24 06, 2019

Zain Beam Follow-up Review

2019-06-24T10:12:08+03:00Jun 24, 2019|24 Comments

Back in February Zain hooked me up with Zain Beam to test out. Previously I had been using B Wirless (WiMD) but my direct line of sight with their tower had been blocked and so my connection was no longer stable. A regular LTE connection in my area was also unstable with speeds varying between 2Mbps to 4Mbps, maybe a bit more sometimes. After trying out Zain Beam in February for a couple of weeks, I loved it so much I decided to commit for 2 years and subscribe to it. This is now my follow-up review around 4 months later.

If you want to read my previous post on Zain Beam including details on the installation process, click here.

Since I installed Zain Beam the internet connection has been pretty flawless. I subscribed to their 20Mbps service but I rarely get speeds less than 27Mbps, in fact, it’s usually always around 30Mbps. For those of you with LTE connections in fancier less congested areas, you’re probably not impressed with my internet speed, and that’s understandable. I find it frustrating that my phone’s speed can reach 120Mbps in some areas, but yet my Zain Beam connection at home gets me only 30Mbps. It’s even more frustrating now to see my friends get upwards of 600Mbps with 5G as well. But, 30Mbps is the fastest connection I’ve ever been able to get in my apartment.

That’s the thing you need to be aware of when comparing Zain Beam to other internet services in Kuwait. Not everyone has fiber optics or fast LTE in their areas. Zain Beam is meant for people like me living in heavily congested areas with no fiber, no decent 4G connection, and no 5G either. So 30Mbps is super fast for me, it’s three times faster than my previous 10Mbps connection I had with B Wireless, and the only other connection that I can get which is faster than mine… is the 40Mbps Zain Beam package.

Another thing I want to point out is that Zain also limits the amount of Beam users in an area, I guess to keep the experience consistent. A friend of mine wanted to get Beam in my area but Zain told him all the slots had already been filled.

In the 4 months I’ve had Beam I did run into one issue. Around a week or two after signing up I woke up one morning and found my internet down. No biggie, I called up Zain to talk to support and this is where I ran into a problem. With B Wireless, if I had a problem I’d call support and someone would pick up right away. The support guy would then try and solve my problem over the phone and if the problem was more complicated, he’d either tell me he’d call me back or that a technician would be sent over. Fairly simple and the whole process of solving my issue would take less than 5 minutes. With Zain, on the other hand, you don’t talk to a support persona, instead, you have to call up the regular Zain call center and leave a complaint and then someone gets back to you. Wouldn’t be that big of a deal but the process to leave a complaint takes forever! It took the call center guy over 10 minutes (not exaggerating) just to file my complaint. Their process for taking complaints is excruciatingly long, that’s over 10 minutes just to tell them my internet is down and for them to tell me someone will call me back. Other than that I didn’t really have any issues and that day it turned out my connection was down because they were doing maintenance.

With the launch of 5G last week the only thing that I’m bothered with right now is the price vs speed ratio compared to 5G. Viva, for example, offers 5G at KD25 a month (although with a 250GB limit) which is how much I’m paying, so I now feel like my connection is starting to feel overpriced. If 5G in my area can get me speeds over 100Mbps I’d be super upset that I’m committed to two years of Zain Beam and just getting 30Mbps. What I’m hoping is that Zain will eventually upgrade the speed of their two Beam packages in the coming months from the current 20Mbps and 40Mbps options right now, to maybe 40Mbps and 80Mbps instead. That would make things more palatable when compared to 5G.

If you have any specific questions on Zain Beam you can ask me in the comments below. If you’re interested in signing up to Zain Beam, here is a link to their product page.

15 06, 2019

5G Prices Are Out

2019-06-16T00:20:38+03:00Jun 15, 2019|24 Comments

5G was officially announced late last month but this past weekend the packages finally went live. A friend who signed up for the service is getting anywhere between 150Mbps to 300Mbps depending on where he is which is pretty fast. From the three telecoms, Viva has the most affordable packages from the bunch and you can check them all out below:

Ooredoo
KD45 – 500GB (Free Access Point)
KD65 – 1TB (Free Access Point)
Minimum 1-year contract

Viva
KD45 – 1TB (Free Access Point and iPad or PS4 Pro)
KD85 – Unlimited (Free Access Point and iPad or PS4 Pro)
Minimum 2-year contract

Zain
KD45 – 500GB
KD65 – 1TB (Free Access Point)
KD100 – 4TB (Free Access Point and iPad or Xbox One X or PS4 Pro)
Minimum 2-year contract

Although the prices do seem high when compared to LTE, I’m paying KD25 a month for a 20Mbps Zain Beam connection. So KD45 for 1TB isn’t so bad when compared to that if I’ll end up getting speeds over 150Mbps.

28 05, 2019

5G is Here!

2019-05-28T23:04:42+03:00May 28, 2019|43 Comments

Today both Viva and Zain launched their 5G networks in Kuwait. Neither of them have yet to announce their plan details but instead have set up registration pages for those interested in 5G. Viva have slightly more information up on their website including a 5G coverage map and a frequently asked questions page. If you’re interested in 5G, check out the links below:

Viva 5G
Zain 5G

Also here is a great writeup on 4G and 5G bands in Kuwait.

17 02, 2019

Zain Beam – First Impression

2019-02-17T10:09:50+03:00Feb 17, 2019|59 Comments

Around ten days back I asked if anyone had tried the Zain Beam internet service and a few of you responded with high praise for the service. Zain also read my post and got in touch with me with an offer to try the service for a month, so I jumped on the opportunity and yesterday they installed Beam at my place.

