[Guest post] Wimax : From Nomad to Emtel

One of my dear and most regular readers decided to write an article for us to share his experience with a few Internet Service Providers and also, some useful information about his new internet connectivity, the Wimax Emtel Pro 🙂

The ongoing saga of the search for a good ISP

For the past 3 years I have been using the Nomad Wimax 512KBPS subscription which was kind of ok for general use. However, just before the Christmas holidays Nomad advised me by SMS that they would be doing a server upgrade. Under those circumstances you expect to have interruptions of service. There was the usual breaks in the service and I did not bother about it too much. The problem was and still is that, well after the end of year holidays the interruptions continued.

Nomad, as usual

Today my Nomad connection no longer works like it used to. I found that for long periods of time I was not obtaining an IP address from the server. I tried several tests with the rabbit modem such as removing the router and directly connecting it to a PC or a laptop. I found that I would get an IP conflict error several times. Otherwise I would go for hours without getting an IP address from Nomad. When it did connect I would only be able to have a connection about twice a day. Looking at the router status I found that Nomad was implementing a lease time of 2 hours so it meant that my communications would be interrupted automatically. Just imagine the frustration if you are uploading or doing internet banking.

To summarize, I was having extreme difficulty in connecting with Nomad and when I finally had a connection it would be restricted to a maximum of 2 hours. I then decided on two things;

  1. Got myself an orange internet-everywhere subscription just to have a connection whenever and
  2. Got the services of an IT technician to check out things my end and prove that the problem is indeed with the ISP.

The IT technician did all the usual checks and then went on the phone to the Nomad service with his findings. Magically I would get a connection after they did a reset at the Nomad end and suddenly an IP address would appear. However the same cycle would start all over again. The IT technician was very clear that the problem was at the Nomad server end and that I would probably continue to have the same difficulties.

So the aftermath of this saga is that I have spent extra on an orange internet-everywhere subscription plus the time for an IT technician intervention as well as paying for a Nomad service which was supposed to be a 24hrs one. To be fair Nomad reduced the January monthly bill by 30%.

Anyways, decision time came to go for a new ISP and gradually cut down on these expenses.

Enter Emtel

After looking at MyT and reading about the MT on-site technical service or the lack of it, the positive reviews about Emtel attracted me. I was willing to subscribe to a more expensive service as long as it came up with the goods. I must say that I have been delighted with the service I received from Emtel.

My first contact with the Emtel representative went smoothly and the person was very helpful in dealing with the administrative side. Within two days the on-site survey was done by technicians to determine if there was a good signal at my place and check out the installation requirements. The very next day three technicians completed the whole installation, rooftop antenna, cabling and indoor cabling, router configuration, wi-fi test, testing the connection and finally activation. All done professionally without any delays or problems.

I am one happy Emtel client using their 1Mega Wimax-Pro subscription and my connection is stable. I highly recommend Emtel for an internet subscription. Now I can deal with cancelling the superfluous subscriptions.

Hardware

  • An Alvarion ODU (outdoor unit) is on the roof with the antenna, this has all the smart stuff in it for the point-to-point microwave link.
  • An Alvarion IDU (indoor unit) is fixed to the wall near the PC, this is just a power injector and as some control LEDs on it.
  • An ethernet cable runs from the ODU to the IDU.
  • Another ethernet cable runs from the IDU to my router which provides WiFi around the house.
  • Netgear Router WGR614v9 (Rs2,875 incl. VAT)
    Purchased separately to enable wifi.

Price

Installation: Rs 1600+vat (Can be some extras if you require PVC pipes for external cabling but that is an option, +-Rs500)

Emtel Wimax Pro (24/7 access, unlimited download/upload):

  • 128Kbps = Rs849+vat p/month
  • 256Kbps = Rs949+vat p/month
  • 512Kbps = Rs1699+vat p/month
  • 1MB = Rs5,889+vat p/month
  • 2MB= Rs11,999+vat p/month

Last words

My thanks goes to Mike for sharing these valuable information to the readers here. So, as from now, I hope that Mike enjoys a good connectivity, no more nomad, no more orange everywhere!

Anyone who has subscribed or has used Emtel Wimax Pro are welcomed to leave a few words about their experience 😉

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32 thoughts on “[Guest post] Wimax : From Nomad to Emtel

Add yours

  1. Rd12 000 for a 2MB connection??? In Germany, I get 7MB no-limit flat on my mobile phone, for free!! Mari en retard Maurice..ca bez ca..

