Thursday, September 16, 2004

New DSL service providers

Daily Times reports: "Around 10 Internet service providers are gearing up to launch digital subscriber loop (DSL) based broadband services in 15 cities within one month.Currently, only four major players monopolise DSL-based Internet operations including, Micronet, Multinet, Rafiq Habib and WorldCall. "


Teeth Maestro said...

Bring 'em on - well i hope the prices come close to reality and not over remain over inflated - if within reason i might dive in for two connetions one for home and another for the office.

Keeping my fingers crossed

Zunaira said...

Where are they planning to plug their cables, is what I'd like to know. I hope they don't circle around the same residential or corporate areas where broadband is already available. Clearly, the rest of us feel deprived! :_(

The Wasp said...

DSL for cablenet? Circulating in higher societies only? How about improving dialup service? Why expensive DSL while an individual can't afford it?
I ask such questions to Micronet, Multinet, Rafiq Habib and WorldCall. Do they want a brighter and net-awared pakistan OR they just want their business growing?

Zunaira said...

Of course its expensive. You'd think an increase in the number of companies offering DSL is likely to affect the pricing structure as well--ideally speaking. The government should force these companies to position their prices accurately and I'm sure PTA can play their role here.

Anonymous said...

There are other major players in the field such as Cybernet, WOL and PTCL itself. PTCL has substantially reduced its rates. A 64 Kbps CIR has been reduced from RS.20K a month to RS.10K since the fiscal year changed (check the revised rates). Consequently most DSL carriers have also reduced their rates. Multinet is in pretty bad shape as a company and might possibly be on the way out unless they go through a M&A or get a fresh investment injection from somewhere. WOL's service quality isn't too good. Habib Rafiq is not bad though. Right now, no DSL providers offer hourly rates for access, they are all flat monthly or volume based. In contrast, you can get ISDN at hourly rates.

Teeth Maestro said...

Merlinx thanks for the update - well PTCL indeed is offering a neat package - check out the link

1Gb of data trasnfer at 64K for 1,299 and additional 100MB at Rs. 120. on the other hand hourly base rate is at Rs 50 and minimum is 100 hrs. total of Rs. 5000 for the 64K
I think the 1299 rate is feasable for home usage and aint a bad deal if you end up with more usage
I'm Going DSL - Better then facing the World Call blues (have been waiting for a connection)

Anonymous said...

You're welcome Teeth Master. A volume-based DSL connection makes sense for home usage because you have an idea approximately how much data you will be up- or downloading or you want to 'budget' that rather. In contrast commercial users usually have unpredictable bandwidth requirements and need connectivity available during specific (business) hours irrespective of the volume consumed. That is why they buy by unit time and home users often prefer pay-per-use, just like buying hours for dialup.

Has anyone had any experience with PTCL's DSL service or the cable Internet service available from WorldCall? How are these two performance-wise? I have personally used the DSL services from WOL, HRI and Multinet. I don't know about the rest of the services.

Anonymous said...

Also when signing up with any DSL provider remember to watch out for hidden and fine-print costs. They can be pretty high. Setup costs with most vintage ISPs here runs in the RS. 10-20K range (one time only). I think PTCL's setup cost is like around $1K, even though their running cost is much lower. Also, most ISPs will charge you for things like checking your line for fitness and providing you with a new DSL modem. To the best of my knowledge, no ISPs currently allow you to use a modem from a past connection. The point is that if you sign up with one DSL provider and find that the service stinks, the equipment and setup is wasted and you'll still have to endure the setup cost all over again when you switch to the next ISP, lock, stock and barrel. Worse, because you get a specific signal for DSL on your phone line when the service is turned on, if you decide to terminate your service, the provider also has to 'turn off' the signal and free up your phone line again so you can go to some other provider. And carriers may not be as eager or friendly when ramping down their service and letting you go as they were when signing you up. Remember to read between the lines for these things when choosing a DSL provider and check their reputation. It's not as simple and painless as using dialup and just dialing in to one or the other ISP.

Teeth Maestro said...

Merlinx - what can i say - OUTSTANDING POST

Things you have mentioned are the actual fine print that one NEVER finds out and you end up Yelling on the phone at the Customer Service which probably gives two hoots to your bitching ;)

DSL wait - gotta think about it a little bit more ;)

KO said...

