Ma fee bandwidth

19 Apr, '08

Thanks to Batelco, we’re on restricted rations in the house since the 14th, when they told us that our allocation of bandwidth has been exceeded and we have to live on food stamps until the 3rd of next month when they will be benevolent enough to give us full speed again, for a couple of weeks at the most, and then go into this cycle once again.

You know why this sucks? This is one of the reasons:

no bandwidth, batelco strikes again

Trying to upload a 12 minute video takes upwards of 3 hours. For just 150MB file, it has to be overnight, and then I come to check on it and the number of minutes remaining hardly have changed.

I’ll have to go to the office this morning to upload it, the uplink speed is just a miserable 256kbps, but it’s still better than the throttled bandwidth we have here.

I can’t wait for Zain to finish the installation at home. I’ve got my own electrician coming this morning to route the cable which was too difficult for Zain’s contractor, after which I hope they will come soon enough to do the equipment connections etc. Hopefully then with higher speeds (4x as much as I’ve got at home now) and with the larger bandwidth (again 4x as much as we “enjoy” at the moment) for just 40% more money, we can actually do this vlogging without busting a few blood vessels!

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Comments (16)

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  1. heraish says:

    Can’t you get a satellite internet connection?

  2. Yousif says:

    Zain is like the lesser of two evils. Their packages aren’t great but a slightly (and only slightly) better value for your dough. Still though, if you’re into video conferencing and low-latency coms, you’re better off with batelco. I heard the WiMax latency kills. Better than satellite but still won’t be as low as old fashioned copper wires.

    Would love to read a review from someone who used the service…

  3. Al Durazi says:

    You could cave-in and pay Batelco the extra to keep your bandwidth level once the limit is reached. Just like I do………. 🙁

  4. mahmood says:

    No way, Durazi!

    Yousif, I’ll let you know my experience with Zain once the connection is up and running. As I type this, my contractor is pulling wires through the conduits and they’re going to finish this in an hour or two. Whether Zain will be available to connect their equipment today remains to be seen. Regardless, I should think that I shall have connection by tomorrow if I’m lucky.

  5. Sam says:

    which was too difficult for Zain’s contractor

    Are they the douchebags that work for BA*EC ?
    If so – I’ve used them myself. Asked them to leave as they were no longer welcome.

  6. Beck says:

    so if your zain package works fine, will you keep the batelco connection on? perhaps for backup?

  7. Redbelt says:

    I wanted to go light speed, ut damn Batelco won’t give me a phone line for my new apartment. Guess I’ll have to go the Zain way for net.

  8. Sam says:

    Redbelt, can’t lightspeed provision the service on your existing telephone line?

  9. Ha! Try loading shows on your Apple TV in Cairo. Then you can complain. Ever since these cables, off the shore in Alexandria, were cut, sometime late January / early February, the Internet here, particularly downloads are incredibly slow! One half hour show = practically 5 hours of download! And, the electricity outages here don’t help either. Good luck! (Sincerely)

  10. Rock in Rio says:

    hey Mahmood,

    Youre talking like zain doesnt throttle the “up to 2mb” speed when the threshold is exceeded. Youre going to be throttled with Zain as well. The difference between Batelco and Zain is tht the guys are batelco atleast gaurantee that you will get the speed you are paying for as long as you are within the set download limit. I hope your house is close enough to Zain’s base station as the speed you get will depend on your location.

    When you do get wimax up and running post us some screenshots of bit torrent downloads lets see the transfer rate coz I heard from some friends that the browsing may be fine but the real performance can only be measured when looking at the transfer rates you get.

    What I dont like about Zain is you have to sign those 12 & 18 month contracts and pay heavy penalties if you feel like disconnecting the service. I dont know about you but I would like to have the option of cancelling my service without having to pay all I got to do it !!!! Oh and what are you going to do with that wimax router when you cancel the Wimax (after paying its price in full.. Its literally useless, you cant use it anywhere 🙂

  11. mahmood says:

    The frustration (with batelco) continues. I couldn’t even upload E3 due to the extremely slow upload speed for the last few days now, and this is in the office which is supposed to be a “business” 1MB connection! The sites give me an estimate 280 minutes or more for the upload.

    Just shows that there is no hope in this country for doing anything close to Internet TV.

  12. Sam says:


    Internet TV is the icing on the cake – Try VPNs, Try remote/off-site backups, try high def video conferencing, try hosting, try live streaming, try VOIP which should sound like your talking to someone next door!

    We’re a crippled nation when it comes to technology & the internet.

    We need the govt to put the internet & all it’s associated technologies high on it’s agenda as infrastructure VITAL to the country, its economy, and people.

    Ask yourself this – What percentage of the country’s million or so populous have easy ACCESS to the internet?

  13. mahmood says:

    Quite a lot of those million are on the internet. That’s not the issue, the issue is as you and I have outlined. We are a backward nation when it comes to the Internet.

    By the way, this is the first comment I enter using the brandnewjustconnectedzainwimax!

    The speed tests I’ve run so far vary between 750kbps – 1.3mbps and the latency between 250ms – 350ms.

    I’ll run some more tests tonight.

  14. Sam says:

    Well, according to the TRA who regulate the telecom/ISP industry here, there were a total of 59,236 residential internet subscribers (both dialup AND broadband).

    Let’s be conservative and assume every house/apartment/flat has ONE connection to the internet, that would mean only 60k properties have access to the internet..

    There’s around 120k households in Bahrain???

    Here’s my speedtest I just did with my 256k/64k ADSL connection with Batelco (BD10 a month).

  15. mahmood says:

    Thanks Sam. I just did a Speedtest and posted the result in the other thread.

  16. Rubicon Raider says:

    I tried Batelco, Light Speed, & Zain…

    Light Speed Sucks.

    Zain varies from location to another & in my location it reaches 1 Mb @ max when you finish the free MB the throttle speed will be 128.

    I finally return my line with Batelco where I receive the 2 Mb & if I finish my 25GB the throttle speed is 256 which is similar to the BD.10 which they are offering.

    My opinion Batelco is giving the Best & sleepy TRA shall wake-up for LightSpeed.

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