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Zain Home Router (LTE/4G Speeds)

I had a chance to get my hands on the Zain router, running on the LTE/4G frequencies in Kuwait which still hasn’t been fully certified from the Ministry of Communications. So people are asking the main reason for the delay is MoC, they have everything deployed for a little while now, but as usual politics is what stops things in Kuwait, but MoC is a totally different story.

Getting my hands on it I had a bit of skepticism but I did try AT&T’s 4G services and I have seen how fast it is and its scary fast. So the first thing I wanted to do is test it where ever I can, and this case I tested it at work and friend’s places and my home. Overall I am impressed with the hardware, it is solid and gets a lot of signal, decent speed even when it is low signal, and that was the important test for me, even with low signal it was getting decent speeds around 10 MB.

It’s a Huawei modem, looks good and simple, 4 Ethernet ports on the back and right now the services are not open to the public. The worst signal I got was ranging from 8MB to 16MB, up to 32MB to 42MB. Those are some very scary speeds, and surfing the net feels lighting fast, I do love fast internet. And for 33 KD a month honestly its not too bad, but the cap should at least be 200 or 250 GB not 80 GB

Pros:

  • Gets decent speed even with bad signal
  • It doesn’t have to be next to a window like Mada so you can place it inside your house and it will work
  • It has reached 42 MBPs with me, which got about 4.1 MB down with downloads

Cons:

  • The Cap is 80GB, thats nothing compared to the speed
  • You can buy more space but its overpriced in my opinion
  • Its not consistent at times, but I think they are just ironing out a few kinks in the system

Based on what speeds can be reached you can reach which is 2.1 MB/s to 4.1 MB/s you can use up your 80 GB cap in 11 to 6 hrs depending on your speed. And previously the 21 MBps had a 60 GB limit from Zain so logically it should be at least 120 GB based on their original capping scheme. Overall I think the cap is ridiculous but they are going to do it then a person should get a good bang for their buck with a 250 GB limit.

If you reach the cap you can buy an extra 25 GB for 12 KD or 5 GB for 3 KD, overall I think the pricing is off and not proportional but at least they give you an option to buy more data. For a 15 month contract you get the first three months 50% off and the device for free with 33 KD per month after the first three months. Overall the package is pretty good.

Testing In Shuweikh

Sometimes it would hang a bit, in an odd way and torrents would slow down even when the surfing speed is still high so its a bit surprising. The main issue is consistency, nothing beats a fiber connection but if you don’t have the option then this is the next best thing for surfers. Some gamers will like it but if you care about your ping then this is a bit on the high side. So its great for surfing and certain amount of downloading, not for heavy internet use, but its the perfect back up to your home internet if something goes wrong.

Testing in Miseela/Bidaa

In my case I have crappy land lines so I depend on WIMD and I’m honestly very happy with them even though they are a bit congested still at least a solid 12 to 15 MB and hitting 20 MB in the evenings with no cap. If you can have fiber thats always better but then again this device will really do the job because 4G coverage is supposed to be all over the country by the time it rolls out.

Testing In Fintas with One Signal Bar

Overall I think its an excellent product but they are working out the kinks, it did really reach those high speeds but we have to keep in mind nobody is on the network and it isn’t commercially available so until it is then we can judge the real speed based on the number of users, I hope they have the band width to accept the number of users who will get on board. I’m not sure when it will go commercial because the issue isn’t with Zain its with a governmental entity and you can never guess when they will be done.

Speedtest with VPN on, overall not bad, surfing speed feels quick

10 Comments »

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    got my hands on one in June and july,, the problem was the inconsistency and the low download rate when torrenting. maximum speed achieved was 1.4mb/sec only.

    surfing was lightening fast,, and YouTube 720 HD videos could be enjoyed without waiting to download.

    house is located 150 meters away from Zain’s tower with no obstacles.

    of course my experience was at an early stage of the service. but nearly KD400 a year is in the higher side considering the download cap

    i would like to thank Zain for the chance to let me test this service.

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    You forgot to mention that the upload is counted towards your bandwidth quota.

    I blew up the whole 80Gb in a week (while being careful of my downloads). When I checked the stats it turned out that I uploaded 40GB of torrents >.<

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    @vampire – Lets just hope they iron out all the issues by the time they roll out! Like I mentioned, its great for surfing and daily use, but major downloading wouldn’t work!

    @Blizmo – You sir are correct, the uploads do count as well! It is very annoying that they are counted, if they are going to do that they should double it. So like I mentioned, this device isn’t for torrents!

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    how can I get my hands on one of those…. and what are the alternatives available…. sorry but ì think its time for me to leave Qualitynet.

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    @Al-Marzouq – The best way to get it done is by talking to someone at Zain! Right now it isn’t available to the public! Hopefully soon

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    Al-Marzouq Says:
    October 23rd 2012 at 2:49 PM
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    @Marzouq, does any one else offer this service or it is only Zain atm?