The installation process is supposed to be fairly simple, they install an antenna on your balcony or the roof of your building, and then run an ethernet cable to your apartment where they hook it up to an LTE modem. In my case the installation process was slightly more complicated and took around an hour and a half because they were having trouble finding a strong signal. My building which back in the 90s was the tallest in the neighborhood is now surrounded by much taller buildings and so it was difficult to find a good signal. Thankfully, just as I was about to give up hope, they found a spot on my roof with ample signal and then ran the ethernet cable from it down to my apartment.

First impression? It’s fast! I asked for the 20Mbps connection and I’m getting around 30Mbps which is similar to what other people are reporting. What’s also great is my upload speed is between 10-20Mbps.

This right now is the fastest connection I’ve ever had at home and it feels strange because I’m so not used to having a fast and stable connection at home. YouTube videos play instantly as well as HBO, Amazon, Hulu and Netflix. The video quality from the streaming services also looks to have improved because of my now faster connection. I also managed to update all the apps on my two ipads plus two macs really quickly. I know all this sounds very normal, but you have to keep in mind, my connection for the past year or so has been terrible and I now finally feel like I have fast internet like a normal person.

For those of you who are gonna leave a comment saying I should get LTE or B Wireless or whatever, those services might be great where you are, but not where I am. I’ve had B Wireless for the past 7 years but you need a direct line of sight to their tower for it to work properly. A few months ago I lost what little line of sight I had which is why I had to look for a B Wireless alternative. Regular internet services from telecoms also doesn’t work properly where I live. Zain Bolt which can easily hit 60-70Mbps at the office barely gets 12Mbps at my place and spends most of the time hovering at around 5Mbps. So I understand you might have super fast mobile or fiber optics internet at your place, at mine it’s a different story.

Its too soon to tell if the Zain Beam speed will remain consistent, but I’m optimistic since Zain are limiting the amount of Beams they install per area. A friend of mine also told me these antennas can be upgraded in the future to work with 5G, so Zain could potentially end up providing much faster internet than their current two options (20Mbps or 40Mbps). Personally, if the connection continues like this for a the next few days I’m not even going to wait for my one month trial period to finish, I’m going to sign up right away.

The cost of the service is KD25 a month for 20Mbps, and KD40 for 40Mbps. With both options you need to commit to 24 months which is a tough pill to swallow. But with no better option, I’m willing to commit. If you guys have any questions about Zain Beam or want me to try anything let me know in the comments below.

6 02, 2019

Do you have Zain Beam?

2019-02-06T08:59:38+03:00Feb 6, 2019|52 Comments

Now that Zain’s Beam internet service has been out for a few months I’m wondering if any of my readers have tried it. I’ve been using B Wirless (Wimd) for the past 6 years but recently I’ve been having a lot of issues and barely getting 10Mbps. It’s not B Wireless’s fault, it’s just there is now a new building blocking the line of sight needed between my building and the B Wirless tower, so my connection is no longer stable.

I’ve considered getting an LTE connection from one of the telecoms but with the testing I’ve done, the speed can vary from as low as 2Mbps up to around 12Mbps. My only other alternative is Beam, but I haven’t heard of anyone using it. So if you have Beam installed, let us know what you think of it.

8 07, 2018

100Gbps Internet in Kuwait Starting Next Month

2018-07-08T11:25:25+03:00Jul 8, 2018|26 Comments

Kuwait is on its way to become “a country with the strongest and fastest Internet in the Arab world” through the use of optic fiber cables, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting a source close to the Sate Ministry for Services. The source pointed out that majority of the advanced countries provide Internet with a speed of 50 gigabytes, whereas the ministry will provide 100 gigabytes starting from August. [Source]

And somehow I’m still stuck barely getting 10Mbps because I live in Salmiya.

23 08, 2017

How to be an Instagram “Influencer” Overnight

2017-08-23T12:45:45+03:00Aug 23, 2017|3 Comments

Want to be an instagram influencer? Nowadays buying fake followers, likes and even comments takes only a few clicks of a button. So when I read an article on fake influencers on mediakix last week, I thought it would be worth sharing since instagram influencers are a pretty big thing in Kuwait. The ability to buy followers and engagement so easily now is making it harder for brands to find authentic influencers to deal with which in return is effecting legit influencers as well.

To make things even more complicated, there are support groups of a sort that make it even harder for brands to figure out if the engagement is real or not. Say you want to be a travel blogger, you could join one of these “support groups” which include other travel bloggers and then whenever you post a picture the other travel bloggers will leave comments on your photos and you would do the same back whenever they post a picture.

What I found interesting about this specific article is how they used around $300 to create and build a fake instagram account, and then got brand sponsorship deals. So if the whole influencer situation facinates you, check out the article [Here]

23 08, 2017

How Fast is Kuwait’s Internet vs the World?

2017-08-23T12:10:14+03:00Aug 23, 2017|34 Comments

The popular internet speed testing website Speedtest.net has a global index that is updated on a monthly basis ranking mobile and fixed broadband connections around the world. So how is Kuwait currently doing compared to the rest of the world?

Mobile Internet
Rank: 56th
Average Speed: 19.59 Mbps

Fixed Broadband
Rank: 83rd
Average Speed: 14.73 Mbps

I’m actually pretty surprised with the fixed broadband speed since I would have expected it to be a lot lower due to the fact that fiber isn’t widespread yet. Actually I’m also pretty surprised with our mobile internet speeds since I rarely get over 4 Mbps unless I’m in Kuwait City and even then it’s usually around 15-17 Mbps.

Regionally UAE ranked the highest for Mobile Internet coming in 7th with an average speed of 43.98 Mbps while Qatar ranked the highest in Fixed Broadband coming in 49th with an average speed of 27.78 Mbps.

For more information and the full rankings click [Here]