This has been one topic which I wanted to write about or atleast let people know of. This post is not going to highlight anything new but will summarize some of the things. 2012 brought the number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) down from 5 to 4 for Wired Connectivity.
The above 4 companies have been recently given licence by Ministry of Communication (MoC) for a period of two years for a fees of 250,000 KD (Kuwaiti Dinars). Also along with that, the ISPs were asked to reduce the prices by 40% bringing the internet to some tempting prices. This reduction of price was introduced quiet early (mid 2011) but many existing customers did not know about it until the Infoconnect 2012 exhibition held in Jan-Feb 2012. I doubled my speed after paying a small difference with the new price list. The prices list for all the above 4 ISPs are amazingly similar varying only by 1 KD in most cases. People term this as Monopolization. The above wired internet connectivity is still the most economical for people if one has landline.
Wireless Internet connectivity is slightly new to Kuwait but still not that popular as it is not known to many. Here is a blog post which gives you good idea about the Kuwait experience and price list. I really did enjoy Wireless Internet connectivity experience when I was in India, Bangalore. It was newly introduced into India in January 2007 and I became a testing customer. I had a 3 months of unstable up-down connection till the technical team could figure out the in and out of the technology. During that time, I still hanged onto the wired internet. In India, the wireless internet is not that far off in price when comparing to the wired internet connectivity. In Kuwait, the two companies handling this is WiMD and MADA.
The telecom internet companies are Zain, Wataniya and Viva. They are competing against each other for customers in varieties of products from
- Mobile Internet for iphones, blackberrys and other smartphones.
- Single User internet (USB devices)
- Multi User Internet (Routers - Battery operated to standalone routers)
The telecom networks are still going to have a lot of challenge as they keep jumping the speed. Started with 256kbps to 513 kbps to 7.2 mbps to 21.6 mbps. I just hope that the network backbone can hold up as people in Kuwait are hungry for speed. Look into this blog post for a clearer picture.