Optimism… maybe

15 May, '06

KoOKiE just brought to our attention something to be optimistic about, if true that is. I have not received the email yet, but let me relate what has been posted on the boycottbatelco.com’s guestbook:

Someone got this letter from Peter the CEO

“Please find attached a detailed response which I have forwarded to the people complaining against the new internet packages by Batelco. When I can get a representative team together from concerned users (hopefully within the next two weeks), we will kick off some research – in a collaborative way – which will lead to new, additional packages being introduced even unlimited… I don’t want to mislead you but this process will take couple of months, unless we can do it quicker. TRA approvals take at least 30 days.

I understand there are concerns and we will act responsibly.

I hope the info below allows you to conclude that we will benefit a lot of customers. We now have to find a solution for those high users – I get it.

Regards
Peter K “

I hope this is true… there were more than 250 people in that room last night, and all of them didn’t come there just to hear about new packages; most probably they knew about them and came to object to the unavailability of unlimited packages.

A friend just commented to me that only Shaikh Isa Qassim and his lot can bring that many people into a room! I don’t think that the BIS in all of its history managed to get that many people into an event, knowing Bahrain, they would have probably begged and threatened to just get 50. So that must have demonstrated to Batelco that they have done something wrong, and if that message got through, as the entry above suggests, then I am optimistic.

Batelco has a duty not only to its shareholders, it has a larger duty to its community, and “giving” BD 5 million here and there when you consider their net profit last year of BD 80 million, is less than peanuts. I was particularly aggrieved and dismayed when I heard Mr. K repeat – at least three times – a threat to discontinue donations to worthy causes in order to plough that money into making the internet access more affordable, particularly to villagers.

But that’s a subject of another post, in an Arabic paper coming soon…

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  1. Bahraini.TV — The pulse of Bahrain | 19 May, '06
  1. Moody says:

    well !! that was’nt mentioned yesterday ..
    Yesterday was more like , Hey look thats our New packages , Including excuses Why theis packages …

    so they want us to put pressure on TRA for 256 ?
    i got a better Pure Pressure for the TRA …

    http://zainal.wordpress.com/2006/05/15/okie-so-where-should-we-apply-our-pressure-batelco-tra/

  2. mahmood says:

    There’s a story about this 256kbps package Moody: the package is 256kbps with a threshold of 2GB. If we know approximately how much you would need to bust the 15GB limit on a higher-end package, you can easily divide those numbers to fit this 256 package, which means it is near useless except for receiving junk email and spam, don’t think of chatting, don’t think of file sharing, don’t think of entertainment, don’t think of music….

    But, this is what Batelco is banking on.. they smell the money the hapless subscriber is going to pay for usage above the 2GB limit!

    And considering the model that they used to divine this package, which is:

    – Sell for BD 10 (256kbps/2GB)
    – Cost of package to Batelco BD 11 (this is an actual figure by the way)
    and in a very short time the subscriber is going to bust the ceiling.. when that happens, the package price automatically goes into overdrive before it gets limited (in the unlimited) 64kbps, hence they recoup their money..
    – But at the same time, the cost of the 64kbps service to them now drops to a base BD6, hence regardless of whatever the subscriber does, Batelco not only covers its cost, but actually starts making good profit margin out of them!

    Brilliant strategy isn’t it?

    Shall we dig the dirt out on the higher-end limited packages as well?

    Suffice it to say that it was marketing which set those threshold levels, and then sold it as “huge limits”… but let’s leave the costings and models for those for another time… for now we know that they are making money on ALL the packages above the glorious BD10 package, which if approved, will immediately distance any and all competition coming to Bahrain.

    Do we still want to go fight their fight with the TRA?

    I’d rather shoot myself first!

  3. Bu Salman says:

    Some points.

    I attended this event. I’m surprised that you said he threatened to take away public funding. I think you misinterpreted his words (badly!). The jist was that Batelco’s charitable activities were seperate from the business/consumer and it wouldn’t make sense to move one to subsidies the other. The reason he repeated this was because people repeatildy suggested ADSL should be provided as an act of good faith to the Kingdom’s people.

