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#1 May 16 2013

ILIA_93
Member

Feedback for 4G LTE

If any one can recalls the "Become the Minister of Telecommunications for a Day" competition sometime ago, well I won. But not to become the minister, I got an E-mail from alfa that I won a 4G sim with a LTE dongle. I picked them up this Monday, and yesterday at 18:00 I got an E-mail telling me that the 4G pilot phase started, and I can access the network.

At home, I can get a minimal signal enough to let me access the internet, I live in the suburb anyway. In the LU-Hadath the signal is weak, I was able to connect once for a minute, enough to let me access speedtest.net and take a test, before the connection was lost again, and couldn't connect afterward. But from where I'm living, inside my room, I can assure that the service is accessible(-99dBm) and with an acceptable speed.
My current location (HOME):
200x200


Speed tests

Before I went to college this morning, I installed the dongle driver and directly tested the speed:
2710969727.png (-99dBm)
The test I managed to do in my faculty's library :
2711411129.png (-103dBm)
Couple of minutes ago:
(1) On the balcony:
2711829627.png (-99dBm)
(2) In my room:
2711930893.png (-101dBm)
(3) ALFA's 3G via dongle in my room:
2712011609.png (-87dBm)

I'm really not into this domain, for me personally, I can live till the rest of my life with the 3G service, I'm subscribed to the 3G 150MB plan, and every month my usage never exceeds 50-60 MB, since I have ADSL at home. Anyways it's still a good step forward, but I think we're stretching ourselves too thin concerning the mobile data sector, and the whole internet sector. Focusing on the DSL services is a lot more important, and can deliver a lot more satisfaction for the Lebanese user, than expensive battery draining LTE services.

Just to change the custom nagging Lebanese tradition, I will say: I'm really happy with what the telecommunications ministry is providing for us, and with the huge leap that we made in these couple of year. I'm grateful that now we can enjoy video calls, high HD video streaming, and so much more with our 3G and 4G services. I want to thank the minister Sehnaoui, alfa, mtc, and every worker who helped installing or managing or providing any telecommunication service for the Lebanese population. Just trying to be positive ;-)


Edit(16-May-13 21:14):
Latest speed test at home:
2712399998.png (-91dBm)

Ping bbc.co.uk:
ping.jpg (-93dBm)

Best Regards

Last edited by ILIA_93 (May 16 2013)

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#2 May 16 2013

Aly
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

looks great, they should work on improving latencies though.

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#3 May 16 2013

yasamoka
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

Awesome speeds and latency! But I agree, improving DSL is much more important!

Last edited by yasamoka (May 16 2013)

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#4 May 17 2013

enthralled
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

Thanks ILIA_93. Hopefully speeds stay consistent after it goes public.

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#5 May 17 2013

DNA
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

all these speeds are bullshit if they didn't give reasonable quotas at a reasonable price.where in the world can you get 150mb monthly quota @ 20mbps 0_o.
Even if they reach 100mbps it is still useless if you can't use it for downloads or watching HD videos without paying 150$ for it.

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#6 May 17 2013

ILIA_93
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

enthralled wrote:

Thanks ILIA_93.

You're more than welcome.

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#7 May 17 2013

samer
Administrator

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

Actually, that's fairly standard. Mobile data packages are expensive in most parts of the world. For example, "EE" in the UK makes you pay $47 per month for 500MB, on a 24-month contract.

-DNA- wrote:

all these speeds are bullshit if they didn't give reasonable quotas at a reasonable price.where in the world can you get 150mb monthly quota @ 20mbps 0_o.
Even if they reach 100mbps it is still useless if you can't use it for downloads or watching HD videos without paying 150$ for it.

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#8 May 17 2013

mezin
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

samer wrote:

Actually, that's fairly standard. Mobile data packages are expensive in most parts of the world. For example, "EE" in the UK makes you pay $47 per month for 500MB, on a 24-month contract.

