I finally managed to get my HTC Hero to share the 3G connection with my MacBook Pro! In order to do that I used an app called PDANet that had to be installed on the phone and on my Mac, I would have preferred to do it with no additional apps but I needed to root my phone to do that.
Here’s the speed test of the connection:
I am currently using the connection to update my Mac and iPad and so far everything is going fine it should take 2 hours to download the 1GB update and for Lebanon that’s not bad!
Once all my devices are updated I’ll probably review iOS 5 and the new iCloud services.
Last Friday I got to test video calling with a friend in downtown Beirut. The 2 phones performing the calls were a Nokia C7 and a Nokia E72 both with alfa lines. I was happy to find that the call was successful and we were able to see each others and talk normally. The quality is similar to a crappy webcam picture but there was no lags or interruption so it wasn’t bad. I’ll try to perform a call to an MTC line soon but I’m not sure it would work. Did anyone else try video calls? Did you have a similar or a different experience?
I will not be able to keep testing the 3G connection this week since I am in Abu Dhabi on a business trip. The line is currently with my brother so I’ll give you his feedback when I am back. I still have a couple of posts to write about my experience when using 3G so I’ll try to post them when I have time.
Today I started using the 3G service I got from Alfa, I won’t make a judgement on it yet since I was very busy and I barely managed to use it but the speeds were a little slow when I did test them. I did not use it for browsing yet and the only app I used was whatsapp so I didn’t see any improvement in this area.
I contacted customer support via mail today and they called me back, they were very helpful and I’ll make a post about that on another day.
Here’s a small list of results I got from the speedtests (using speedtest.net app for android)
- Sin El Fil, 08h26, Down 119 kbps, Up 336 kbps, ping 131 ms
- Sin El Fil, 09h15, Down 41kbps, Up 370 kbps, ping 211 ms
- Sin El Fil, 09h15, Down 609kbps, Up 382 kbps, ping 211 ms
- Naccache, 20h24, Down 311 kbps, Up 166 kbps, ping 329 ms
Reception in Sin El Fil is a little bad indoor (1-2 over 5) and good outside (3-5 over 5) but I managed to make good quality phone calls indoors and outdoors. In Naccache it’s good with a full reception outdoors and an indoor reception similar to the one I got outdoors in Sin El Fil.
I am currently using the connection to download app updates on my phone and they are downloading faster then usual so that’s a good sign! I got to go watch the latest episodes of How I met your mother and 2 and a half man now but I promise you I’ll keep updating you about the connection as I test it!
Today I attended the SMW Beirut event at the Mar Roukoz campus of USJ. During the event the minister of telecommunication launched the 3G service in Lebanon on a limited bases just for testing. At the end of the conference a draw was made to select 25 students from each mobile operator to test the service and I got lucky and received a SIM card from Alfa!. In total 4000 users will test it, 25% will be students and the others will be randomly selected from the population.
So for the next month I will be testing 3G in Lebanon and updating you guys here and on Twitter (@eliedh).
I have a 3GB data cap on the service and I according to the flyer I should expect speeds up to 21.1 Mbps.
The person distributing the SIM cards at the end of the conference told us that the 3G will start working tomorrow. I already placed the SIM card in an HTC Mozart phone (running windows phone 7). I got a 3G signal and I was able to call it from my other line but the internet did not work. I’ll try it later tonight on an HTC Hero (running android).
During this month I’ll try to test the connection on as many devices as I can and use as many services as I can.
Here’s a list of the devices I plan to test on (I have the devices marked in bold and can get quick access to the others):
- HTC Hero
- HTC Mozart
- Nokia N8
- Nokia C7
- iPhone 3GS
- iPhone 4
- iPad 3G
- LG Arena
- LG GD900 Crystal
- Sony Ericsson Z610
- Nokia E72
- Samsung Ace
- Samsung Galaxy S
- Samsung Galaxy S2
- Samsung Wave
Note that I did not check if all the devices support the technology used by Alfa so I’ll check before testing each one. I’ll also try to use the tethering option on devices that support it. In addition to that I might get a USB dongle to test it on my Macbook pro and on my windows laptop.
The services I use on a daily basis on my mobile are the following: Whatsapp, Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook. During the testing period I’ll try to stream some videos to the mobile phones and perform a speed/ping test on every device/region. If I get the chance I will also try to place a Video call (but during the conference I heard that it does not work yet so I’m not sure about it).
I hope the service works correctly and that we can finally have decent internet in Lebanon, I’ll make sure to inform Alfa about any problem I might encounter since this is a testing period and hopefully 3G will be available to everyone soon.
If you have any suggestions or questions please share them in the comments.