DIALLOG all set to Launch EV-DO
Diallog is a CDMA-based Local Loop operator in Islamabad/Rawalpindi area. Operating in the 450 Mhz spectrum, Diallog currently serves about 60,000 customers in the region. Diallog has been offering CDMA based 1x data since quite some time.
But now Diallog is all set to offer High Speed Data using EVDO (Evolution Data-Only). Mr Artem, the CEO, today showed us the combo Wifi/EVDO and the USB-based EVDO teminals. The EVDO can provide 2Mbps+ of downloads and 1.8Mbps of upload. On an average, a user can easliy get 500-600 Kbps of data throughput.
When this is launched, this is certainly going to become another alternative for bandwidth-hungry rambos like myself :-).
Combo EVDO / Wifi box ideal for home use. About 150 usd
USB-based EVDO terminals are also available in different forms. The problem with them is that the closer to the laptop they are, the more likely they are to decrease data speeds since the laptops are not that well shielded. If you have used PCMCIA cards for GRPS/EDGE on GSM networks (such as those from Mobilink, Telenor and the like), you will find out that their speed is not that good when you compare them with the thoughtput on the same network using a modem that is placed a bit far from your laptop.
A four-port switch is built-in as is a USB port. The unit has four antennas. Two for Wifi and two for CDMA.
USB-based EVDO terminals. True High-speed data connectivity on-the-go.
EVDO vs Wimax vs GPRS/EGDE vs FTTH
Diallog’s EVDO launch is definity going to be a lucrative option for bandwidth-hungry users. Compared to the GSM operators pathetic GPRS/EDGE performance, EVDO looks promising. I’ll try to get a terminal and do some testing. At the moment, I use Mobilink GPRS/EDGE which is offered for a flat Rs 500 / month (approx. usd 10) fee. Yeah, I don’t pay for it…
Mobilink’s GPRS/EDGE coverage is good on the Lahore-Islamabad motorway where Blackberry service is available all along the motorway. In Lahore, GPRS coverage is truly pathetic in Model Town where I live and EDGE is no where to be found in Lahore. But then for a flat 10 usd per month, this is not a bad deal. In Islamabad on EDGE, typical ping times to yahoo.com, for example, are 600ms-700ms at best and more than a second at worst.
Wimax is what I called a Future-Failure technology. No way is this technology making it to 4G. Already, due to Wateen’s greatly flawed rollout of it’s Motorola-based Wimax network, Mobilink has delayed the commercial launch of its Wimax rollout gearing for densely populated cities like Karachi and Lahore instead of Islamabad.
Telenor charges an exhorbitant amount of money for their EDGE connectivity since it is volume-based. So the more your usage on the internet, the higher the bill. Since the Telenor sites are all powered by newer Nokia-Siemens BTS sites, they are all EDGE enabled. I haven’t had a chance to try Telenor EDGE yet.
Warid Telecom BTS sites are powered by Ericsson which is also EDGE enabled. I haven’t had a chance (i.e. didn’t get time) to test this yet. I will test EDGE on both of these networks soon.
Nayatel FTTH remains the unbeatable value-for-money in the market at the moment. Not because I work for Nayatel but because of the technology. On my home FTTU connection, I get 5Mbps plus of data from the internet at which all these other technologies cannot shake their stick at :-).
If you need mobility and you are based in the Islamabad region, certainly the Diallog EVDO is going to be better than the GSM data counterparts.
You might have noted that I have not mentioned PTCL’s EVDO. From the looks of things, PTCL will be a dead horse within the next five years. It is unfortunate that it was sold to Etisalat which is a monopoly itself in the UAE and has no idea of what to do in a competitive market. I will do a separate piece on PTCL’s EVDO.