I may have never written a post about it in my English blog, but one thing we Bangladeshis miss is the super fast Internet speed of the united states. Now, you states guys may be thinking that by terming ‘super fast’ I mean 100 mbps or so. Well, even 1 mbps is super fast for us — the Bangladeshi people — as we use internet that has an average speed of 120 kbps.
Internet speed has always been one of the major problems in the country’s technological advancement. There are others, too (such as unavailability of International payment gateway, e.g., PayPal). But this one pisses off almost everyone. Unless it’s a corporate broadband line, users do not get to see YouTube videos smoothly. They will have to wait forever to load a 5 minute video.
It’s not always about video loading. WordPress.com homepage takes about 15 to 20 seconds to load on average internet connections in Bangladesh while Gmail Standard takes not about a minute to load and get ready to open messages.
Most people over here use 2G internet. That means, they either use their EDGE compatible handset as internet modem or they simply buy an EDGE modem and internet sim to get connected. However, you have already pictured how fast the internet speed is.
About a year ago, companies in Bangladesh began their business as WiMAX provider. Whoa! 4G Internet? Not really. We still don’t have 3G in our country. So, this 4G is just a name. In reality, it’s 2 1/2 G (Two and a half generation :| ). Anyway, they started their speed with as low as 128 kbps up to 1 mbps.
The connection bill was way too costly. Luckily, over time, they managed to cut the cost and it was good enough for the general people.
Last November, I bought a WiMAX connection from Banglalion Communications Ltd. Its allocated speed was 256 kbps and had unlimited data plan. However, their Fair Usage Policy (FUP) managed to restrict downloads more than 14 GB a month. This policy was strict in the month of December and January. But later, as people began online campaigns to warn others not to take Banglalion, the FUP is not that much applied today.
Anyway, I was so happy with my 256 kbps connection as it was kind of dream to have that much speed. But things have changed lately.
A few weeks ago, another WiMAX ISP in Bangladesh called QUBEE (whose bills were much costlier than Banglalion) has announced that they DOUBLED the speed of all existing customers. Can you believe that? 256 kbps users started getting 512 kbps speed at absolutely no cost. At the same time, 512 kbps users were getting 1 mbps and 1 mbps users up to 2 mbps. This is a historical event in Bangladesh, seriously.
This has really brought out the monster in us. We became hungry for even faster speed. Specially the Banglalion users are now thinking of switching to QUBEE as suddenly Banglalion has become double the cost of QUBEE!
Anyway, I didn’t mention that I got a QUBEE USB Modem as a gift when I bought my laptop computer. It was a prepaid connection. I have to pay about $6 for every 1 GB of usage. And its allocated speed was 512 kbps.
And now, I have a 1 mbps connection at home. Can I believe it? Yes, because I really have. Just a couple of months ago, I didn’t even dream of having a 1 mbps Internet connection at home. But now I do have.
PS: I don’t enjoy 1 mbps that much as its data plan is not unlimited. I only use it when I’m somewhere out with my laptop or when the electricity is cut down and modem is off. Still, I do have a 1 mbps internet connection.
Thank you QUBEE!
A note about the Technical Terms
The internet speed written in this post is in kbps (kilobits per second) and not kBps (kilobytes per second). So, average speed of 120 kbps means 15 kilobytes per second. Divide the kbps by 8 and you’ll get the speed in kilobytes per second. The formula is 8 bit = 1 byte.
Later published on Express Bloggers.