WiMD is Now B.Wireless

Post by Mark

Over the past couple of months I’ve been getting emails and tweets from readers asking me if the internet provider WiMD shutdown. None of their social media accounts work anymore so people are assuming they must have closed down. Well the answer is no, they haven’t closed down. Instead, WiMD have just done a pretty terrible job at letting people know that they’ve renamed and rebranded to B.Wireless.

Last year WiMD purchased the internet provider GulfNet and a couple of months ago WiMD rebranded GulfNet to B.Online, then rebranded WiMD to B.Wireless and then created a mother company called B.Global which both now fall under. It’s kinda B.Confusing just because of the fact the names are so generic and they renamed their social media accounts but didn’t really tell anyone. I’m a WiMD customer and I didn’t even get an email letting me know about the rebranding or renaming. The only reason I found out is because their marketing manager had told me they were going to rebrand and then sent me the presentation to check out. Not even the WiMD website mentions the renaming.

So if you want WiMD, their new social media accounts are:
Instagram: @bwirelesskw
Twitter: @bwirelesskw

Their website is still wimd.com.kw


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Ooredoo 4G+ vs WiMD – Part 1

Post by Mark

ooreedoo

A few weeks ago a reader emailed me a screenshot of a speedtest he ran on his Ooredoo 4G+ connection. His result? A download speed of 141Mbps and an upload speed of 40Mbps. I was pretty surprised at the result, I knew 4G+ was a lot faster than regular 4G but didn’t think it would be this dramatic. So I got in touch with my contact at Ooredoo and asked them for a test unit so I could try it out myself.

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in an old building in Salmiya where the max DSL speed I can get ranges from 1Mbps to 2Mbps. Luckily I have WiMD which works much better than DSL at my place, I’ve got a 10Mbps connection which I’ve been happily abusing for the past three years.

Since I had both connections at home I figured I’d run speedtests on both and compare the results.

4gvswimdkuwait
Kuwait Server – Ooredoo (Left) vs WiMD (Right)

4gvswimdusa
American Server – Ooredoo (Left) vs WiMD (Right)

Although I didn’t get anything close to 141Mbps I was still pretty impressed I got a speed faster than my WiMD connection since I didn’t think I had a faster option where I lived. Not only that but the ping speed was considerably lower with Ooredoo which means it would be better for when I’m playing games online. The difference in the upload speed was even more dramatic with the Ooredoo connection being 13 times faster when connected to the US server.

Cost wise, a 10Mbps WiMD connection with a 200GB monthly download cap would set you back KD310 a year. A one year 4G+ Ooredoo connection with a 300GB download cap would set you back just KD132 (even cheaper if you commit).

Since the connection speed of the Ooredoo varies depending on the area, signal strength and time of day, I’m going to continue to use it for the next couple of weeks in different locations around the house and also different places around Kuwait. I’ll then share the results here in a different post. I’m also curious to know how consistent the Ooredoo connection will be. Even though my WiMD connection is slower, it’s been fairly consistent for the past 3 years and I like that.

If you have a Ooredoo 4G+ device and are getting faster speeds, let me know below what speeds you’re getting and in what area you’re in.


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Zain vs WiMD Download Speed

Post by Mark

zainvswimd

The Star Wars Battlefront Beta just got released a few hours ago and both me and my brother started downloading it on our PS4’s at the same time. I have a 10Mbps WiMD connection in Salmiya while he has a Zain 4G LTE internet connection in Salwa. We started downloading around 9:30PM. By 11:30PM I had more than 5 hours left to complete the download while my brother with his Zain connection had 51 minutes left.

This isn’t a very scientific test obviously but it’s an interesting comparison nevertheless. With Zain’s new 1TB for KD20 a month deal, it might not be a bad choice at all.


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WiMD Internet – 2 Years Later

Post by Mark

wimd

It’s been two years since I started using WiMD for my internet and yesterday I went and renewed my connection for the third time. I have a 10Mbps WiMD connection which I love since I’ve rarely ran into problems with it and when I did they were usually fixed right away. My only other option for a reliable internet connection is DSL but my phone line can’t handle anything higher than 2Mbps. The issues I’ve ran into with WiMD are varied but the biggest one is when my connection speed dropped overnight from 10Mbps to under 1Mbps. After coming over and investigating it turned out that a new building had been constructed down the street from mine and blocked my direct line of sight to the WiMD tower. I was lucky enough to get my issued fixed just by moving my receiver on the roof higher up and further to the edge but I’m not sure what I would have done if I couldn’t do that.