    Secondly, He had a very easy ride. The questions were awful. Most were a repeat of the same question. Also ,with all do respect ( and I do occasionaly happen by your site to see what’s happening 🙂 ), I didn’t buy your argument that capping bandwidth stifles creativity and the like ( though I do agree we should be totally connected nation without any download limits – this however is a government strategic decision, as it is in other countries, not a commercial one)

    On that note, there are different internet models in the world. The US/Japanese/ Korean (mainly the latter two) approach which tends towards faster, unlimitted and then the european which leans towards what Peter described as the “User Pays” model. All major ISPs and europe are going towards this trend. This clearly doens’t include the smaller ISP (bulldog and the like)

    Another thing- where was the BIS??? surely they should have driven this debate and come up with thier own questions and issues..

    Over all I think it was an interesting event, I suspect they will release an “ultra” package of some sort in response to this.

    Finally just to put in my two cents: I don’t like the 15-20gig cap, I use more than that regularly. I disgaree with the principle of capping usage outright.

    PS: nice site.

  4. mahmood says:

    🙂 welcome again!

    No, I distinctly heard Peter specifically state – several times, and to slightly different scenarios – that “I can move our charitable donations which are to the tune of BD5 million a year into subsidising the internet access of poorer people” or words close to that effect. I could have misinterpreted his words if he stated this once.. but not emphasise it three times. I felt that, as a Bahraini, that he just slapped me when he said that. Talk about being humiliated.

    As to the easy ride, I’m not sure that it was, Adel was nervous for sure, and so was Peter. Although Peter is undoubtedly a very good and confident speaker, he is also an astute politician where he easily steers the conversation to the side which he likes, and dodges questions very easily. I’m sure you have seen that. Do I blame him? No of course not, however we should have a much more coordinated approach where questions should have been distributed and hard-hitting, but on the other side had we done that exclusively, it would have resembled a lynch-mob and would have at least led to an outright confrontation. I thought that being courteous would have achieved the results we want. And you will have to agree that looks like it is going to happen.

    However, I will reserve my judgement until that does happen and when I see what the shape and content of any new packages which might be offered. Until then, we will continue to oppose Batelco and exert pressure whenever we can. I have just taken over the BoycottBatelco.com officially and shall make an announcement there tonight. I shall keep that site running and will move it into my own server for ease of management. I shall keep the guestbook, and the main content is going to be archived, but will be done more as a blog to manage the content in a much more interactive fashion. Stay tuned.

    The BIS. I can understand them being a dear-in-headlights syndrome last night; the attendance far exceeded their wildest dreams. This is what the society needed and I hope they will capitalise on it to bring new members into the society. Could they have managed the debate better though? I think looking at the agenda, the biggest chunk was dedicated to Q&A, and rightly so. Judging by the amount of people who wanted to “get a piece of Batelco.” I can’t blame that side either as almost everyone in the room was unhappy with the situation we found ourselves in.

    Did people use that event as a podium to hear themselves speak? Of course. That should have been moderated and the chairman of the session should have told them to hurry it up and make their point, which he did during the 2nd half of the session, and he did a good job I think, and he was polite about it too. That counts in his favour.

    This event is the first of its kind, this whole movement is the first of its kind.

    I know I would have personally handled it differently and would have posed questions rather than go into a speech, but this too was a first for me. I don’t normally find a mic in my hand, but keyboards at the tips of my fingers.

    The future: we will continue to be courteous and will continue to demand that Batelco opens up its infrastructure as far as the internet is concerned and provide agreeable packages which ensure modest returns on their investment and fair for the people to use.

    What Batelco needs to realise is that it is tantamount to a crime to hold a whole country hostage when it is the only one who is providing such a vital service.

    You, bu Salman, is more than welcome to join our “pressure group” and I hope you and others will take up this offer.

