Friday, December 19, 2008

International call rates reduced

From 23rd November 2008, the international call rates for a few countries have been reduced. Ministry of Communication (MoC) has made this positive move and has suggested for further reduction for other countries.

Now calling India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Philippines has been reduced to 170 fils per minute (KD 0.170 per minute).

Also calling some countries in the Arab world - Egypt, Lebanon and Syria have been reduced to 150 fils per minute (KD 0.150 per minute).

Now the crackdown on the illegal internet international call center have increased after the reduction of the rates since 23rd November. After a period of one month since this has been applied the crackdown has been reduced and things are back to normal. People are still finding internet international calling rates attractive as the price difference is atleast 2 to 5 times.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Incoming calls on Mobiles FREE

With the VIVA network being activated on 3rd December 2008, the competetion has been started. Along with Viva, the other 2 networks, Zain and Wataniya have made incoming calls FREE. That is calls being received from other Cell networks, landlines and International calls are going to be Free (No charges are going to be applied). This has come as a relief for many people as they used to avoid receiving landlines. Now with this offer, people planning to make calls from their cellphones can grab their nearest landline phones and make calls to mobiles. This will help people on minimising their phone bills. I am sure more offers are on the way with the 3 networks competeting each other.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Viva network active

From Wednesday, 3rd December 2008 onwards Viva has made its network active. So people can now go to Viva centers and purchase new SIM cards. The people who have registered numbers online during the last 4 weeks can pick their sim cards from the sim collection outlets or authorised dealer outlets on the dates specified below. All the numbers starting with:

  • 550 may collect between Dec 6 and Dec 12.
  • 551 or 552 may collect between Dec 13 and Dec 19.
  • 553, 554 or 558 may collect between Dec 20 and Dec 26.
  • 555 may collect between Dec 27 and Jan 2.
  • 556, 557 or 559 may collect betweeb Jan 3 and Jan 9.

Sim Collection outlets are:

  • Mishref Fairground Exhibition Hall - No 8.
  • Slayil Resort - Al Jahra
  • Al-Manar Mall - Al Jahra
  • Al Kout - Fahaheel
  • Marina Mall - Salmiya
  • Airport (Arrival Lounge)

Authorized Dealer outlets:

  • i2
  • BEC
  • LG
  • Eureka

Currently, over 500,000 people have registered with Viva in the last 4 weeks. These people have to show up with their Civil ID or Passport during the timeslots mentioned above.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Viva's Vanity number

Kuwait's third telecom company - Kuwait Telecom Company has started off with provisions to reserve numbers. These VIVA numbers have the prefix of "55", therefore the last 6 digit combinations are open for reservation. These reservations can be done online at the VIVA website or at Kiosks in different areas of Kuwait. Reserving these numbers donot cost and can be done only using your Civil I.D. or Passport numbers. This has been included for restriction so that only one person can book one number. This is helpful in keeping people from capturing numbers in bulk so that black marketing can be avoided. First Come First Serve is the motto currently for reserving numbers. This facility has been open for 4 weeks. Once the SIM cards are ready then the customers will be contacted to pick them up at the nearest VIVA outlet.

Friday, October 17, 2008

8-digit phone nos only from Oct 17

From October 17, only 8-digit numbers (as per new numbering system) are going to be active in Kuwait. Ministry of Communication (MoC) will be updating their system from 2 am to 5 am on Oct 17. So systems will be down. I am sure people have already updated their phoneooks and contact list.

People have to keep in mind that for Dial-up internet users, the 6 digit numbers like 8** *** should be modified by adding 1. Therefore the new modified number is 18** ***.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Petrol prices in Kuwait's Fuel Stations

