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.