  5. angelo says:

    Wow! Mahmood great progress! Congrats indeed 🙂 I hope the folks originally behind boycottbatelco.com will not give up though — there’s loads of ground to cover still! 🙂

  6. angelo says:

    Just an FYI that the petiton is now back up as well 🙂
    http://www.petitiononline.com/bhr/petition.html

  7. Bu Salman says:

    Fair points – and yes we did have way too many speaches! We will have to disagree on the charity thing. Ulitimately, an encouraging couple of days. A very organised consumer campaign and a rather quick response from the offending company (for now anyway)

    If you are taking over the boycottbatelco.com site, good luck. Well organised site. Although, the guest book area has way to many people (kids?) swearing in it IMHO. Whilst I appreciate the importance of giving people a right to express their opinion there is no reason to disrespect others. I would suggest for the reputation of your campaign you add guidelines that anyone who posts innopropriate messages will be modded down.- again IMHO. Good luck!

  8. Fardan says:

    Every 10 mins of time period Mr. Peter spoke for 10 BD package which was not the answer to the questions asked. Mr. Peter gave a number of 23000 legal customers out of which 90% people are 40 BD unlimited package customers. It means with 20700 customers Batelco earns 828000 BD per month.

    On 31 January, there was a report from Batelco in GDN that 18000 illegal connection exists in their server. so now the sum of the connections is 41000. According to the statements of Mr. Peter , he tried to convince the people of bahrain to take 10 BD package which is’nt even approved by TRA. So if 41000 connections are of 10 BD then batelco will only earn 410000 BD.

    It does’nt make any sense that Batelco is ready to loose more than 400000 BD from 41000 users instead of earning good amount from 23000 users.

    Batelco may want to put some restrictions on its users, as if they are not an ISP they are providing their customers a paretnal control system , that the users are limited in downloading.

    Every single person who asked the question mentioned the unlimited threshold and MR. Peter didn’t even responded to them in 20% accuracy.As if he was not allowed to talk for the unlimited thresholds or the 40 BD and 60 BD packages.

    Batelco team have to rethink about their decisions, what they want is a loss or a profit?

  9. mahmood says:

    Bu Salman I completely agree. Freedom of speech is one thing, complete rudeness is another and will not help our campaign. It will take me a couple of days to set things up (including DNS changes) but it would be good to concentrate the efforts into one location which shall act as a reference and focal point of the campaign.

    As the BB team have already done, I want to continue to run it objectively and professionally.

    Thanks for your input, and I look forward to a lot more!

  10. MooDy says:

    looks like we still got hope Mahmood , i agree with u on that too .
    but what if they just decided that the current packages are enough , then what ?
    We should Put some pressure on TRA so when other ISPs are available in the market , they’ll be the ones that will put up the Pressure on Batelco ..
    We should have a “Back Up” plan =|

  11. mahmood says:

    Absolutely Moody! There is no question in my mind that the campaign should continue.

    I have just updated the boycottbatelco.com site with a message that says exactly that.

  12. CuteOne says:

    Forwarded from boycottbatelco.com:

    btw, Mahmood, I noticed you’re still using a BATELCO mobile 🙂

    ***************************************

    Did you guys know that this 15G or 20G limits that you have is for BOTH download and upload ??

    I was told that by a Batelco IT manager.

    DL + UL = 15G limit

    so, you could download 10G and reach your limit (coz upload could have reached 5G)

    ***************************************

  13. mahmood says:

    Of course you are correct, and you haven’t even counted the overhead for every single letter you type which has to be confirmed as received and correct!

    As to the mobiles, I am STILL waiting for MTC sales to come visit us in the office, we were promised that they will send someone over 4 days ago and no one turned up yet… I guess they’re too busy at the moment with the number of people defecting!

  14. ali says:

    Mahmood the site looks weird after the update.. the message is excellent but I think design and content should not be seperated… maybe if you can use the old css it will get back the same look?

  15. CuteOne says:

    😛

    I should have used anonymouse.com

  16. mahmood says:

    No worries. Yes I know I screwed up the display (damn TextEdit on the Mac, that must be the worst program ever written!) But I promise to get back to the spirit of the theme as soon as possible, hopefully by tomorrow evening after the new database driven site is up… I’ve already prepared my server to receive the site, it’s just a matter of getting the DNS servers to resolve in the next 48 hours.

