Menatelecom: Customers + 1

After many years, ever since Batelco introduced ADSL at what were exorbitant rates, I have decided to jump ship and join the WiMax crowd.

Don’t get me wrong, I love DSL, but unfortunately the only way I am getting a stable fast connection is going through the airwaves. For about a couple of years I have been suffering with terrible line problems that manifested suddenly out of the blue. It took the tech several days of almost living in my home to figure out the problem. My ADSL+router combo box literally got burnt due to all the ons and offs (back then Linksys didn’t have a nice power switch), of course they blamed it on the router… But a few days later they found something wrong at the exchange where my line goes in… Supposedly they fixed the problem, but with a condition: I may never see over 1Mbps due to the distance to the exchange. A few weeks ago, I managed to get 2Mbps DSL, stable. Yesterday, I started hearing crackling sounds in my line, which resulted in my modem losing sync around every half hour.

A call to Batelco’s helpdesk is useless, they enjoy blaming the customer, they can do that when customers are allowed to equip their own equipment. They told me something is wrong with the router, or the cable between the router and socket. The tech on the phone even made a mocking comment on the phone! I wonder if it was recorded?

Today morning I wake up, my router had been off during the night, at this point I was hoping for a miracle. Who knows maybe the cable fairies spread some magic dust around!? Before plugging in I picked up the phone to check for static, and guess what, it was worse than ever! A call to someone sounded like talking over a WW2 era walkie talkie.

I synced low at this stage, around 643Kbps out of my line’s 2048Kbps. Few hours later complete inactivity. Pick up phone, nothing, no dial tone just silence. Call the phone, it rings to the caller, but the phones were not ringing. Time for another call to the line fault center… By 2pm no engineer had arrived, by 2:30pm a call telling us that they will only come around on Saturday (2 days from today!!!). So until then we are without phone, people calling us will probably think we are dead or left the country if it weren’t for our mobiles!

3:30pm, I head over to KFH Automall, the closest Menatelecom branch. The lady was kind and informative, she was even honest about me not getting 2Mbps due to coverage. So I decided to get the 2Mbps package, but with the downside that I will be using the allocated transfer (12GB) at 1Mbps, better than nothing! By 4:15pm I am out smiling with my red bag, I was told it would take around 4 hours to activate. I spent almost 24 hours disconnected, 4 hours won’t hurt.

4:30pm I am back home, and start wiring the stuff. All except connecting the plug to the power, I got 3.5 hours left for that anyways. 5pm, what the heck if its active its active, if not then its not, plugged in the power. Green lights starting blinking like an alien ship. Fire up the browser, and voila it works!! What’s best, I am currently getting enough coverage allowing me to use the full 2Mbps I subscribed to!

Sunday morning Batelco will lose the BD25-30/monthly they used to get (DSL fees paid for them over the years probably amount to thousands and thousands of Dinars!!)… I pay just a wee bit more at Menatelecom (service charge is the same, but WiMax modem on lease), get the full advertised speed sometimes more (Batelco provided my with 2Mbps on a best effort basis, my download speeds never went over 1.5Mbps).

This is the first day on Mena, it is working great so far, I hope it stays this way, if not, then I might be jinxed by the Internet curse… I can’t wait to see the Batelco guys on Saturday, telling me the Internet is now working (or not)!

Leave a Reply