Photo Courtesy to Google Images and respective companies
A place were Petrol is cheaper that the Packaged Drinking water. Kuwait is a place where one enjoys driving cars because of petrol prices being low compared to other countries. But driving in Kuwait with the current traffic and high vehicle density is a whole different issue!
Currently the Petrol and other fuel prices in the Fuel stations throughout Kuwait are as follows (1 Kuwaiti Dinar, KD = 1000 Fils):
  • Petrol (91 Octane) known as Premium = 60 Fils (KD 0.060) (Available in all the fuel stations in Kuwait).
  • Petrol (95 Octane) known as Super = 65 Fils (KD 0.065) (Also available in all the fuel stations in Kuwait).
  • Petrol (98 Octane) known as Ultra = 90 Fils (KD 0.090) (Available in a few fuel stations).
  • Diesel = 55 Fils (KD 0.055) (This is available on all highways. Not available in Fuel station within Residential areas).(LATEST UPDATE - 31/10/2015 - 110 Fils (KD 0.110))
  • Kerosene = 55 Fils (KD 0.055) (Available in a selected few).(LATEST UPDATE - 31/10/2015 - 110 Fils (KD 0.110))
CLICK HERE to see current Kuwait Fuel Prices (KNPC site)
For the details of which Fuel is available in a fuel station out of the 118 Fuel stations across Kuwait, CLICK HERE.
For the past decade, Petrol in Kuwait is Unleaded. Therefore all the above Petrol mentioned are Unleaded. A decade ago, Kuwait was having Leaded Petrol which was sold at 40 Fils. Kuwait decided to be a little environmental friendly by reducing Lead emissions and shifted to Unleaded Petrol which were 60 Fils. This also helped in increasing the other fuel prices such as Diesel and Kerosene from 20 Fils to 55 Fils.
Also Kuwait has 118 Fuel stations across Kuwait which are active. New ones are coming up as and when required. Example, a fuel station for a newly developed areas or on a long distance highways. The company in charge of providing fuel all over the Kuwait is KNPC (Kuwait National Petroleum Company). The maintenance of the Fuel station have been divided equally among 3 companies : KNPC, Oula and Soor. All the Fuel stations are Automatic and self-service. For Female drivers, helpers (maintenance company employees) are available for re-fueling so they do not need to step out of their vehicles. The payment for the fuel is done at the drive through booth by mentioning the fuel pump number in the comfort of your vehicle. Also lately more number of Fuel stations have started putting up close circuit cameras throughout the station.

UPDATE:(01/01/2015): In Mid October 2014, the Government of Kuwait decided to remove the subsidy on Diesel and Kerosene. The implementation of the price change will take effect from 01/01/2015. After removing of the subsidy price, the fuel price will become 170 fils for both Diesel and Kerosene. The government is still going through the study reports on removal of Subsidy on other utilities like Electricity, Water, Petrol, LPG cylinders and other subsidized products. As of date, none of these have changed.

The government is giving restrictive subsidy. One of the first is the Cooperative Societies Union which asked for diesel and kerosene subsidy with regard to Bakeries so that they can be supplied at the old price of 55 fils. (CLICK HERE for the Arabtimes article and CLICK HERE for the Kuwait Times article.)

UPDATE: (28/01/2015): The Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) announced today that the rate for Diesel and Kerosene will be 110 fils (KD 0.110) each. This decision was made after the subsidies committee at the Ministry of Finance made its decision in light of the developments of current oil prices in the global markets. The price will be applied nation wide from 1st February 2015 (01/02/2015). The committee announced that the future prices of Diesel and Kerosene will be in line with the prices in the global markets and will be revised monthly. (SOURCE: CLICK HERE for KUNA article)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Exact 8 digit phone numbers

The exact range of 7 digit numbers have been mentioned below in ascending order along with the network they belong to. The 8th digit should be prefixed based on the following:
9 should be added to all Zain numbers which belong to MTC (Mobile Telecommunication Company).
6 should be added to all Wataniya numbers which belong to Wataniya Telecom.
2 should be added to all Landline numbers which belong to MoC (Ministry of Communication).
1 should be added to all Commercial numbers that is Hotline 6 digit numbers (This also belongs to MoC).