It really depends on the provider and the type of contract, usually contracted plans are worse than prepaid (not in canada though, mostly the US and Europe). And that's just the pricing for new customers, for example I negotiated my plan down to a good deal on contract, I'm currently paying $25 for 6gb of data (LTE) which is pretty decent. However if you go check the posted prices some are insane, and they only give you 150mb of data. In contrast there are some providers that give unlimited data (although they throttle the speeds when you pass a certain amount which they call a "fair usage policy")

The problem with lebanon is simple, customer service. The companies are not "fighting" to keep clients. The way the duopoly is established and divided now (especially since you can't transfer phone numbers from company to company) you don't have a choice. You don't have any negotiating power and there is no active competition. Do the customer support people still hang up on you ?


Edit: BTW those are some decent speeds you're registering, hope they keep the same level when it goes public and the heavy loads come in

Last edited by mezin (May 17 2013)

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#9 May 17 2013

Raficoo
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

samer wrote:

Actually, that's fairly standard. Mobile data packages are expensive in most parts of the world. For example, "EE" in the UK makes you pay $47 per month for 500MB, on a 24-month contract.
[

It depends on the country, some have these "unlimited" plans (though I believe most of them have a FUP in place) and some are high priced, some are low, and it depends on the package and contract chosen. To compare this in Poland the main operating telecom company "Orange" has a special mobile "internet card" deal, you sign up for 12 or 16 , you get 100 minutes of talk-time, 50 free SmS, and taking into account this is the top priced one, 76+2GB of internet bandwidth per month, oh also the nice thing is that it's unlimited from 12 to 8 daily. The speed however isn't LTE, it's rated up to 42mbit/s (HSPA+), the cost? $48/month

another example is say, you have only a normal phone line and you want to use the internet without any subscription, you just send a SmS command to subscribe, and you get 100MB for $1.53, 500MB for $4.8, 2GB for $9.23

In the end this just shows that given the world's evolving mobile speeds(whether updated forms of 3G or LTE), people are gonna need higher limits so that speed won't drain their usage really fast. In my opinion, as speed increases, so should limits at the same pace.

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#10 May 17 2013

amkahal
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

Mobile Internet is usually not for multimedia as the DSL is, so as yasamoka said, the priority is for DSL.

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#11 May 18 2013

Seth
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

Am I the only one finding it stupid that we are developing a next generation for Mobile Internet while our DSL speed ranks in the bottom end of the world? Seriously, it's disgusting. We run around with "Up to" 2 MB/sec on average while other countries download films in minutes.

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#12 May 18 2013

scorpioxy
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

You're not the only one Seth.

I was at the minister's presentation at AUB a few weeks back and when asked this question, he mentioned that moving from 3G to 4G was not as great a task as moving from 2G to 3G. And that they could do it with minimum effort. So the reasoning was that if they can achieve that without a lot of trouble, why not.

I don't agree with him but the reasoning sounds rational to me.

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#13 May 18 2013

yasamoka
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

scorpioxy wrote:

You're not the only one Seth.

I was at the minister's presentation at AUB a few weeks back and when asked this question, he mentioned that moving from 3G to 4G was not as great a task as moving from 2G to 3G. And that they could do it with minimum effort. So the reasoning was that if they can achieve that without a lot of trouble, why not.

I don't agree with him but the reasoning sounds rational to me.

They could do it with minimum effort at the expense of bandwidth that could have gone for DSL. I do not CARE if my mobile internet was faster or not. I tend to be a heavy mobile user on-the-go and open a lot of webpages, but even then most of my use is chatting, which doesn't require quota nor speed, just reliability. I mean, of course I'm happy if my webpages load in a few seconds, but I'm also unhappy when they don't load at all due to weak coverage / overload.

Reliability is essential for both DSL and mobile internet. The bandwidth that's going towards 3G and 4G should be made use of in DSL. Period.

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#14 May 18 2013

scorpioxy
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

He did mention that additional bandwidth was bought. But i am not sure if its related to the 4G implementation or not.

