Sabri Header1 Sabri Hakim: FASTLINK comment by Mahd Tahboub

Friday, October 21, 2005

FASTLINK comment by Mahd Tahboub


Sabri, going back to ur fastlink topic even though a couple of days past for that post I still would like to point out a couple of issues regarding GSM service providers in Jordan.Well even though currently I have tested all service provider, I really don’t care what each company is trying to market, am not a fastlink fan too, not for the reason that u r annoyed with their advertisements but for technical reasons that I would like to share with others to prove technically for the Jordanians what’s really going on in this multi million market.

1. Unfortunately Fastlink has the majority of GSM users and that makes their company in control of the market, I really don’t blame Fastlink and I definitely blame the ignorance of Jordanians for this monopoly. For this reason Fastlink is ignoring many services that are a must for consumers where mobilecom and omnia offer and try to educate and inform customers about such services in order to compete with Fastlink. For example, mobilecom they are so detailed and well established in their services to the point where once I had to setup my imate pocket pc phone to connect to the internet over gprs, mobilecom managed to place a detailed step by step instructions on their website and I think this is a great option. On the other hand I wanted to setup this service on fastlink, of course they do not offer the imate phone settings on their customer service and asked me to visit any fastlink showroom after I tried calling 12 times and no one pick up cause I have a prepaid SIM. So I decided to follow up and head to Abdoon showroom where I figured out no one has any idea to setup the phone, later they asked me to visit their main showroom on the eighth circle.

2. I assure you from my testing that mobilecom never dropped a call and the service of their network coverage is the best in Jordan.

3. Fastlink is controlling Jordanians by their expensive interconnection charges (cost of calls between two different networks) as the majority use Fastlink, people think they save money as most of their calls are to Fastlink and this is partially true.

4. For internet geeks and technology freaks, internet over gprs using Fastlink network is the most expensive, slowest, and the worse but still people stick to Fastlink cause of the interconnection charges to other networks. By the way Omnia they have the best prices and offers for calls, gprs internet and services but still need to work on their networks and sms services to the rest of the world.

Finally summarizing up fastlink lacks many other services that I did not mention, and monopoly made them ignore many services that mobilecom and omnia offer efficiently. One thing I would like to add and is the most important that Fastlink sometimes cheats with the switches of their networks and cause other networks calling Fastlink phones drop calls of course naïve customers would believe their mobilecom or omnia network sucks, this is illegal and the TRC (telecommunications regulatory comity) does not realize that until now.Fastlink is cheating the customers and spending millions in advertisements trying to get consumer confidence, but the media campaigns are all false, only to keep up with minor competitions and the real power Fastlink has is Interconnection fee to other networks.If there is no interconnection fee no one will stick to Fastlink.
Mahd Tahboub
October 21, 2005 2:09 AM

10 Comments:

Blogger Sabri Hakim said...

100% man, I had an Ez-link that I used for 7 years, never disconnected. I never got any recognition from Fastlink while my grandmother receives sweets from Zalatimo for her post paid line! I hate a hundred other things in them, "that musical not they play in there show room makes me want to vomit" I really do believe that men in black sit and laugh about how much control they have over us, everything is Fastlink now, its become like a government, you'll be hearing soon "Hada wasel, bi3raf modaret Fastlink

October 21, 2005 10:59 AM  
Blogger PALFORCE said...

Hmmm,

I see. Well, after reading both posts, I gather that the success of Fastlink is mostly credited to its marketing campaign rather than the quality of its services.

While Mobilecom has a better service it doesn't spend much on marketing, hoping the consumer would be as educated as you and join them after they do their own research on their own.

This sounds just Like Apple and Microsoft. Although Apple exceeds Microsoft in its quality and services Microsoft has won the game by being the pioneer marketing genius it is.
______________________________

Conclusion; if Mobilecom would not hire a new marketing genius, it will loose the battle with Fastlink. Consumers are attracted to shiny objects regardless if it's harmful or useful.

Thanks for the invitation.

October 21, 2005 11:58 AM  
Blogger Ameen Malhas said...

Khaled, thers is one fault in your reasoning. Apple introduced the PC, while Microsoft copied their OS and offered a lower quality product at a cheaper price. This in turn established Microsoft's dominance, as uneducated people (in terms of tech) started buying MS products. The corporate market is a different story, and so is education.

Back to Fastlink. When they first launched, Fastlink was ensured a 5 year monopoly on the market by the government. I believe this is the main reason they hold such a domineering position. Cell phones reached critical mass and were commoditized long before anyone else entered the market.

As for Omnia, I've heard horror stories about their service. MobileCom seems OK (never tried it myself), and Xpress (Nextel) is mostly targeted towards the blue collar segment of society, and, ahem, bored rich kids sitting in each other's basements.

As for their marketing efforts, I really don't see a point. These companies should be investing all this money in improving QoS, and not in convincing more people to join an already overloaded network.

Sorry, I ramble.

