Zain 7 KD – Data Roaming

Zain

There has been a package for GCC Data Roaming since the beginning of the year by Zain. Sometimes it works with the carrier and sometimes it doesn’t, but I would say that it works 70% of the time which is pretty good. 150MB for 7 KD across the GCC which I thought was perfect, honestly you don’t use too much and it doesn’t cost as much as a car if you use too much data, I remember some bills going over a 1000 KWD because of mistakes with billing which are insane. So these packages for data roaming are reasonable if you didn’t purchase a local land line.

To my surprise when I went to London they also had a 7KD package but it was for 100 MB on Vodafone, honestly that wasn’t too bad. I was pleasantly surprised about it. I switched on my data roaming and within minutes it was working on Vodafone’s network in London, truth be told Vodafone’s network isn’t too great but no one really is in London. But it was just enough data to get WhatsApp working as well as a few emails through as needed, it does the job and I’m happy they are making these deals with other telecom companies, at least now Zain is taking advantage of their size and influence and working out deals with other telecom companies to benefit the customer. I’m not sure if that package works for all of Europe or not, but those people traveling during Eid will know when they get there.

Vodafone vs. Zain Data Roaming

Vodafone

I have been planning to write this post since I was getting fantastic service from Vodafone UK while traveling in Europe. And the funny part is the day I landed in Kuwait I get a text msg from Zain stating “Welcome back your loved ones are waiting for your call”, then an hour later my phone gets disconnected, luckily it isn’t my primary phone.

Data Roaming Pricing Structure

Zain

  • 0.006 KD per Kilobyte so about 6.144 KD per 1MB

Vodafone:

  • Europe: 85p a MB up to 5MB, then £4.25 for each 5MB after that
  • Rest of the world: £3 a MB up to 5MB, then £15 for every 5MB after that

ZainBlackLogoSM

What Vodafone does better then Zain:

  • There is a charge of 50 British Pounds for data, not including normal call charges
  • This charge cap can be removed if requested by the user, also you get notifications when you are 50%, 80%, or 100% at the Cap where ever you are roaming
  • They disconnect the Data and not your phone line when you reach the cap, unlike Zain who disconnect everything and no notification
  • Also a side note if you have a Vodafone plan then you can also get a package for 40 British Pounds per month to get 25 MB a day to use with your phone line which is very useful and more then enough for your phone

Overall my normal phone with the vodafone line used about 300 MB worth of data in one week, it was my only access to the net so it was very Data intensive period for my regular phone. This cost me a total of 255 British Pounds or 113 KWD, if I did the same type of data roaming on Zain it would have been 1843.2 KWD which is insane. I had my Blackberry on which had a Zain line in it, I would never call from it or do anything with it except replies to BBMs, and as soon as I arrived back in Kuwait they sent me a welcome message and disconnected my phone within an hour, no notification, no call, no nothing. TMobile & Vodafone both manage to contact the customer even when abroad for irregular activities and make sure that the charges aren’t ridiculous but Zain doesn’t mind cutting off the customer in the middle of no where.

I can understand Zain saying that they can’t provide the same prices in Europe as Vodafone has, since Vodafone does cover Europe. But even in the Middle East where Zain is based we get charged insane prices, they don’t have agreements across their own networks when it comes to Data. I know that Kuwait’s international phone lines are controlled by the Ministry of Communication so they can’t give us local calling all over the Middle East but at least Data is controlled by the operator, you would think they have a system in place for their Data charges or have packages in place, and they would be able to come to an agreement between STC and Etisalat to provide mutual data services across each of their networks, it is a long process but something that would benefit the customer at the end of the day. But with the way things are now we will always get the short end of the stick.