For the record, I agree with you. And I won't be a 4G customer any time soon. But just remember where you live and it will all make sense.

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#15 May 18 2013

Seth
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

yasamoka wrote:
scorpioxy wrote:

You're not the only one Seth.

I was at the minister's presentation at AUB a few weeks back and when asked this question, he mentioned that moving from 3G to 4G was not as great a task as moving from 2G to 3G. And that they could do it with minimum effort. So the reasoning was that if they can achieve that without a lot of trouble, why not.

I don't agree with him but the reasoning sounds rational to me.

They could do it with minimum effort at the expense of bandwidth that could have gone for DSL. I do not CARE if my mobile internet was faster or not. I tend to be a heavy mobile user on-the-go and open a lot of webpages, but even then most of my use is chatting, which doesn't require quota nor speed, just reliability. I mean, of course I'm happy if my webpages load in a few seconds, but I'm also unhappy when they don't load at all due to weak coverage / overload.

Reliability is essential for both DSL and mobile internet. The bandwidth that's going towards 3G and 4G should be made use of in DSL. Period.

Completely agree, mobile internet isn't expected to have impressive speed, just working speed since the top use is messaging. And anybody downloading a video or something would usually rather do it on his PC.
DSL should be their top priority, at the moment we are the 90th country that is most susceptible to benefit from innovations and advancements in network technology. In other words, that sucks badly. We always tend to see ourselves as high, esteemed lebanese, mocking other countries with stereotypes, while nations like Uganda, which we tend to look down upon, have better connections than us. That's just pathetic. (I'm not being racist towards other countries, I'm saying that WE are pathetic for thinking that way as a majority while other countries are actually developing)

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#16 May 18 2013

redbyte
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

I am really tired of people in this country complaining about anything good that comes their way. The 4G LTE launch is a great achievement. You talk about DSL, but here are a few things you need to keep in mind.

1) 4G LTE can replace your DSL entirely. Lets take Ogero for example.172.000LL for 8Mpbs and 30GB. The most expensive package for 4G is 149 dollars which gives you 40GB and much faster downloads. I have tried LTE in my area and get 20Mbps on average. Why would I pay 172,000LL for 8Mbps and 30GB when I can get 20Mbps for 149$ and 40GB (for example) or 20GB for $119 ? Also, 4G speeds will increase further as time goes on.

2) You do realize you can get a dongle or tether your smartphone (once its open to the mobile network next month) and completely use 4G instead of DSL? I personally require significantly better upload speeds as a run a small company, and I now get around 5-8 Mbps upload. Yes this varies from place to place and how to the tower you are, but coverage will improve.

3) As for DSL itself, the Ministry of Telecommunications sent out new pricing, speed and quota to be approved by the council of ministers. DSL would have seen significant increases in speeds but the government resigned which meant that this could not be approved by the council of ministers.

Conclusion: Progress has been made. 4G in Lebanon is a step in the right direction forward. Quotas, prices and speeds will continue to improve in time. We must not forget that this ministry was neglected and corrupt only 3 years ago. The infrastructure was old and poorly maintained. I think we have come a long way in 3 years.

Last edited by redbyte (May 18 2013)

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#17 May 18 2013

ILIA_93
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

redbyte wrote:

I am really tired of people in this country complaining about anything good that comes their way. The 4G LTE launch is a great achievement. You talk about DSL, but here are a few things you need to keep in mind.

1) 4G LTE can replace your DSL entirely. Lets take Ogero for example.172.000LL for 8Mpbs and 30GB. The most expensive package for 4G is 149 dollars which gives you 40GB and much faster downloads. I have tried LTE in my area and get 20Mbps on average. Why would I pay 172,000LL for 8Mbps and 30GB when I can get 20Mbps for 149$ and 40GB (for example) or 20GB for $119 ? Also, 4G speeds will increase further as time goes on.

2) You do realize you can get a dongle or tether your smartphone (once its open to the mobile network next month) and completely use 4G instead of DSL? I personally require significantly better upload speeds as a run a small company, and I now get around 5-8 Mbps upload. Yes this varies from place to place and how to the tower you are, but coverage will improve.