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  2. Yes the tariff is higher but I believe that Emtel are in negotiations to get better deals. Hopefully, they will be able to offer lower subscription rates in the future. So far I have no complaints about Emtel. They have given me an efficient service.

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  3. Mauritius is just too retarded in Internet Connection, our ISPs havn’t even switched to IPv6 considering that IPv4 is dying
    Our optical cables have not been upgraded for accommodating high usage, hence the slow speed and connection

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  4. Way too expensive. At that price , i wouldn’t even consider it. Wimax so what? its still fixed on your roof top and its not portable. So why pay the extra fees? I really do not understand. And orange package would have been a wiser option. Even though i’m no orange fan.

    Stupid show off. Sad but true.

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  5. @Nayar

    Emtel is not the cause of this expensiveness, Mauritius hasn’t got enough bandwidth and the current optical infrastructure is too outdated hence causing this slowness in internet connectivity and overpriced subscription

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  6. far too overprived, i’ve got better download and upload with my.t 1mbit. And the ping is liked wtf with emtel. I think you made a bad move.

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  7. As to the cost of bandwidth, i can only agree with you all that we are outdated, we just don’t have enough pipe to flow our traffic. Bandwidth is scarce, hopefully this will change in the near future.

    It is also unfortunate that we do not have much actors here, let us hope this changes as well. With the growth in the number of internet-aware devices,more bandwidth is but a must.

    Also, for many users, the Emtel Wimax is the only form of connectivity. It is unfortunate to note that ADSL isnt available everywhere, or if available, not reliable. Myself at the office, i have a dual connection, one on Emtel, and one on ADSL, on load balancing, you would be astonished of the MTBF rate of the ADSL compared to the Wimax. The Wimax link is almost never down. Wimax VPN, is a good alternative to leased lines of MT, in terms of bandwidth and reach.

    am sure, that maybe, in the coming month, Emtel will be in a position to beat the crap off MT in terms of customer reach and coverage.

    Let’s wait and c..

    Sundeep.

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  8. My thanks to the guys from AA Ltd who did a good installation job in the hot sun. I have been in telecoms for many years involved in military comms and later in civilian offshore maritime construction sector, so I have a critical eye on service. All round there is good co-ordination between Emtel and AA to service the client.

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  9. I know I commented about the ping, but I should have pointed out that for some users reliability is more important than low latency. I know that would not work for me because I use my Internet connection a lot for Skype calls.

    Having said that, when I used an Emtel HSDPA modem in 2006 for two weeks, I was very impressed with both throughput and latency. Mike’s speedtest.net test uses a network in Port-Louis. How come there is such high latency? I know that it is inherent to wireless connection but did not expect it to be that high. It almost suggests that Emtel routes traffic overseas even for local destinations. Wish Sundeep could elaborate on that 😉

    Eddy.

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  10. @Yowan We all know that bandwidth is expensive in Mauritius. IPv4 is here to stay for a long time… Until everyone has several devices with 24/7 Internet connections, and people start buying IPv6 range of addresses just for themselves!

    I praise Emtel for offering such good service. It’s going to work in places where ADSL is not accessible. For me, I get upto 1Mbps on MyT and satisfied with that… I can’t spend more than Rs 2000 on internet connection…

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  11. @ Eddy

    Wimax does have much latency, as would any other wireless technology. we however have customers who use this technology for linking up with their branches and use IP Telephony over those links, so far, i dnt recall them having any trouble..unless they didnt report it, which i doubt. I think you might be right concerning the routing, although i heard there were plans of peering with MT, i have not seen so as a user quite frankly. although, there has been improvements on the service. Previously, i couldn’t use the link to access my network from the outside, as the IP address assigned to us was unroutable, now you note that we have ip addresses in the range 44.x.x.x.x which is similar to adsl ip address. for sure, we are exiting through the MT network. Maybe there some improvement in the coming months ? 🙂

    @CM6

    Emtel are right now completing their own local fibre network, they would obviously need a bigger pipe to serve the FO users. I do not however have any timelimes, but i do know they are financing such projects. as i am saying the ISP Environment may change a lot from what it is in the coming years. Also important, as i was mentionning in the previous paragraph, Peering with MT will be very important so that we can access local sites and users faster.

