Saturday, March 25, 2006

Let's play Monopoly

The local telecomms monopoly continues to push its broadband special offer. Al Shamil, 'Surprisingly fast at amazing low prices' is a limited period offer that Etisalat has been plugging hard for months with no sign of the advertising campaign abating in the near future.

Why is Etisalat continuing to peddle the 'amazing low prices' that are clearly anything but low? Is it entirely because there is a total lack of competition?

A cursory comparison with broadband offers in the UK easily demonstrates the magnitude of Etisalat's less than realistic price structure. Aside from a 'mere' 2Mbps being the maximum speed on offer, Al Shamil is typically between two and three times the cost of the average broadband rates offered in the UK.

Or are British broadband providers cutting their own throats? Somehow I doubt it.




I have not included the effects of British 17.5% Value Added Tax. Neither have I considered the costs of wireless modems, installation, free or reduced rate months, or any bundled software.
I would however concur with Etisalat's claim that Al Shamil broadband is 'amazingly fast'. Compared with the dial up that typically runs at about 3kbps, even a 256kbps would feel blisteringly quick.

However, until Etisalat proposes a more realistic broadband pricing structure I shall continue with ye olde dial uppe at home. As my monthly internet bill is usually around AED 50 (less than £10) it is questionable whether I need broadband at all. If I do need a broadband connection I can always take my laptop to Starbucks and use wireless broadband at the same hourly rate as home dial up.

I contacted Etisalat through their official feedback website on 7th March:

"All Al Shamil broadband monthly rates are typically between two and three times those on offer in UK. A more realistic pricing structure (say Dh80/month for 256kbps to Dh120/month for 2Mbps) would make Al Shamil a much more attractive proposition."

Unsurprisingly, more than three weeks later I have yet to receive a response.

1 comment:

Keefieboy said...

I wasted a bit of time a few days ago doing an Etisalat survey. They are investigating the demand for faster speeds - 4, 6 & 8 Megabippies are talked about. They ask how much I would be prepared to pay for this. Also what kind of 'gift' would I require as an incentive to upgrade - options range from a biro to a colour laser printer.

Ridiculous, and of course they don't give you any opportunity to vent your spleen about the existing shite service. Anyway, if they follow my suggestion, I'll soon be enjoying an 8 Megabippy connection for ten dirhams a month and driving around in a brand new Land Cruiser. I deserve it don't I (I've certainly nearly bloody paid for it over the last twelve years).

 

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