Saturday, March 1, 2008

Internet Subscribers in Oman grows...but what about the level of service?

This is my first post in the blog in a long long while...now that I'm back in Melbourne, I'm reading Times of Oman more keenly and that sorta keeps me updated...here goes...

In an article published by Times of Oman (Click on the header of the post to get to the original...I wont copy-paste anything but figures), it said that the subscriber base for internet services in Oman is now just over 100,000 (102,657 to be precise)...which is still only a small fraction of our neighbours (i.e. UAE)....

However, what nobody has pointed out yet is the level of service from OmanTel...which has been less than stellar in recent (or even before recent) times...the speed on the ADSL is redundant at 384 kbps, which hardly fits the definition for "broadband" anymore...the charges are pretty high as well at OMR 12 line rent + OMR 1 per GB....

Connection drop-outs, slow response times, and sometimes the ADSL line behaving slower than dial-up is not unusual..

If anyone from OmanTel reads the blog, get this stuffed into the heads of your technical department: We need more speed AND more reliability.

(The original article is here)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Omantel needs to get its act together on internet access very soon. I feel very sorry for people stuck with super slow and ridiculously expensive dial-up. How can initiatives like the e-government be successful when the majority of people are being ripped off by a 52kbps connection??!!

Dial-up charges have not been changed like for ever!! We need two new plans: One gives unlimited access for R.O. 20 a month and the other charges 100 baisas per hour on pay as you use basis.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "Omantel will provide 180,000 more lines"
when?? this year, next year or maybe in 10 years!! Omantel CEO is only good at giving promises he can not keep. Shame!!. Where are the lower charges and wider ADSL penetration he promised us by the end of the year at comex 2007.

And why is ADSL being capped at 384kbps for homes if exchanges can deliver 1024kbps??

We need to break Omantel monopoly on internet like we did with mobile to get better and cheaper services.

<\rant goes on>

Suburban said...

There is an alternative.

1) Pack a wheelbarrow full of Money
2) Go to Nawras, and buy yourself the 3G modem with the big wireless router, and sign up for a post-Paid account.
3) Hook it all up and enjoy internet so fast it blows your hair back. From Al Guhubra, we sometimes get speeds of up to 2.2 MBPS.
4) Feel overjoyed every time you pay your internet bill, secure in the knowlege that less of your money is going to fund the corrupt and incompetint, money theiving machine that is Omantel.
5)Live happily ever after.

You're welcome!

sythe said...

I asked a question about this on omanforum last week and muscati kindly answered for me. Apparently at the upcoming COMEX Omantel will be announcing a new bouquet of ADSL packages. Only received information for the residential packages but all 384 connections will be upgraded to 512. New packages will give you 1mb, 2mb, 4mb or even 8mb if you're willing to pay. The faster lines wont be available in all areas, and the 8mb which will probably cost 100 rials a month wont be available till the year end.

Muscati reckons pricing will be something like this: 2mb should be around RO. 29 and 4mb at 39.

HOWEVER, 1RO/GB OVERAGE CHARGES WILL BE IN EFFECT. Apparently with each package something like 5GB is thrown in, and you're left to pay the balance. Unlike how it is right now, there will be NO PRICE CAP. So if you use 100gb, you pay 100 RO.

HOWEVER (AGAIN), the 384 connections will be bumped to 512, and the price will remain at 12 RO, with the MAX PRICE CAP of 39 RO IN PLACE. So if you download a lot, take the 15 KB/sec speed increase and carry on paying your 39 RO a month.

Many thanks to Muscati for sharing this information with us on the omanforum board.

Twister said...

Thanks Sythe.

Suburban, I have hard Nawras provides fairly good service (at OMR 29 for 10 GB). However, there's also the OMR 3 line rent on the SIM, and the modem is very costly as well.

Amjad said...

suburban:

you use the Nawras 3G broadband? How is it?

Suburban said...

Twister, Amjad,

The Nawras Broadband is the best investment we have ever made. Seriously, I can't even begin to tell you how much it's changed my life.

Stone and I often tke the laptops and router to the beach, and share a bottle of wine while catching up on email.

For about 33 - 35 rials a month we get
a) lightning fast internet.
b) which we can take almost anywhere we want to go.
c) A Landline: the router has a slot for a landline style telephone to be plugged in. We use it as our home phone.
d) Nawras customer service, which if occasionally inept, is professional, articulate, Helpfull, and comitted.
e) The sheer Joy of knowing that not One single Baiza of Stone's hard earned cash is going to Omantel.
f) a 25% discount on everything, including long distance, through a program we signed up for.

In the last year we've cancelled the landline, moved our mobile phones over, and issued the kids with new Nawras pre-paid sims. I hate Omantel with the passion of a thousand firey suns, and now, finally, I am free from them forever.

Priceless.

Anonymous said...

Oman invites proposals for new telecom licences:

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssTechMediaTelecomNews/idUSL0415145820080304

allen said...

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