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    @Al-Marzouq – Only Zain at the moment!

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  8. avatar
    Shazia Nazir Says:
    July 31st 2013 at 10:18 AM
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    I have subscribed to Zain KD 33/- 80 GB limit, Router, yes.. it has a capacity to connect to 10 different devices and although there is no problem with the internet’s performance, I beleive the counter in which they measure the monthly usage is faulty.

    Even with no downloads or little download (torrents) or devices connected, the counter spiked 1 to 2 GB per day! if its usuage shouldnt the actual usage be counted? So if you do download, within the middle of month you have exhausted your limit and conviniently the internet stops.. its not slower sleep it stops.. requesting cap-up.. Not happy with that at all..

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    @Shazia Nazir – I agree with you the limit is very annoying, and I think the counter is faulty! Same as with my phone! There is no way that I go through more then 2 Gigs in a month on my phone even if I’m abusing it, but its mostly text and instagram isn’t that much! But you have to place a counter your machines to measure it correctly!

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  10. avatar
    Tenthfire Says:
    March 14th 2014 at 4:38 PM
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    I am very disappointed with Zain LTE this year with their approach on their internet. If you check the highway their advertisement was “extremely fast speed and good for gaming” or some similar words.

    This year Zain LTE decided to buy cheaper routers compared to last year. These new routers are extremely worse than because that their range is 2/4 compared to the one 1 year ago. The router malfunctions more and the chip is much worse than before. I have to say that 0 tests were made on the router.

    I will try not to go into details, but if you play League of Legends, Dota, WOW, Diablo, etc do not get this router as it is extremely unstable.
    Last year being one of the first people to have Zain LTE in the country with the modem + 80GB limit (now increased to 300G in 2014) I will tell you my experience.
    Usually my ping in gaming is 180-1000. Mostly 180-400 which is extremely unplayable and you get frustrated.

    I managed to figure an IP that had a more stable ping than others and managed to configure my router with minimum traffic and to get IP, getting 130-140 ping.
    On 2014 they changed router and chip and also programmed their servers in an extremely poor way where it rejected people with old routers / chips. This caused a massive amount of disconnection and customer service have no way of helping you. The people on customer service have no idea how internet work or what the basics of latency are.

    Anyways on 2014 I got a new contract hoping that their internet will get better. They increased the limit from 80GB–> 300GB which is amazing.
    Zain LTE, however, after a few months starting in March decided to cancel 3G service , so now all cell phones are forced to get 4G LTE.
    There is an increased pressure on 4G LTE and the server is extremely over used. The speed went around 3GB / slower per 4 months.
    I am sad to say that now the speed of Zain LTE at 3.14.2014 with tests is 5-12 GB/ second on download and less than 10GB in upload from the normal standard which was 40GB+.
    IF you buy a normal DSL your ping / internet will be more stable and faster.
    I have done some tests on certain IP : 149.147.19.119 37.37.162.104 37.36.132.137 31.203.192.129 37.203.192.129 37.39.173.140 188.236.211.62 188.236.37.152
    and many more.
    I also made a list of the problems Zain 4G LTE service is having from 2014 (especially Feb and March):

    1. Assigning two people the same “IP ” (usually when several computers connect to a router they are given different “IP”).
    This is bad, because if that person with the same “IP” downloads something your speed will get slower and if you’re gaming you will lag.
    2. Disables Youtube Comments and enables Safety Mode.
    This is an extremely annoying problem only seem from their filter / internet problem. Youtube loads extremely slow as well and a lot of problems.
    3. Unable to browser specific websites from an “error” which can be solved by turning off your router for 30 seconds – 2 minutes.
    This gets annoying when I have to close my router to access sites like XXX website because the router is “stuck” and it happens a lot. Sometimes it gets me an error while going on google. This is only with their service. I have tried normal DSL and other internet services which are much better.
    4. As I said before their router radius is extremely low and signal level affects ping.
    Radius is usually 0.5 floorX 0.80 floor (LXW) meaning it is worse than any other types.
    5. Router shutdowns if you download 3 things simultaneously.
    Lets say I download 3 from Itunes 3GB each I can crush my router and their server. It will build up some level of “clog” on that IP address that it will be slow. You will need to change your IP address.

    Their simple network structure is sad and if I was to rate it from 1-10 I would give it 0.
    I do not recommend this internet for any person who wants a stable network or for gaming. I do not recommend 4G LTE from any company as it is extremely unstable and fails to bring minimum international standards. Calling this network 4G LTE is a simple joke.
    This is only 1/5 of the server problems I see. If I was to include more problems on their server and networks it would be extremely cruel.

    How they can solve most problems:
    1-Fix network stability ( I believe a multi-million dollar company can figure out how to do this).
    2-Do not overload yourself with people when your network is extremely weak.
    3-Offer certain configuration for gamers.
    4-Fix disconnection problems.
    5-Find a better engineer for your routers and their components.
    6-Do more testing on your routers before buying them from China.

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