possible to get 4g.
So we did the test
. We have tested mobile broadband from all five operators. What we’ve tested is their most powerful plan with their most portable router. However, the rating is set with all types of use in mind.
Speed. We did not do any own speed tests but used Bredbandskollen’s (www.bredbandskollen.se) measurement values. The site is run by the II-Stiftelsen and is used by hundreds of thousands of Swedes. We have selected the operators’ best metrics. Note that the numbers show the speed in areas with 4g coverage. In many other places the result is much worse. The tests were done in March.
Cost. In the table, we report both the official price and a “comparative cost”, i.e. how much it costs to reach a certain level of consumption each month. We describe the cost for four different user types:
The small surfer never watches TV via the computer, but is content with surfing, emailing, doing banking – and occasionally listening to music and the radio (2 GB/month)
The average surfer does the same as the frugal surfer, but also watches a bit of movies and TV. A total of two hours a week in front of the TV (10 GB/month)
The big surfer watches web TV for an hour a day and a couple of movies a week. In addition to this, Spotify or the web radio is on almost all waking time, i.e. approximately ten hours a day (100 GB/month)
The family surfer watches TV together for two hours a day and watches four movies a week. Here, too, music is played ten hours a day – albeit on two different devices (200 GB/month).