Monday, January 9, 2012

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Depressing: The Case of the Internet And 3G in Lebanon

WISE SlowIn two days, my 1GB mobile 3G plan (ALFA) will be reset. My total consumption, so far, during a whole months minus two days is 162.18 MB ( = 15.8%). Compared to the first month 3G was implemented, when I reached my limit after just 8 days, it is a huge difference!

At my parents’ place, their “WISE” 1Mbps wireless broadband consumption is at 69% with three days to go.  Prior to this month, they used to recharge at least 2 or 3 times in a single month.

What is happening? Are we using the internet less? We’re no longer heavy internet users?

No ladies and gents, it is not us! The ridiculously slow and intermittent mobile and wireless broadband connections are making it impossible for us to use the internet.

A couple months ago, Lebanon witnessed a huge campaign aimed at the improvement of both mobile and home internet speeds. When new plans—faster plans—started to emerge we all thought this was a great step for every Lebanese internet user. Prior to that, internet in Lebanon was literally the worst in the world.

Alfa Slow


Despite the small increase in the maximum traffic bandwidth, which is not still ridiculous, as well as the small drop in 3G plan prices—$32 for 1GB of max. traffic, we thought “Hey, let’s not complain, this is a great step forward!”

But guess what? Today I AM COMPLAINING!

I just got off the phone with the technical support of one of the Cash-Cows/companies (I won’t say which one. Hint: see 2nd paragraph or click here) who supplies my parents’ home internet connection. I called to complain about the unbelievably slow speed which has been so for the past couple weeks. His response was (I’m not kidding):

“It seems the base you are connected to is at full capacity. I’m sorry we can’t do anything now (it was 07:30pm) tomorrow we will have someone looking into it.”


Not bad! It seems they will fix it tomorrow! I DON’T THINK SO! And the reason I know is because this is the same exact response I’ve had for the second time in a row in less than a week! They could literally turn it into a recording and play it for all customers calling for support!


ALFA Slow 2


Moving to the infamous 3G. I’m sure most of you who use the same carrier as me (I won’t say which. Hint: see paragraph 1 or click here) are well aware of the 10 second hang up problem which has been going on for a quite a while now. In brief, what is going on is that if you’re connected to the 3G network you are most likely going to be disconnected from any call you make after just 10 seconds.

So I called ALF.. Oops.. I mean the company, and they told me they’re having a “temporary” problem with their 3G network(it seems temporary has a different meaning in their dictionary, because two months is not my definition of temporary). Anyway, because of some issues with the network, they are advising all their clients to switch their smartphones to 2G-ONLY modes.

Two months later, I’m still on 2G-ONLY mode, meaning that I can only use the slow EDGE connection—but which is faster than 3G at the moment. Every day, I try testing the 3G network: I get the famous 10-SEC Disconnection, and the internet is slower that what WAP was 5 years ago.

Now the solution in my opinion.. Forget it! I give up! I have no solution, and I guess neither does anyone! Am I too negative? Fuck it I don’t care!


My disgust with how things—everything—in Lebanon are regressing. The world moves forward while we run backwards. I’m starting to give up on my country (I put “starting” just to ease up on the negativity).

How about you? I would love to hear how you’re managing with all the negativity taking place in Lebanon?  


PS: I hope I’ll be able to UPLOAD this post over this …. connection!

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