Malhas

October 21, 2005 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hehehee ameen, thanks for ur comments and hidden jokes on my basement........we will discuss that later.....................
Well I have express too, dint want to mention....but honestly they have the best deal and cheapest rates but I don’t think its easy to compare xpress (iDEN) technology to GSM, even though I know xpress best deals and optimum instant telecommunication service.


Mahd

October 21, 2005 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Basem said...

Ameen

a quick comment on identifying Xpress as Nextel, as in the US mobile operator. The issue of "foreign" associations in Jordan can sometimes be touchy!

Xpress uses the same technology -iDEN- that is used -dominantly- by Nextel, but there is no mother, sister or know-how corporate relationship between the two.

My two cents on mobile operators in Jordan:

Fastlink: is a saturated network benefiting from a widespread belief that it is the "best" network for some scrupulous reasons and the 100s of thous of punters sticking to it, perhaps they should be credited for their "marketing"! It must be said that they DO have the most comprehensive coverage yet hindered with capacity issue!

MobileCom: truly a good and well established network with decent coverage and service level, a top recommendation.

Umniah: two words for the company and it's early-adapters punters alike: tough luck!

XPress: not for your average punter looking for the best deal despite the fact that they do offer THE best deal, but I wouldn't think twice if I was a business owner to opt for their services despite the slightly below average coverage as the benefits out weighs the cons.

October 22, 2005 8:08 PM  
Blogger ghaloosh said...

umnia's network is really bad. i've been with mobilecom ever since it started and to tell u the truth i like those people.. their offers, the network...

October 22, 2005 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

adding to basem's comments.....

Guys,
I didn’t have the chance to share this piece of info but I really feel obliged to share it.

Omnai only covers Amman and Zarqa, the coverage out side both zones is covered by mobilecom and mobilecom charges omnia 0.065 JOD precisely (sit groush o nos).

Of course omnia is losing from customer usage outside Amman and Zarqa, but they have to do it this way as the TRC requires a full coverage for any service provider’s license, also it was smart from omnia as the cost of covering all of Jordan outweighs the retains and benefits for many years to cover all of jordan. (more profitable for omnia to make a loss on the calls rather than installing towers costing millions for minor usage).

xpress interconnection and telephony calls (double or full duplex calls) are bought through mobilecom too. Xpress only covers the half duplex calls that are dirt cheap for them due to the small bandwidth and low frequency usage (800MHZ).

Xpress buys minutes for 0.065 JOD/min (roughly sit groush) as much as omnia and this is a loss for xpress as they charge customers less than that for corporate accounts. Of course they still make money from the monthly fees of walke talke (half duplex calls) that xpress charges.

Mahd Tahboub

October 23, 2005 2:20 AM  
Anonymous noor said...

Price, Coverage, QoS, Support, Ads, Offers, Features... all plays a major role on deciding what company is the best...

Quite honestly, I can't say "Why" people prefer to stick with a company such as Fastlink, their prices are sky high, poor service they provide, and you always feel as if you're 6 years old when you try to contact their support... I dunno, compared to what others have to provide in the market of cell phones, the company totally sucks!! (With all respect to who ever work in Fastlink)

I believe, that the most accurate point for this would be what Khaled suggested, I add to that, people are just that lazy... admit it, we are just sooo lazy to do the change, why bother now?

October 23, 2005 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Fastlink to the bone said...

Well -as usual- we as Jordanians can't have a clear decisive opinion where all aspects are taken into consideration. We tend to trash the good and praise what is known as lousy.

First: I agree that mobilecom has a good network, due to its vacancy, but have you ever had a problem and tried to contact their call center, another government like institution! … good luck in looking for value service … my rating: 2nd best

Second: Yes umniah (with U not O for those who only heard of it and never saw their ads) is new and trying to compete with the big boys, but way to go, a lot of homework and preparations should have been done before launch. Attracting low income students and dropping lines on them whenever they leave home (Amman, as if Jordan is only Amman) doesn't mean coverage … so 3rd for lack of option.

Third: lets not mention xpress. Trash in terms of coverage, quality of connection, and interconnection prices … out of rating due to in-competency

Last but definitely not least: Fastlink. You need to objectively compare between the 3 companies (disregarding xpress for their different market and technology) to know the value of each. Fastlink serving around 1.5 million efficiently for the last 10 years is something to be praised for. While others with smaller base are still struggling with customers in their call center and show rooms.

Conclusion: it is up to everyone to try any provider they wish, but always have a Fastlink line active at all time ;O). For innovation check
http://blog.fastlink.jo

October 24, 2005 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People stick with fastlink because switching costs for the lazy Jordanian are high. Most Jordnians feel that the cost of migrating their address book, calendar etc from one phone to another and then letting everyone on their phonebook know that they changed their number, much higher than the opportunity cost of switching to the alternative network. Perhaps if a 'keep your number' strategy was adopted, more will move to mobilecom/fastlink? I guess thats not possible given the retarded 0790777075 prefixes.

Hamako

October 24, 2005 5:57 PM  

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