Other than that issue my biggest issue with WiMD over the two years has been their prices. They were expensive. When I first subscribed with them it cost me KD523 for a year while the second year was slightly better costing me KD480. But, yesterday when I went to renew my connection it turned out they had lowered their prices substantially and I ended up paying a much more tolerable KD310 for 10Mbps.

wimdprices

KD310 signed me up for their 10Mbps connection with a 200GB download limit every month while the previous two years I had subscribed to their unlimited package. But according to WiMD’s records, the maximum I used the past year was 150GB a month so a 200GB limit was more than I needed. After two years I would still highly recommend WiMD as an alternative to DSL in areas where the DSL speed is severely limited by old infrastructure. You just need to make sure you have a direct line of sight to their tower.


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WiMD is back to normal

Post by Mark

In my “WiMD Internet – 3 Months Later” post I noted on how my connection’s overall speed had decreased. Turns out the issue was with the wireless connection from my building to their tower since after running tests with their server I noticed I was only getting around 5Mbps instead of 10. The problem has now been fixed and I reran the speedtest and here are the updated results:

I was satisfied with my connection when it wasn’t performing at it’s best since I hadn’t really noticed a drop but now that it’s back to normal I’m even more confident I made the right choice going with WiMD.


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WiMD Internet – 3 Months Later

Post by Mark

Back in February I signed up to a 10Mbps connection with WiMD and just over 3 months have passed since then so I figured I’d post a second impression. For those of you who missed my previous posts, WiMD is a local wireless internet provider that uses technology similar to WiFi and WiMAX except theirs works using the 5 GHz wavelength.

Since installing WiMD I got rid of all my other internet connections and have put all my trust in them. That might not sound like a big deal but you have to consider the fact I live my life online and if I don’t have access to internet I start experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Ok maybe that’s a bit extreme but you get the idea.

So how’s the connection speed 3 months later? Browsing websites everything is still super fast, pages load instantly and there is no lag of any sort. Downloading torrents I also don’t have any issues, if I let it download without any limitations it can easily bypass 1,000Kbps. YouTube on the other hand is horrible with WiMD. I’m not sure what exactly is the problem but I can stream an HD video from Vimeo instantly but I can’t watch a non-HD video on YouTube without having to wait ages for it to load. Running speed tests has also provided me with vastly different results than when I first started with WiMD. When I last ran the speed tests 3 months back I was getting results of around 10Mb/s, this time around I was having trouble getting half that. Check out the results below:

But really if it wasn’t for the YouTube issue I wouldn’t have noticed anything out of the ordinary. My biggest issue really is the YouTube problem since it’s ridiculous to have to wait for a low res video to load on a 10Mbps connection. I’ve already contacted support and they told me they’re working on a fix for it and I trust that they are. The speed test results have dropped considerably and what gets affected by this the most is downloads from a single source like say downloading an update or video from an Apple server. Since most of my downloads take place while I’m out of the house or asleep I’m not affected by this but I’m sure it does other people.

The best thing about WiMD and something I make great use of is the upload speed, it’s fast! What this allows me to do is upload files onto the server a lot quicker compared to my previous DSL connection. Nat takes advantage of this the most since she spends a lot of time emailing her clients large files and what used to take her a couple of hours now takes around 20 minutes.

But, like I previously mentioned, I’ve given up all my other internet connections including my very reliable DSL connection because I trust WiMD. I know they’re busy right now working to fix whatever needs to be fixing so I’m not concerned too much. They’ve just started catering to consumers recently and I know for a fact they’ve been overwhelmed with subscribers so it’s only a matter of time before things get back to normal. I’ll have to wait and see but so far I have no regrets signing up with them. They’re the best available option for me right now.