3) As for DSL itself, the Ministry of Telecommunications sent out new pricing, speed and quota to be approved by the council of ministers. DSL would have seen significant increases in speeds but the government resigned which meant that this could not be approved by the council of ministers.

Conclusion: Progress has been made. 4G in Lebanon is a step in the right direction forward. Quotas, prices and speeds will continue to improve in time. We must not forget that this ministry was neglected and corrupt only 3 years ago. The infrastructure was old and poorly maintained. I think we have come a long way in 3 years.

Hello redbyte, I hope you're enjoying this happy weekend afternoon. To start, no one complained about 4G! They, in fact, we asked for more concentration on DSL improvement. Having 4G in Lebanon is AMAZING!!! Our mobile data technology is now the best you can get in this world (not the pricing of course). Hence 4G launch is welcomed by everyone who posted, and who didn't post too.
We talk about DSL because it's more important, we have 3G with a slow DSL connection, why going 4G while we can spend our resources(Budget, workers, stations, abilities, and so on) on improving the DSL services. Just to make the idea a little bit more simple:" What we did in this step is like buying the latest i7 Laptop that we use for business and studies (and we already have an i3 laptop that is more than sufficient for our work), while we still have a Core2Duo desktop in the back, when we're really into gaming and enthusiast media..." Got it?

Thanks for your 3 arguments, but excuse me, they are not valid for Lebanese users (International users anyway):
1)That was a punch in the nose for me!!! Mate you really want me to pay hundreds of bucks for an equivalent 8Mbps ADSL service, when the world averages at 13.6Mbps download speed??! What you said is absolutely correct, and applicable, but paying for ADSL services as much as paying for mobile service is just not on anybody's agenda. Not even the most wealthy rich people in this country, because it's quite irrational. After all 4G wasn't made for home or office usage, it's a mobile data service. That's why we have fiber optics.

2)Argument invalid for preceding reasons. But still I'll accept you're argument controversially, what should those who didn't got even 3G services in their areas do?

3)There is nowhere in the whole world where people just sit, and watch their politicians do wrong for 4 years, and then go and reelect them again. We are suffering from a narrow minded society that needs complete brain washing and re-flashing of a modern Frimware. I'm not allowed to discuss this in this forums, but I'll try to pull it off, people are stuck in wrong beliefs even about their own religions and faith, and even their philosophical view of life. If we could really pick up the right persons for the right jobs, we could have achieved extraordinary results in the internet sector, we have a main internet cable (I forgot it's name :S) passing next to us in the sea, linking Europe to India I guess, we can easily and for a low price get a huge bandwidth, and be one of the leading countries in the DSL domain. Why I'm saying all this, is because the way you (and most of us) see the situation, as a government saying no to more of the good stuff like something usual, pulled my triggers. I'll stop here, that was more than abundant.

Conclusion: You're trying to seek the bright side, that is what we're all trying to do. But the way you're seeing it is plain unaccepltable for the majority of the Lebanese people, maybe those who have 200-300$ to spare every month and living in the capital city can go with your options. But what you suggested is not applicable at all what so ever.

I respect your opinion, and I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'm just giving my point of view(that might be the wrong one).
Regards mate...

*Edit* Bunch of typos :-)

Last edited by ILIA_93 (May 18 2013)

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#18 May 18 2013

redbyte
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

Hi ILIA_93, thanks for your input. I think there are a few things you misunderstood but I think we agree on some fundamental issues.

With regards to 1) Firstly, I would like to make a correction to when you stated that "After all 4G wasn't made for home or office usage, it's a mobile data service". 4G is actually a competitor to DSL. Many small businesses in the West are using 4G as their source of internet. Like I said, I have my all small business and I have met with some of these companies. There are a variety of reasons for why these businesses have switched to 4G for their businesses. The most common and important one, though, is when they are located in rural areas and do not have access to decent ADSL or Fiber services. A lot of these companies have been very happy using this as an alternative and it has actually allowed them to grow their business, but I think our infrastructure in Lebanon needs time before this is even possible here.