  17. angelo says:

    I think you just need to call the stylesheet.css from the index.html file.. all should be good then 😉

  18. angelo says:

    I really don’t know why Batelco couldn’t offer residential clients the same approach as they did for business accounts. When Batelco enhanced their business packages, they offered broadband unlimited & broadband with thresholds, have a look:

    http://www.batelco.com/preview.asp?ArticleId=395 (flat/threshold)
    http://www.batelco.com/preview.asp?ArticleId=396 (flat/unlimited)

    although I’m pretty sure the business packages aren’t meeting their mark on the speeds either. I’d be interested in going to 10 sample businesses in Bahrain on batelco’s business packages and running speed tests for them. to see whether they’re getting value for money. 😉

  19. DX says:

    Did anybody noticed that with what Batelco called new packages we are utilizing about 3% of full line capacity for the 2mb package and about 4.5% for 1mb package

    (2048/8)*60*60*24=22118400kB
    that is more than 22GB per day for full capacity
    and that is about 660GB per month

    20*100/660=3%

    and for the 1mb package

    (1024/8)*60*60*24=11059200kB
    and again that is about 11GB per day for full capacity. for a month that will be about 330GB

    Percentage of that will be
    15*100/330=4.5%

    we are paying BD60 for 3% of the full capacity 2mb line and BD40 for 4.5% of the full capacity 1mb line

  20. BuZain says:

    Mahmood,

    you sound biased against BIS man. They’ve done a fair job organizing the event. I was a presenter in a couple of their events where attendees were in the hundreds. I however agree with you that the questions could have been handled better. BIS also was not clear in its position towards the issue and promised a press release by the end of the month!! Something that we may never see, or see late with no real impact on the issue.

    I believe we all got overwhelmed by the number of people showed up. Which may be more influential, in our efforts to maintain our right to unlimited internet access, than the emotional speeches heard that night; yours included 🙂

    Anyways, I’m pleased that I met you after the event and exchanged biz cards. I’m a regular reader of your blog for the last 2 years and it was a great chance to meet you face-to-face.

  21. BinShehab says:

    I don’t agree to the number of the attendee to the event, every one said they are around 250 I am saying NO! they are less then 200!! WHY?? Because every one missed to count Batelco Staff (Cheering Team) who ware clipping all the time with and without reason for Mr. K. after he answer or maneuver through any question, it remind about the English parliament as we see them on the news.

  22. mahmood says:

    BuZain it was a pleasure meeting you too! I am always thrilled to unearth another (silent) friend! 🙂

    Regarding the emotions issue: I am unsure how else to portray this other than with emotion!

    To be objective demands a thorough knowledge of business fundamentals relating to the issue itself; ie, costs of broadband for Batelco. As we do not know that, and we probably never will, how else do you fight this fight without being emotional? The whole thing is emotive!

    As to the BIS, I did say “probably” as I have never attended any of their functions. I shall seriously consider doing so now.

  23. Nawab of Kabab says:

    It is an emotional issue but it may not help when it comes to dealing with Batelco. Objectivity and cold-hard logic is needed. Ofcourse, in the absence of any information about the business fundamentals related to the issue, it becomes tad difficult.

    However, there are still some openings…
    one, the end of unlimited broadband usage will curtail the growth and development of e-business
    two, no one will ever think of opening an online music store in Bahrain because now we have lost one of the key advantages that would have helped us to take on iTunes, Rhapsody and others…. hey, we can dream big, right.
    three, no one will be able to use the Internet as a research tool and spend hours upon hours accessing historical documents and audio-visual files of old newsreels and such.
    four, webmasters and bloggers will be unable to harness latest developments to enhance their content delivery mechanism

    by the way, how about flooding GDN’s letter pages with our complaints? Let’s see if those blokes print our letters and if they don’t we can conclude that dinosaurs still roam this planet.

  24. mahmood says:

    letters would help for sure, in Arabic they would have quadruple the effect!

  25. KoOKiE says:

    Hey Mahmood congrats you took over boycott 😉

    I just visit BB website its changed ncie work but do make a guestbook or something where ppl can reply. I guess the guestbook looked much easier to me.

    So whats the plan anything new ?? any more news abt batelco’s insanity ??

  26. juju says:

    love the new look..but where is the guestbook?

  27. KoOKiE says:

    The server is being shifted so it would be back up in next 1 or 2 days i guess.

