September 03, 2005

one ISP, two kingdoms

Bahrainis are a gouged, squeezed lot. I don't mean vanishing oil revenues, public land and seashore. I'm talking about the internet rates we pay for notre dame de telecommunications.

I fork BD 40 (US$ 106) each month for a supposedly broadband line of 256 kbps from Batelco. ( that's in a country where many earn less than BD 200 per month). But if I were living in Jordan, Batelco Jordan (a subsidiary of Batelco Bahrain) will offer me a 512 kbps internet for JD 23.9, or just BD 12.8 per month.

The ISP business is not labour intensive, so wages (which are slightly higher here) could not account for the difference. Nor is it a case of economy of scale (Batelco Jordan is still a minor player there). So, how can they explain the difference?

Here are the rates tables:


Batelco Jordan Broadband Prices


Plan Type

Speed

Download

Yearly Rate

Monthly rate

Broadband Light

128 Kbps

4GB

JD 159

JD 15.9

Broadband Entry

512 Kbps

4GB

JD 239

JD 23.9

Broadband High5

1Mbps

5GB

JD 299

JD 29.9

Broadband High12

1Mbps

12GB

JD 399

JD 39.9

source: www.batelco.jo

And the one for Bahrain:


Package (Speed)
Residential Flat w / threshold
Residential Flat w / threshold
Flat
Unlimited
Flat
Unlimited
University / Special needs
Speed
128 / 64
kbps
256 / 64
kbps
256 / 64
kbps
512 /128
kbps
256 / 64
kbps
Monthly Threshold (free)
500 MB
5 GB
unlimited
unlimited
5 GB
Activation Fees
BD10
BD10
BD10
BD10
Free
Monthly Rental
BD15
BD30
BD40
BD50
BD25
Usage above Threshold
(per 1MB)
BD0.030
BD0.030
N/A
N/A
BD0.030

source: www.batelco.com.bh

4 Comments:

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous chanad said...

wow, thats a big difference.

you should try sending this in to the GDN to see what excuses Batelco can come up to defend itself this time.

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger SillyBahrainiGirl said...

good one ;)

but does the Jordan service has as many glitches as its Bahraini counterpart ?

there doesnt seem to be a week without a technical problem ;)

 
At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting!, but I have notice that the price for the same service (DSL) in our big brother (Saudi) and our cousin (Kuwait) is even higher than that !, there must be something with the Gulf stats that makes such service cost/price high , any guess ?

Sillybahraingirl, my cousin lives in UAE and apparently they have as much glitch as Batelco here and apparently things happened around the same time, so either those glitches are infectious or simply the whole gulf is linked to the Internet through one fat pipe :)

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger MR said...

Chanad, do you think they (GDN, Batelco) care?
SBG, I doubt there's a place that could beat us on the glitches record.
Anonymous, UAE is certainly way cheaper. SA is in a different leaugue. They still have problems providing enough fixed lines tometroplitan areas, and their sheer geography. Kuwait DSL is almost the same as the one we have (KD 40), but that's for deeper Kuwaiti pockets. But, they have a dial-up service for KD 8, and that's for unlimited minutes.

 

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