Anyway, you are correct in saying that you should not have to pay as much for mobile service as you do for DSL. However, I was speaking to people who need the capacity and bandwidth (people such as myself who owns a small business). I cant tell you how many times I have not been able to have a proper Skype meeting because of the lack of reliability with our DSL. The point I was trying to make is that 4G gives us an alternative, hopefully for a short term until a new government is formed and the council of ministers can sign the necessary degrees in order to increase bandwidth and quota. I am fully aware that most people cannot afford the insane prices on the quotas, but some of us have no other options. I might as well close my business down within a year if things don't pick up pace in the sector.

The cable you were talking about is the IMEWE. You are right, this cable can get us low prices and more bandwidth, which is exactly what the decree was supposed to do when it was sent to the council of ministers. The resignation of the government means we will have to wait a long time before this happens.

Which brings me to my last point in which if fully agree with you on. Although we cant talk politics here, there is no doubt that political issues and the lack of a government will severely hamper our progress in this sector. This, unfortunately, has always been the case in this country and I wouldnt hold my breath expecting it to change tomorrow.   

Again, thanks for your input

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#19 May 18 2013

ILIA_93
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

redbyte wrote:

4G is actually a competitor to DSL.

Well I see, you're talking business. For me, I used to be a heavy gamer, so internet latency was a headache for me. Concerning 4G in Leabnon:
1)Latency is definitely not as good as IMEWE's.
2)Connectivity is less reliable and less stable than DSL. Imagine the heavy cloudy rainy winters!
3)Monopoly! Everyone knows it, we have no competition between alfa and touch. We saw their offers concerning 3G packages, and 4G ones are surely not going to be any better. So it's a noway for 4G to be used by domestic or even the regular business users who need a good amount of data.

I don't have a deep knowledge concerning the internet world, but I'm sure for domestic usage fiber optics should be the #1 priority. Add to that the horrible offers of mobile data services, then we have no choice other than wired connections. But I see this issue from a normal user perspective, I have no idea why a speed over 10Mbps is important for business, a 8Mbps connection with a 30-40ms latency to Europe is a dream coming to reality for me. So maybe that some people see that having 4G for now is important since DSL speeds aren't enough for them justify this step from the ministry :/

Best regards and good night :-)

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#20 June 26 2013

iron
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

Well where I live we still have alfa gprs. Several people made contact with the minister regarding 3g in our area but nothing changed.

In my opinion everyone in lebanon deserves to have 3g before the ministry goes on their wild 4g adventures.

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#21 June 26 2013

Gamer
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

iron wrote:

Well where I live we still have alfa gprs. Several people made contact with the minister regarding 3g in our area but nothing changed.

In my opinion everyone in lebanon deserves to have 3g before the ministry goes on their wild 4g adventures.

what is your mobile device? also what is your region?

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#22 June 26 2013

iron
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

Im in bekaa Anjar, I use Xperia arc s but dunno why does that matter since its the same on all devices and dongles.

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#23 June 26 2013

nuclearcat
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

It is common, that in remote areas such technologies unavailable at first moments, because it is just not profitable. In center of city there is high density of users, some infrastructure. Anjar have too low users density, and huge problems with communications and electricity.
Just count - base need to serve constantly traffic, to be profitable. If Anjar has 1000 users even, who pay monthly $30 - it is not enough to cover expenses. While in city center in offices constatly working users, that can reach much more numbers (because they dont stay permanently, and most of them when there consume traffic, which equal traffic).
When they will have old 3g bases - they will move them to remote locations.

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#24 June 29 2013

nuclearcat
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

iron - it is telecom business rule in all world.

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#25 June 29 2013

Gamer
Member

Re: Feedback for 4G LTE

3G Coverage touch

lebanon.jpg?v=3

3G Coverage Alfa

CoverageMapBig.png

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