If you’re interested in a connection you can call them on 22475841 and 22475842 or visit their website [Here]

Update: Turns out the problem was the connection from my house to the tower. It’s been fixed and new speedtest results are posted [Here]


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10Mbps with WiMD

Post by Mark

After trying out WiMD with unlimited speed I finally had to decide on what connection I was going to subscribe to and I decided to go with the 10Mbps. I originally wanted to go with 15Mbps but decided KD72 a month is more than what I was willing to pay. 10Mbps is KD523 a year which works out to KD43.5 a month and to me is a much more reasonable amount.

I’ve had this connection for 2 days now which is enough time to get a first impression. Browsing is still super fast and I managed to download torrents at speeds of around 1.3MB/s to 1.5MB/s which is pretty fast. I imagine with a 15Mbps connection you would get around 2MB/s to 2.3MB/s speeds. The best part is that even if I’m downloading torrents at full speed it doesn’t hinder my browsing experience. Not sure how that is possible but with all my previous connections I always had to limit my torrents download speed so I could still have some bandwidth left to browse with. With WiMD on the other hand I’ve got my torrents set to download at full speed and I browse with no slowdown.

Below are speedtest results. This isn’t very accurate because for example you have various speedtest servers in London and when testing one would give me a very low ping rate of under a 100 but the download rate would be around 4Mbps while another would give me a higher ping rate in the 300’s but with a higher download speed. Thats why I decided I would perform the test on all the servers and post the ones with the highest download speeds.

I really hope the connection doesn’t suffer in the long run once more and more users sign up. That’s actually my only concern but I’ll post an update 6 months down the line and let you guys now how things turned out. If you want to get a second opinion Marzouq over at zDistrict just signed up to a 20Mbps connection and posted about it [Here]


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First Impression: WiMD Internet

Post by Mark

Last week I posted about a new internet provider that I found out about. Turns out they aren’t really new and have been in business for some time now but they were catering mostly to companies and certain individuals until they decided to expand their presence and showed up at InfoConnect for the first time this year. I was looking for a new internet provider myself so I got in touch with them and they came over yesterday to install it.

The internet provider is called WiMD which stands for Wireless Mobile Data. They provide you (obviously) with wireless internet to your home using the 5 GHz wavelength which is kinda similar to a wifi connection except it can transmit a lot further (in theory around 70km I think). To setup their connection you require the installation of a small white box that needs to be pointed to one of their towers. This is probably the most difficult and complicated part since the box needs a direct line of sight to their towers. If you’re living in an area like Salwa, Mishref or Bayan where all the buildings are low then you won’t have a problem. But, if like me you live in an area where you’re surrounded by tall apartment buildings and in my case Salmiya, then you’ll most likely NOT be able to get a direct line of sight. But I got lucky.

When they came over they tried installing the box on one of my balconies but it wouldn’t work. One balcony had tall buildings blocking my line of sight to their Hawalli tower while the other balcony wasn’t pointing towards their Ras Salmiya tower. Since the box is tiny I managed to get permission from my building to install it on the roof specially since we were just going to connect it to an existing pipe. Once we got onto the roof we were able to see their Salmiya tower (which is the communications/post office building near Salmiya Coop) and get a strong connection.

The white box is small and light and can be connected to any existing post on top of your building. You then need to run an Ethernet cable from the box down to your apartment and to your router or directly to your computer. There are two different connection speeds you need to know about. The first is the actual connection speed from your apartment to their tower. In my case the connection speed was around 15Mbps. The second connection speed is the one you subscribe to. So say you have a 15Mbps connection to their tower but you subscribe to their 1Mbps internet connection then you get just a 1Mbps internet connection. WiMD uses internet providers like Fasttelco, Zajil etc.. to provide their customers with internet. That is a good thing because it means if one internet provider is congested or having problems their system is smart enough to shift the balance over to the rest of their providers.

Right now I think they have my connection speed unlimited, so I’m getting internet as fast as my connection to their tower can handle. I’ve provided some speed test results below but really they do not do justice to the connection. Ignore the numbers below because in real world use the connection is super fast. Regular browsing which is what I do 90% of the time is very quick with instant page loads and no sort of lag whatsoever. Downloading files varies, I was downloading the 1.3GB Lion update from Apple at around 300kbps but that’s because I had one session open and it’s probably a limit by Apple. By using the software SpeedDownload I opened up a number of sessions and hit 1.2MB/s. I downloaded torrents as well and the accumulated speed of all my torrents was around 2.85MB/s! That’s by far the fastest I’ve ever downloaded torrents. Whats even better is the fact that while my torrents were downloading at that speed I was still browsing as usually not noticing any slowness. Their upload speed is also faster then anything I’ve ever had before.