  28. mahmood says:

    thanks, I’ve just finished the major layout components and more importantly shifting the content across. I’m working on the guestbook component and hopefully should have it functional soon.

  29. KoOKiE says:

    Oh gr8.

    Thats good 🙂

  30. PORSCHE ADDICT says:

    ladies and gentlemen, let us not forget about the big picture its part of human nature to give and take. batelco please wake up and make good with the remaining “loyal customers”, they still exist. competion gives them the choice of selecting alternate service providers in an open market economy they need not think twice. the “ADSL BROADBAND” issue is just “pandor’s box”, being opened by the public at this point in time. another concern of mine is “internet hotspots”, in general they are ment to be free “wiFi” access to the information super highway and not the opposite locally. in other markets, the service providers compete, for air wave supremecy, just so that a customer clicks on there icon or logo for free access. they are in the business to spend, and grow as “good corporate citizens” in world where loyalties are divided. please wake up, and smell the “sushi” batelco, we do not belive that “spending” on some ares and ignoring others is vital for growth. you guys, went to one the top most branding agencies in world “LANDOR” and created a modern look to upgrade you image in a competivie market place. i say well done, its about time and change is good, but do not ignor the small fish.

  31. angelo says:

    I happened to have 96.5 blaring in the background as drove home today and I hear there’s some talk about metro wifi hotspots being planned in Bahrain.. something along the lines of triple play, wifi hubs in each city across Bahrain, something about it costing 1600USD to set up at each home.. and apparently it’s a UK company who’s at the GulfBID exhibition down at the BIEC. Radio Bahrain’s Ian Fisher had David on the other line and was interviewing him live on air.. they mentioned something about an upcming business opportunity of having Bahrain mesh networked to the internet 24/7 unlimited….

    does anyone else have more on this? Anyways, Gulfid is going on till 7pm today for the next 2 days… so am going to have a look 🙂 and find out more.

  32. Grace says:

    Wow Angelo! You get to go home before noon?!

  33. PORSCHE ADDICT says:

    well that’s a good move forward, service providers please add the word “progress” to your vocabulary. the whole world is connected thru some form of technology and why should we be behind, the days of imperialsim are over and done with. we are no longer under the mercy of corporate giants who dictate does and dont’s. i am all for the “WiFi” revolution, look at the blacberry and how it has changed peoples lives on the move. the term efficent comes to mind, that is todays vocab assignmnet for “service providers”. some of the local international banks have alreday issued “handheld’s” to their senior execuitives for getting in touch via email around the clock. their “blackberries” are working on a roaming service via “mtc-vodafones” network locally. they are told not use the voice dial due to high costs, which is understandable. lets look at the need to be conneted in a virtual world, you are using real time technology via a “gsm” platform. this is wireless connectivity, and a breakthru for “techies” all over.

  34. BinShehab says:

    PORSCHE ADDICT allow me to add more words to the dictionary:

    Pathetic: Batelco newly introduced packages and switching users to the new plans with out a say or option to refuse the new threshold.

    Bandwidth Savings: it is an art (product) to avoid paying Batelco more and more that’s what we should look at until the appearing of anther ISP

  35. PORSCHE ADDICT says:

    i applaud your intelict, Bin Shehab the more words they can learn the better. its like teaching a child how to speak and learn. i do hope they follow suit. freedom of choice, is my phrase this afternnon. once an educated customer, has the choice, and it become apparent in the near future the solution will clearly be opt for an alternate provider. at this point in time, what is locall available is the following:

    (1). mtc-vodafone has its own staelite based internet over a 3G network, all you need is a 3G modem and a data enabled sim. these can be purchased directly at any customer service center thru out the island.

    (2). Oribit the cable television provider, has a satelite based internet service over their decoder. if you are a service user with a decoder, all you have to do is subscribe to their internet service and pay a deposit, then they will send over a special modem that connects thru there decoder and feeds internet via a standard data cable that plugs into your computer or router.

    (3). light speed communication is online at this point in time, but they only offer the service using “leased lines” from batelco. the cost is very high for home and small business users.

    we all have to wait till “the bubble burts”, and the internet is handed ove to the “Bahrain Internet Excahange”, and from there we may have equality. come on people at the “TRA” please answer our calls.

