Keep those internet surprises coming along

TELECOM | New services and increased competition are bringing new conveniences to the consumer

A few weeks ago I was departing from Queen Alia International Airport and was, for a change, pleasantly surprised. I am saying ‘for a change’ because I have written before about the dire need to inject technology into our main airport. There is still a lot of work to be done, starting with the airport’s IT department (or whoever is responsible for computer stuff there) purchasing a copy of the virus protection software that runs on the PC used for displaying flight information. The warning window that says that the demo has expired always appears on the flight information screen! It has become the ridicule of a number of sites on the net, let alone the thousands of people who come and wait at the arrivals hall every day. The fact that this situation has been allowed to go on for months can only be explained as extreme negligence.

Now back to the pleasant surprise: there is finally wireless internet in the airport. I opened my laptop and, lo and behold, there it was. The welcome screen said that the service would be free for the testing period. I was able to download my latest emails before boarding the plane. Great!

I say: for goodness sake, KEEP IT FREE. Get it sponsored by Jordanian corporations and let the sponsors put up nice signs in the airport bragging about it and informing people of its existence. Charging for it would be a useless exercise. Such services are free in many airports. And who would care to go buy a card for the short period they are spending in the airport?

ADSL for everyone?

Another cool development in Jordan’s telecom market has been the reduction of ADSL prices. Finally, even my parents have an ADSL connection and wireless access for the whole house. Now that is progress!

It’s also great that 1 Megabit connections are being offered to residential customers. But that should not be the end of the story. The speed needs to go up and the prices need to go down further if we want to keep up with global developments in this field. I just read a Foreign Affairs article that reveals how the US is now lagging behind countries like Japan and South Korea (soon even China) in the usage of broadband. The speed of internet connections in Japan blew my mind. While we are talking about 512 Kilobits and 1 Megabits, the Japanese are making 30 Megabit connections available to most of the population. A recent report I saw in Slashdot.org talked about the official launch of 1 Gigabit residential services in Hong Kong (priced at 215 US$ per month). 1 GIGABIT!!

Jordan Telecom has recently announced its LiveBox strategy which is supposed to bring new integrated voice and data solutions to the home, apparently at high speeds.

Dare we dream of 4 Megabit at the home anytime soon?

Internet for the rest of us

You just got to love the telecom war between Fastlink and Mobilecom. Both companies are awaiting yet another competitor in the form of Umniah and already have to deal with some competition from Xpress (who are advertising themselves like there’s no tomorrow).

Look at what happened last week. Mobilecom started offering the sale of landline dialup access from Coolnet (A Wanadoo service) through SMS. If you’re a prepaid internet card user and you run out of hours in the middle of the night, simply send an SMS and you’ll get a new ‘card’ number on your phone.

Exactly one day later Fastlink shot back with the same service in cooperation with its recently revived Link ISP.

That’s competition for you.


10 Responses to “Keep those internet surprises coming along”

  1. OceanCreep Says:

    well, when i arrived to Riyadh before 2 years i had thought that we in jordan have the latest technologies in telecom, and we always bring the newest and the best serivecs to the country since we have a big competition in the communications & IT filed.
    but i was surprised after, that there is somthing called WI-FI services in the communication world and its already installed in one of the coffeshops in Riyadh and for free. i wondered why we dont have such a service in amman. and after year and half i went to jordan and asked about this service in amman, and found nothing … before 4 months or less Amman starbucks cafe announced that they are offreing this service for the customers, i’ am just wondering why this delay in technology now, we suposed to be a country that targting investments, and business pepole, which means that we have to setup the environment for that.
    i believe that the airport is the most importanet place and the first plcae that we have to work on for such a thing, coz its the gate to jordan.
    the IT & communications filed are gowing fatser and faster everyday, and one small mistake will drop us back in this competition.

  2. Eman Says:

    WOW! this is great news indeed. I hope they think like you and get it sponsored to keep it free. It would be such a great step forward!

    And well, the more companies compete, the better it gets for the consumer ;)

  3. Lina Says:

    Yeah this is all really great and it was joy to me and my sisters when my dad decided to get ADSL at last ;) but here I am sitting in an internet cafe because ever since we got the broadband connection two weeks ago, it hasn’t been working!! One time it’s the modem, then the splitter, then the line itself… and we’re calling Jordan Telecom’s customer service day and night, and they keep giving us the exact same list of things to try, and they came over twice, the last of which was this morning… only to tell us that they found out what the problem is and that they will send someone to solve it on Monday!! Why not today??!! Beats me…

    And can someone tell me why Jordan Telecom has a monopoly over selling the ADSL modems???

    Having said this… I must admit that a lot of great things are happening for the ICT industry in Jordan, and that competition is just wonderful… God knows what creative surprises we’re in for when Umnia launches its services :)

  4. Yazan Says:

    Actually, there are a few places that offer Wi-Fi in jordan, there’s prime mega stores, any restuarant in hayyat (good luck with that though).. and several others..

    Plus you can always hang out next to corps and check if their wi-fi is readily available with no encryption or password… :)

  5. Lukman Says:

    True… We do need to move forward in the Internet field more. I became an ADSL user 10 months ago; and I can’t imagine how I used a dial-up connection to log into my e-mail – it’s so pathetic :p

  6. 3Abood Says:

    well , i just so simply wish that u ADSL guyz just make it freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. thanx

  7. 3Abood Says:

    :)

  8. Hadi Says:

    Does anyone knoe who offers the fastest ADSL in amman, and how much does the service (per month) and modem cost? is it a multi-user or single-user?

    hope someone reads this.

  9. Philipp Says:

    free W-LAN at QAIA is over, see http://www.magiera.de/blog/index.php?entry=entry050602-122405

  10. Philipp Says:

    It’s over at QAIA, see http://www.magiera.de/blog/index.php?entry=entry050602-122405

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