    @all

    New technologies are out, we’ve had EDGE (2G), UMTS (3G), (HSDPA and HSPA)3.5G, and now LTE (4G) is around. Who will win the race to first LTE deployment in mauritius? Those who been following the news, LTE was mentionned in the electoral manifesto of the present government. let’s wait and see, my best bet would be a company which has the most effective overseas high speed connectivity.

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  12. @bhoot

    The internet is running out of IPV4 in a few months if you haven’t read tech websites, the IANA pool is almost depleted and most counties have switch to IPv6, less than 3% of IPv4 addresses are available
    Lets just see who our ISPs will cope with that
    http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/70711
    http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/networking/2010/01/19/ipv4-addresses-less-than-10pc-still-available-39994507/

    Even Rs2000 is too expensive, for the same amount you would get at least 15MB/s in other developed countries

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  13. @ Mike S: WOW, You were in the RAF?? :). I’ve always loved the British armed forces, especially its air force! I’m very pleased to talk to you, Sir. :).

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  14. We should all agree that the scale and location of Mauritius make it difficult to have the same prices as in European countries for broadband connection. Criticisms should be directed at other areas where improvements are actually possible, for example, local peering, optimising routes, and so on.

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  15. @Eddy

    The location of Mauritius is irrelevant to the connection, even other islands have faster and more advanced connections
    The problem here is the the ISPs have no willingness to improve their service, they just keep advertising their services as “high speed” without providing a quality of service.
    They just can’t rely on a 8-year old optical cable which is outdated, they just don’t want to upgrade to newer technologies…

    Just see this picture and you’ll see that our Island is connection to an ultra-low speed outdated cable system

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  16. @Eddy
    Most of the slowdowns are due to the old infrastructure. Will be a while before everyone is connected via FTTC.

    @Yowan
    That graphic isn’t up to date.
    There’s one more fibre cable – Eassy. Solely owned (& controlled) by MT.

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  17. @Eddy Young:

    i agree with Eddy.

    Those would require massive investment in the laydown of the fibre. And the ISP need to get the return on investment before the equipment phases out.

    i’ll illustrate this point, say you purchase a bicyle at Rs. 100 and decide to rent it at Rs. 1 per day per user. in order to recover your cost, it would take you 100 days with 1 user per day. Problem is; after 50 days, the bicycle breaks down and cant be reused. What do u do? two options, either look for atleast 2 persons per day and recover your cost to atleast break even, or more to get some profit. 2nd option, you find another problem, there is only one person so in order to recover your cost within the 50 days you would need to sell your products you would need to rent the bicycle at least at Rs. 2 per day to recover your cost or more to make some profit.

    my guess is that our location and market size is what is killing us.

    Yowan was saying other islands in the region have better bandwidth? which one? Reunion? if that is the case, they are must financed by france, being part of france, all people there must by law have access to same facilities french ppl in france have. Rodrigues? no comments. Madagascar? i’ve personally been there, i can say it is not the case, connection is sloooow and expensive as well. well that was last year, i’ll b heading there next month, i could confirm.

    I have also been to botswana, it is a big country, with only 2 million inhabitants! Communication is among the most expensive in the world there! bandwidth was damn crappy! i have other friends who have been in various african countries, all of them will tell u about the price and quality of bandwidth.

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  18. LTE is just an upgrade and can be easily implemented by cellplus or emtel. It’s a sw upgrade if the network is hspa capable. Of course, they will not tell you this because they will use the opportunity to dry your budget out. As far as latency is concerned, 3g based network have lower latency to wimax because of architecture. Obviously, this will change for wimax future generation.

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  19. Hey guys, am kinda new to this discussion but i can tell you this. The location of Mauritius in my opinion is a plus not a minus due to its proximity to the fast internet trunk lines (SAFE, SEACOM) linking to East Africa(Tanzania/Kenya) n the rest of the world.The real problem it seems to me is the monopoly of MT which to my understanding is the only local ISP with access to this high speed lines.Unfortunately, there is a VERY thin line between government and MT thereby leaving them with a huge n unfair competitive market position to the expense of the end-users/citizens who deserve n thirst for higher speeds/lower cost. sad uhh. meaning we get to get what they decide not what we deserve. dont even worry abt other ISPs cos MTs position makes life miserable 4 dem n the best they can do is to offer a better QoS

    Like

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