I'm using WOL DSL at work, it's quite decent. Still, it's expensive if you use a lot of bandwidth. At home I've had WorldCall cable internet for over a year, and sadly enough its the crappiest ISP I've ever used in this country (yes, including those 3 men in a corner ISP's...) - I'm still using it currently as I don't have a phone line, but now I've given up actually using it - it's just there as a 'public service' for visiting family/friends.

I wrote two reviews of them some time back, here and here.

KO said...

The comments above are quite informative - another point is that local DSL providers sell the DSL modem for far more than the international price. And yes, it does seem that all the current DSL companies are targetting corporates and small business - they don't really care about home users. Hopefully these new DSL companies will target home users too.

Although at the end of the day the best soloution is Wireless, and probably the cheapest to implement also, but once again it's hideously expensive.

Anonymous said...

Thanks but no compliments necessary. Was just sharing my honest experience with DSL providers. By the way, thanks for your review KO about WorldCall, that was just what I was looking for. I have plenty of experience with DSL providers here but none with cable providers so I was curious.

We are still a long way from even achieving baseline quality in DSL service. Many DSL providers in the West don't charge for the modem or router or the setup costs at all. They just require you to sign a contract for a year (or some period) to use their service and if you decide to terminate before that, you have to return their equipment back to them at your expense, sometimes with a small penalty in some cases. But because of the stiff competition, some even forego that. And yes, DSL providers here are fleecing users on the cost of equipment at significant markups. I have personally checked the prices from them vs. the prices abroad on the same equipment.

The prices are steadily going down but the service quality is unstable at best, whether you are using shared or CIR. Still many ISPs are not doing too well in the DSL business especially the ones that don't have other strong services to lean on like dialup. The market is still not biting enough for them to work viably in the DSL market. Some of these DSL providers are in serious trouble financially.

Also remember to ask the provider about the usage of ADSL vs. XDSL. One will block your phone line from being used for voice (ADSL if I am not wrong) while the other will multiplex both so your regular voice service stays as-is even after the DSL is turned on (XDSL). I don't think all DSL ISPs here are capable of handling both.

Salman Siddiqui said...

Wow! That was a load of useful information everyone. Thank you very much everyone. Keep on posting.

Anonymous said...

This article i read on 12th september , and its now 4th october , any one heard any latest news on which company is starting in the list of these 15 isps ? only 8 days to ago and i havent heard any update about this anywhere on the net

Was this news for real?

Zunaira said...

I haven't heard anything. But I will update here as soon as I do.

Sharjeel said...

First of all my sincere thanks to all the contributors for a thoroughly informative blog! DSL service and service providers today are where the dial-up Internet service providers were about 8 to 10 years ago. The technology was relatively new at that time and most providers were like new off-springs: all of them went through teething problems on their part (I am not considering the hiccups and “throw-ups”!) and the customers went through their share of woes by paying too high a price for the services and succumbing to [and getting trapped into] the marketing gimmicks of the service providers.

Now the history is repeating itself and the same is happening with the DSL and broadband services in our country. For those who can afford the high costs, it is no problem. But those who have limited budgets shall have to wait—as before—for the “competition” in the market to increase which eventually shall result in DSL services becoming cheaper and affordable for the masses. This may take about another year or two. As the number of DSL/broadband service providers in the country is gradually increasing (Paknet, CyberNet, Multinet, Micronet, WorldCall, Satcomm Broadband…) we can keep our fingers crossed and look forward to the cheaper and widespread availability of DSL/broadband services.

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Anonymous said...


I represent a UK services business wishing to invest in a branch office in Islamabad, however i've just taken a look at the prices Micronet are offering for decent DSL and nearly choked!
Can anyone give some advice on if we were to pay those ridiculous prices would we be getting those speeds?

your help appreciated

Majad said...


I represent a UK services company wishing to invest in a branch office in Islamabad. I nearly choked when I say the DSL prices that Micronet were offering for 2Mb DSL.
Can someone advise if we were to pay that sort of money would we be getting that speed guarenteed? or is it still variable?
When will prices come down, anyone have an idea?

kind regards,