  36. KoOKiE says:

    Well nice Points you have got here..

    But it all matters in the end is if TRA gets to work which looks quite impossible or i would state them as the United Nations Which is more over run by the Americans…as TRA is run by Batelco. 😛

    The CEO of Batelco Mr.Peter the other night reminded me of an Asian Parliament lol i feel laughing while saying that but most of the asian would agree on this if they were their at the conference because the way he replied to the oppositions Questions were really more like a Asian politician replying to the Press in an Open Forums.

    umm i guess i just offered Mr.Peter a heavily paid job. 😉
    hehe.

  37. PORSCHE ADDICT says:

    my thanks to all those who agree and support such thought. what happened the other night, at the congress called upon by various concered parties and most important of all the “consumer’s” voice was made public. i applaud all who did attened and for those who could not, your voices were represented. what went on the other night, was a glorified “PR” exercise from the service providers, side as an attempt to dilute the issue on hand. ladies and gentlemen may we present to you, the magician “david blane”, the guy who submeredged him self in a glass bubble for 2weeks. even then with a constant suppy of oxgen he was still shaken and admitted into hospital care. we on the other hand do not need to shatter the bubble, if these executives and service providers just listen and stop “gargbage in / garbage out” its elementry my dear mr. watson, as the famous shelock holms would say if he were alive. our dear friends and those who are “internet challanged”, you do not need to reinvent the wheel, to resolve this issue.

    as a majority of whom, attended the general fealing was that the existing “ISP” officals were going thru their marketing jargon and avoiding direct contact with the audiance. this is shameful, lets try it one more time, the idea when a congress occurs its better to be sincire and not dishout “bull”. ladies and gentlemen, fellow members of the jury..we simply want an honest attempt at resolving this issue in the least amount of time. “KAWA BUNGA”, as the surfers would say, meaning “holy crap” or gigantic wave that will wipe us out. there seems to be another “al dana” boating accident on our virtual shores, please have your life preserve’s handy.

    “VOLCANO SUSHI”

  38. MooDy says:

    NET TV that we wont be able to watch with Limited packages lol !

    Google Sets Sights on TV Ad Market

    http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=9997

    Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and CEO Eric Schmidt last week provided new clues about their television strategy. The company is testing a TV advertising product internally and if it works, Google may seek partners in the TV industry, Mr. Schmidt said.

    “There has been no fundamentally new breakthrough in TV since color,” Mr. Schmidt said during a Google press event at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. “The question is, is there another breakthrough here?”

    Thanks Mickey 🙂

  39. mahmood says:

    Claim to Fame moment: I have actually BEEN to Google’s HQ, when it was SGI’s compound that is, in 1993 I think! 😀

  40. MooDy says:

    U 1 lucky Papa blog 🙂

  41. KoOKiE says:

    Wow you are 1 lucky guy lol 😉

  42. angelo says:

    Porsche Addict said:

    “(3). light speed communication is online at this point in time, but they only offer the service using “leased lines” from batelco. the cost is very high for home and small business users.”

    Well I do not know their pricing at this point in time but I do know that the following was mentioned by LSC in the GDN last Friday:

    “his company is already connected to customers within Almoayyed Tower and a few other places via his own network and that he provides Internet access at speeds of up to 10mb at a cheaper rate than Batelco.

    “But we cannot expand further because the wholesale packages that Batelco has offered us are unacceptable and not at all what we expected as a company when we entered the market,” he said.”

    and here’s the link:
    http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/1yr_arc_Articles.asp?Article=143330&Sn=BNEW&IssueID=29053&date=5-12-2006

    And that quote probably also explains why Batelco at the time of typing this has no success stories at the wholesale section of their website:
    http://www.batelco.com/wholesale/successtory.asp

    Speaking of which, haven’t Kalaam Telecom also begun their services by using leased lines from Batelco? (am I wrong?)

  43. mahmood said:

    Claim to Fame moment: I have actually BEEN to Google’s HQ, when it was SGI’s compound that is, in 1993 I think!