I had my brother who lives next door and connected to my network try out gaming online and this is what he emailed me back:

The connection is f****** amazing. I always had trouble playing Halo but with this new connection there’s zero lag at all. Literally, no lag. I would have trouble connecting to games, no trouble here. Pretty cool

and later

I just tried FIFA, another game I had issues with, worked really well.

So first impressions, this connection kicks ass. Now I just need to figure out what speed to subscribe to. Originally I was thinking 6Mbps, then moved up to 10 and now really want to go even faster but once you go higher their connection isn’t exactly cheap. Below are their yearly prices again in case you missed my previous post:

1Mb KD130
1.5Mb KD150
2Mb KD180
3Mb KD225
4Mb KD270
5Mb KD320
6Mb KD325
7Mb KD355
8Mb KD390
9Mb KD473
10Mb KD523
11Mb KD590
12Mb KD660
13Mb KD730
14Mb KD800
15Mb KD870
16Mb KD940
17Mb KD1,010
18Mb KD1,080
19Mb KD1,150
20Mb KD1,220

If you’re interested in a connection you can call them on 22475841 and 22475842 or visit their website [Here]


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More information on WiMD

Post by Mark

Someone from WiMD the new internet provider I posted about earlier in the day left the following comment:

Many thanks, first of all, for giving us a platform to voice our services.

First things first, WiMD stands for Wireless Mobile Data. The name implies the meaning, so no gimmickry with names and how strong and powerful we are. Our technology is not based on the WiMAX standard and we don’t believe in sharing the customer subscribed bandwidth. We have nation wide coverage for our residential customers as of today.

Having said the above, we pride ourselves in what we commit to our customers. In today’s age of blogs and forums, we are aware that customer satisfaction is of prime importance and any wrong information/commitment can only do more harm to us than good.

As most of your readers have mentioned, they have never heard of us. This is true as we didn’t launch or market our services in the residential domain before today. All our existing residential customers till date have been through word of mouth and personal referrals. For obvious reasons you don’t get recommended for bad service or performance, do you?

We don’t want to take any further space and just want to introduce ourselves us a healthy alternative to your existing miseries with limited bandwidth and slower speed. Our request to all is, don’t judge us without even trying us. Our company policy for bandwidth commitment to customers is based on the site survey we do before delivering our services. Fair and transparent. Our NOC and Helpdesk are equipped to answer your queries.

And even after this, if your satisfaction quotient is not reached, kind reminder to our existing and prospective customers. We have a fair money bank policy which means, if you are dissatisfied with our services, you get the remaining balance on your contract reimbursed upon cancellation.

Just want to remind your readers, we are in Hall 6 @ InfoConnect. Please feel free to drop by.

We mean business and that is what we are here for. So no strings attached, no hidden dramas. JUST PERFORMANCE.

No idea on the price but one reader mentioned they start from KD385 per year.

Update: Here are their prices per year

1Mb KD130
1.5Mb KD150
2Mb KD180
3Mb KD225
4Mb KD270
5Mb KD320
6Mb KD325
7Mb KD355
8Mb KD390
9Mb KD473
10Mb KD523
11Mb KD590
12Mb KD660
13Mb KD730
14Mb KD800
15Mb KD870
16Mb KD940
17Mb KD1,010
18Mb KD1,080
19Mb KD1,150
20Mb KD1,220

Update2: I’m going to be trying out and signing up for their service. First hurdle is to see if I can install the antenna on my balcony instead of the roof since I don’t have access to my buildings roof. Hopefully the balcony would work, I’ll find out on Saturday.


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WIMD, a new internet provider?

Post by Mark

From what I read on their website it looks like they will providing internet by rolling out a large Wifi network that covers all of Kuwait. No idea when they’re planning to start (or if they’ve started already) and how much their prices will be. If anyone manages to get a hold of them and find out more let me know. [Link]

Thanks Sabah


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