UAE users long over-Du net value

According to a recent Gulf News report quoting Etisalat CEO Mohammad Al Qemzi, UAE telcos Etisalat and Du have settled their outstanding commercial and technical issues and are just waiting for the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to evaluate and agree to their service agreement. Let’s hope then that this agreement and Du’s subsequent net offer spark real competition, on both price and speed of service…

  • E-Mail
By  Matthew Wade Published  June 6, 2006

|~||~||~|What with Al Shamil dropping its prices by up to 47% over the last year (and DIC Telecom, or what’s now Du by another name, then following suit and matching these fees exactly), it’s been easy to become caught up in the “things are getting better” optimism gripping some internet users. But it’s all relative isn’t it? There’s certainly still a (long) way to go if the providers here want to be regarded as consumer focused on the international stage. Why? Well prepare yourself, for this short education might sting a little. Pain point one: a typical consumer internet offer at present in the UK - which I spied advertised on the London Tube – offers end user broadband for 14.95 British pounds per month (that’s US $28, or 103AED) – compared to Al Shamil and DIC’s shared 512Kbit/s broadband price of 189AED. But wait – here’s paint point two – that UK price isn’t actually for a 512 service. It’s for 16 meg of bandwidth (yup, count ‘em – 16!). For those not in the know, a PC with a 512Kbit/s (kilobits per second) connection – the basic broadband speed available here (the max bring 2Mbits/s) – takes around 15 or 20 minutes (according to my experience) to download an album’s worth of audio content. In other words, 12 tracks - running to 70- or 75Mbytes. Whereas 16 meg actually means 16Mbit/s. And yes, you figured it correct – that’s 32 times as much bandwidth for, what proportion of the UAE’s 512 cost? 54%, that’s what. Ouch indeed. Certainly some readers might argue that 16 meg is a case of overkill – after all, who other than the most serious download pirates are really going to utilise such bandwidth? – but I suggest we look at it this way: would you rather spend half that amount (a.k.a half of very little) and have to sometimes wait around for videos to buffer and download completions to ‘ping’ done, or go the whole way, spend a still very reasonable sum, and guarantee you never run into net-performance problems? If you’re a serious PC player, the answer should be obvious. This then is Du’s challenge: to meet its website promise of 'enabling better experiences' and in doing so spark, ideally, a price and service war with Etisalat. If not a war, a minor skirmish would still give netizens something to smile about. ||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code