VIVA Bahrain and Microsoft in Operator Billing Agreement

Great news if you are a VIVA Bahrain customer and using a Windows Phone. VIVA and Microsoft have entered into an agreement to offer VIVA customers the ability to purchase apps from the Windows Phone app store and get billed through VIVA.┬áBasically your app purchases can now be paid along with your bill, if you’re a postpaid customer, or deducted from your credit if you are a prepaid customer. No need for credit cards or linking a PayPal account.…

Viva Bahrain Launches Facebook Zero

Viva Bahrain has just launched "free Facebook" aka Facebook Zero to its customers. If you have a phone with data access (data bundles not necessary) and a mobile browser you can access Facebook Zero through one of the following addresses:

You get a basic Facebook interface suitable for mobile phones (much like m.facebook.com) and you will be allowed to access most of Facebook's services (updates, feeds, messages etc…).…

Menatelecom: Complicated “Unlimited” menaHome Packages

A couple of days ago, I received an SMS on my phone from Menatelecom announcing their new menaHome (the residential tier of services) packages. According to the message, packages above 2Mbps are now unlimited (BD13 and above packages). I decided to take a look at their website (revamped lately). First thing I noticed is that they have definitely added more information (international rates, local rates, throttle speed etc…).

Now the bad thing is that it seems like they are offering more speed but the same data transfer for several packages (2 to 6Mbps).…

Checking Your Viva Broadband Balance

After Viva doubled the data transfer allowance for customers, I'm pretty sure there are many out there who want to know much they have used. The problem? They do send out an SMS to your device, but that is only after you transfer a certain amount (at 20GB, 30GB, 40GB used etc…). The Huawei software apparently seems to be configured for the prepaid version of the service. So if a post paid user checks their balance they would get:

This is where the magic of USSD codes come in :-)!…

Viva Goes Double (and a Half)!

Good news to all Viva broadband users, postpaid and prepaid by the way! You will now get double (or half) extra data transfer for the same price for a limited, but generous, period of 6 months ;-). Postpaid users: if you were on the BD30 package (60GB) you will now be able to transfer 120GBs. Prepaid users: if you recharge with BD10 (7GB) you will now get 10.5GBs.

They also have a new broadband package for heavier users, for BD40 you will be able to transfer 100GB (or 200GB within this promo period).…

Internet Pricing in the GCC

Every once in a while I hear someone commenting about the Internet in Bahrain: it is too slow, too expensive, not unlimited etc… They tend to compare it to one of our neighbors usually the UAE and/or Saudi Arabia. I would usually leave it at that since I have no first hand experience about the Internet in any other country of the GCC except Bahrain of course (neither do the complainers!).

From the comfort of my chair I can't really judge the quality of the Internet being provided in the countries around me.…

Better Internet is (Hopefully) Coming

Bahrain, and the rest of the Gulf countries could very soon be experiencing faster and most importantly affordable Internet. A marine cable laid by a company known as Gulf Bridge International (GBI) is finally complete, and is technically live and ready (as of 19th Feb, 2012). It connects the countries in the Gulf region: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar (GBI's HQ), UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Iran and Iraq. Furthermore it then connects to countries outside the Gulf for international connectivity, Italy (Europe, eastern US) and India (Asia, western US).…