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Bahrain Internet speeds improve in Q3

Report from Bahrain TRA shows slight increase in quality of 1Mbps Internet services

Bahrain Internet speeds improve in Q3
The Broadband Quality of Service Analysis Report gives consumers better information to make informed decisions, says Mahmood.

Internet users in Bahrain received a small average increase in service speeds in the Q3 this year, according to figures from the Bahrain TRA.

According to the Broadband Quality of Service Analysis Report for the quarter from 1st July to 30th September, users of typical 1Mbps ADSL internet services saw average TCP download and upload speeds increase slightly, while users of 2Mbps services typically saw a slight worsening of speeds.

The Bahrain TRA began monitoring broadband quality earlier in the year, with the aim of being able to gauge whether ISPs in the country are delivering what they promise in terms of quality, and whether services improve over time.

For the third quarter of this year, the industry average download speed for a 1Mbps service increased to 0.82Mbps from 0.74Mbps in the previous quarter, while upload speeds increased from 0.2Mbps to 0.21Mbps. Only one service provider, Neutel, showed a decrease in performance with download speeds going from an average 0.7Mbps in Q2 to 0.69Mbps in Q3.

For subscribers to the two 2Mbps WiMAX services in Bahrain, quality of service also decreased slightly, with average download speed down to 1.08Mbps from 1.1Mbps and average upload speeds down from 0.24Mbps down to 0.21Mbps.

The Broadband Quality of Service Analysis Report presents measurements of the services delivered by nine ISPs in Bahrain, with the results based on data gathered on behalf of the TRA by broadband benchmarking company Epitiro. The company installed its monitoring platform in Bahrain, and began round-the-clock measurement of seven 1Mbps broadband services, and two 2Mbps services from April this year.

The TCP upload and download tests are conducted at a raw socket level (a socket that allows access to the underlying transport provider (ISP) that is supported by protocols such as IPv4 and IPv6) in order to test the full capacity of the connection. The probe is configured to initiate multiple TCP sessions and simultaneously use all of the open sessions for the transmission of data. This effectively ‘floods’ the connection and reports the throughput capacity of the line.

Mohammed Mahmood, the TRA’s director of Technical and Operations Affairs said: “Information available to the end consumer about internet services is usually limited to their own experience with a specific Internet Service Provider (ISP) and what marketing and pricing elements are communicated by the industry. Comparing as an example actual download and upload speeds achieved by different ISPs is a new piece of information that will complete the existing one and allow consumers to make informed decisions.

“Through this second report consumers will be able to identify if any evolution took place on the observed service performance achieved by each of the ISPs. The report is consistent with the previous report and TRA wishes consumers will find it helpful,” he added.

The Broadband Quality of Service Analysis Report is available on the TRA website.

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