800000 - 899999 Commercial Numbers 6 digit Hotline numbers
1000000 - 3999999 Landline
4000000 - 4099999 Zain
4100000 - 4399999 Landline
4400000 - 4499999 Zain
4500000 - 5009999 Landline
5010000 - 5029999 Wataniya
5030000 - 5049999 Landline
5050000 - 5099999 Wataniya
5100000 - 5199999 Wataniya
5200000 - 5499999 Landline
5500000 - 5509999 Wataniya
5510000 - 5539999 Landline
5540000 - 5599999 Wataniya
5600000 - 5699999 Landline
5700000 - 5709999 Wataniya
5710000 - 5779999 Landline
5780000 - 5799999 Wataniya
5800000 - 5899999 Wataniya
5900000 - 5999999 Wataniya
6000000 - 7019999 Wataniya
7020000 - 7029999 Zain
7030000 - 7090000 Wataniya
7100000 - 7199999 Zain
7200000 - 7299999 Zain
7300000 - 7399999 Zain
7400000 - 7499999 Zain
7500000 - 7599999 Zain
7600000 - 7699999 Zain
7700000 - 7769999 Wataniya
7780000 - 7799999 Wataniya
7800000 - 7899999 Zain
7900000 - 7999999 Zain
8000000 - 8999999 Landline
9000000 - 9999999 Zain

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

International Call rates

My previous post had a comment which talked about the International call rates being ridiculous and also the charges on Mobile calls and SMSes. So this post came into existence to highlight some of those things.

First of all the Ministry of Communication in Kuwait has an official website. By the way the International call rates/tariffs are mentioned on their official website. But I would say that it is an old list which was valid before January 1st, 2008. You can CLICK HERE to see it. Ofcourse since January 1st, 2008 the call rates fell by 20% and the new updated list can be see on another site. CLICK HERE to view the current call rates/tariffs. Here you can also see the old rates and new rates.

The main problem with the above call rates are that they are still costly when compared to the rest of the gulf. The sadder part is that if you call any country, the call rate from that side will be cheaper. Example: A call from Kuwait to India will cost 240 fils/minute (KD 0.240; that is Indian Rupees 40 with current market rate as KD 5.900 for Rs 1000). Whereas a call from India to Kuwait will cost Rs 8/minute (Indian Rupee 8 = KD 0.048; that is 48 fils considering the above exchange rate).

If one thinks this is the only difference then one should consider the fact that in Kuwait outgoing calls and incoming calls on mobiles do cost. So even if one gets a call from India he will have to pay for the incoming call on his mobile (50 fils per minute). Similarly if one makes a call from his mobile to India he will have to pay the call rate 240 fils plus 50 fils. I think these things have made internet telephony more popular in Kuwait. The above reasons make the Telecom sector in Kuwait very profitable. People are awaiting for reduction on local calls and SMSes. Probably this answer may be solved by the introduction of the new telecom company whose commercial brand VIVA got launched last week.

Monday, September 22, 2008

VIVA la Kuwait

The commercial brand 'VIVA' which was launched by Kuwait Telecom company (KTC) is the latest addition to the Kuwait's telecom sector. The existing two telecom companies are ZAIN and WATANIYA which have held over the markets of Kuwait. KTC is a sister or more like a child company of STC - Saudi Telecom Company.

People are expecting some new offers with the entry of this brand. VIVA could be the reason for the speeding up of the 8 digit numbering system as this system was supposedly to begin from December 1st. VIVA speeded up it operations since it got its licence in November 2007 and has started in a record time of 10 months.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New Numbering System for phones -> 8 Digits

From Friday, September 19, phone users will be able to call both the existing 7 digit and the new 8 digit phone numbers. This will be the transition period for all phone numbers, be it Mobile phones or Landline numbers. The transition period is from Sept 19 to Oct 17. After Oct 17, the old 7 digit phone numbers will be removed.

The additional 8 digit being added to the 7 digits are as follows:
9 should be added to all Zain numbers.
eg: 7** **** becomes 97** ****
9** **** becomes 99** ****

6 should be added to all Watniya numbers.
eg: 6** **** becomes 66** ****
2 should be added to all Landline numbers.
eg: 2** **** becomes 22** ****
4** **** becomes 24** ****
5** **** becomes 25** ****

1 should be added to all Commercial numbers.
eg: 8** *** becomes 18** ***
All emergency numbers remain the same.
eg: 777, 100, 101 etc.

If people donot know what the new numbers are (whether they are confused with Zain or Wataniya numbers). Then you can click on the below site. Here Enter the existing 7 digit number and it will show you the new 8 digit number. CLICK HERE

My personal opinion is to change all the numbers in the phone book to 8 - digit numbering system as there might be some conflicts occuring. Therefore it would be suggested to stick to one particular format. Ofcourse take your own time until Oct 17.