    But I thought Google Inc. didn’t start before September 7, 1998 and their HQ was at a friend’s garage in Menlo Park, California. 🙂

  44. Ian says:

    Angelo,
    What David and I were talking about yesterday was fibre optic cabling and the cost of connecting Bahrain by fibre optic. The cost works out about USD 1,500 per house, according to the rep. The company, I believe, is represented by A J Kooheji. I pointed out that it could be feasible to have a hub in the centre of Bahrain and to ‘spoke’ fibre optic cabling to all parts of the island without exceeding the 30km limit. This limit seems to be imposed before you have to have a relay/booster.
    As Mahmood mentioned at the meeting last Sunday, with the amount Batelco has ‘gained’ over the last decade or so, we could all be benefiting from optical linkup by now. Bahrain is not so big that it’s not possible or financially viable. Just think of that possibility when the new tarifs kick in . . .

  45. mahmood says:

    Totally agree Ian. I was actually involved at one point in a proposal to Batelco to introduce FTTH services like interactive TV over fibre and all the other services, at that time it was just a proposal (around 5 or 6 years ago I think) but it was shot down because they claimed that it would be financially not feasible.

    At that time with such an ambitious project offering (the major cost then was acquiring content from Hollywood believe it or not!) it might have been, so I don’t think the situation is the same now. Especially if you consider that Batelco owns all the conduits in the ground in Bahrain, and that the labour required to pull the cables under that kind of contract would be very low compared to other places in the world.

  46. oops.. I stand corrected

  47. angelo says:

    Thanks for the clarification Ian 🙂

  48. Anonymous says:

    Mahmood, the TV Over ADSL service was shot down because a bunch of whiners in the MOI started hitting the ground with their feet, crying and shouting out that it would kill their cable service! WAKE UP, News flash MOIers! Satellite dishes have already killed your worthless cable service!

  49. PORSCHE ADDICT says:

    gentlemen we live in ever changing times, and unfortunately there will allways be people opposed to change. we do still have people, who are insisting on there old ways, “if it aint’t broke, don’t fix it”. these people occupy certain positions, and there fore, want to keep that chair of power for the longest time. change is seen as a thret to their ways of thinking. look at the bootleg market locally, for satelite recivers. an economy of scale, exists on the use of the beloved “dream box”. its a glorified decoder, running off an “ADSL” connection, that patches a stream of “unscrambling codes” to open all possible premium channels. the “MMDS”, service is an aling dinosaur that runs on outdated microwave technology. its basically a rebroadcast of “digital” into analog signals that are scrambled by the “MOI”.. smart move, let us all live in the dark ages, and pre electric era boys. there is a new challenger locally to the dream box, called “high life”, at this point in time it does not require a “ADSL” connection, but it uses a second dish to transfere encripted codes via satelite. when the signal gets cut, just take your decoder to the “cable guy” to be reprogrammed, and you are up and running. we are light years ahead of the “sleepy heads” at the “MOI”, wake up sunshine, and smell the roses.

  50. mahmood says:

    Thank you Anon, I agree, I remember that incident very well, in addition to the cost and the ROI calculation which if I remember correctly was set at 10 years which was deemed too long to pursue. For the FTTH project rather than the TV over ADSL which was another consideration I think.

  51. mahmood says:

    Man! Porsche Addict you are too good! I didn’t know that any of what you said existed except a vague mention by a friend of the “dream box”!

    Yes, there is one thing that is very important for managers to keep at the forefront of their minds: if you don’t obsolete your own product, someone else will come and do it for you!

    So you always have to innovate and ensure that you provide what the market wants even before they start wanting it… that anticipation is called “the window of opportunity” which Batelco in this case has completely closed on itself and left completely wide open for their competitors.

    The bad feeling this ADSL fiasco has generated will cost it a lot more to repair than the gains they were planning to cash in with the introduced limitations.

  52. Nawab of Kabab says:

    On the plus side, what Batelco has done can be used as a case-study for marketing and PR professionals… this is a classic example of how NOT to alienate your customers, how NOT to open the door to your competition, how NOT to kill your product, how NOT to spin.

    Question is, will they learn?

  53. BinShehab says:

    Answer to Nawab of Kabab: No they will not learn till they lost a good amount of customers then they will learn it but by the Hard Way!!

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