Welho, Finland’s largest cable operator, will launch a data tier with 200 Mbps on the downstream later this month.

The deployment to customers will come on the heels of a successful trial of the 200 Mbps speed late last year. In the trial, Welho upgraded 500 of its 110 Mbps customers to 200 Mbps.

“As we will be offering exceptionally high speeds, we wanted to collect as much data and comments as possible from active users prior to launch. The successful beta test proved that we are ready to deliver the new superfast speeds to homes in our network. The users clearly enjoyed the high-speed experience, which convinced us that the 200 Mbps broadband is ready to enter the market,” said Jarno Haikonen, vice president of Welho’s Consumer Business.

Using EuroDOCSIS, Welho has been channel bonding streams for its 110 Mbps service since August of 2008 to all of its next-generation network.

While Welho’s 200 Mbps tier is the fastest in the country, it said its slowest tier of 10 Mbps is faster than nearly 90 percent of the consumer broadband connections in Finland.

In a similar vein to what is occurring in the United States, the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications has put a national plan of action in place to have 100 Mbps connections available to all citizens of the country by 2015.

Currently, bandwidth-intensive services such as catch-up TV and online video viewing are driving the need for faster speeds.

”The popularity of catch-up TV and online video viewing is growing fast, as well as the numbers of connected home devices,” said Welho President Johan Flykt. "The new bandwidth-intensive services, together with increasing simultaneous use of connected devices, make it obvious that the consumers’ demand for more bandwidth keeps rising. The launch of our completely new speed range ensures that our customers can enjoy digital entertainment in as high quality as it is meant to be. From now on, these amazing experiences are certainly not a question of speed.”

Along with the 200 Mbps tier, Welho is ending new sales of present connections under 10 Mbps, although existing customers won’t automatically be upgraded to the higher speeds. Welho’s new tiers are now 10 Mbps, 40 Mbps, 110 Mbps and 200 Mbps.

Last week, Virgin Media said it would expand its 200 Mbps trial, as well as start the rollout of its 100 Mbps tier across its United Kingdom footprint.

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