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Etisalat mobile broadband coverage Dubai

Wednesday 16 January 2019 (UAE)   

Etisalat mobile broadband coverage Dubai UAE

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Etisalat mobile broadband coverage, access speed, download bandwidth for internet wireless access in Dubai and UAE in coffee shops and cafes. International data roaming packages and information.

  • Good (HSDPA), fast browsing, download, upload, etc. A proper broadband connection.
  • Weak or poor (EDGE or WCMDA) - connection available but slow enough to be almost useless. Go somewher else or be prepared to wait a long time for pages to load with frequent non-loading errors. A home dial-up connection is better. WCMDA seems to be slightly better than EDGE.

Sometimes moving laptop computer slightly can improve the connection, or changing the USB port that your USB broadband stick is plugged into. Even disconnect and reconnect can help occasionally, especially with a flaky connection that drops from HSPDA to WCMDA while connected for example.

Etisalat prepaid data packages in the UAE
  • 09 Dec 2013 - Etisalat announced new data packages for pre-paid Wasl users as follows:
    • 100MB for AED 29 per month. To subscribe, send the text string 'm100m' as an SMS to 1010.
    • Other packages are 1GB AED 99 per month, 5GB AED 249 per month, 20GB AED 449 per month.
    • Per month means remaining data allowance is not carried over at the end of the month.
Etisalat international data roaming packages

Generally, using your phone connection while roaming for data connections is horrendously expensive (applies to any operator, not just Etisalat). And watch out when connecting your phone as a modem to your laptop - automatic downloads and software updates can easily suck up enough bandwidth that you might have to mortgage your house on return from your holiday to pay the bill. This is not a joke - there are stories of people winding up with bills of tens of thousands of dollars, pounds, dirhams, etc. Allow AED 100-1,000 per hour for general website surfing, or about AED 50-200 for every 10 pages you view in your browser (of normal content - news, wikipedia, email, etc). Multiply that by 10 or 20 if viewing lots of images or watching videos. Seriously. Search for "bill shock" on Google to get some stories (not while you're roaming though).

Pay as you go data roaming charges (as of Dec 2013) are:

  • Postpaid: AED 1 per 30 kB, about AED 33 per 1 MB.
  • Prepaid: AED 1.50 per 30 kB, about AED 50 per 1 MB.
  • So watching a short YouTube video will cost you about AED 1,000-3,000 (a 4 min YouTube video download size is about 30-60 MB for 360p-720p resolution). Yes, that's one to three thousand dirhams.

To get around this, buy a local SIM card in the country you are visiting. You should be able to put it in your phone if it is unlocked and connect it to your computer if the phone has a modem built in but it might be tricky to get the configuration set up. Phone shop attendants will tell you all sorts of things depending on how much they know. Sometimes they will be right, sometimes wrong.

Or you can buy a USB stick with local SIM card in the country you are visiting. Sometimes there are restrictions such as for data use only, not for telephone calls. Generally the USB sticks (especially if they are part of a special offer or package) are locked to the SIM card they come with. It is possible to unlock them - usually by paying a substantial fee to the operator. Backstreet phone vendors might be able to unlock them, or accidentally destroy them when trying to unlock them.

Etisalat unlimited international data roaming packages - 26 Dec 2013
  • Etisalat announced new e-WiFi data roaming packages in association with iPass, a gobal Wi-Fi hotspot aggregator company with 1.4 million access points in 130 countries. Which is not quite the same as mobile broadband - you need to be within range of an access point.
  • Data roaming packs available on a daily, weekly, monthly basis for prepaid and postpaid mobile customers.
  • The press release referred to an "Etisalat Traveler Combo Pack" which are the normal broadband roaming packages, not the new iPass eWIFI offer.
Package Cost Data Notes
eWiFi daily plan AED 60 unlim1 24 hrs from first login time
eWiFi weekly plan2 AED 100 unlim1 Must subscribe to 1 week 1GB data package, +AED 200
eWiFi monthly plan2 AED 100 unlim1 Must subscribe to 1 month 1GB data package, +AED 500
  1. Usually unlimited means no limit for reasonable use, but there might be a cap or speed throttling for heavy use. No information supplied, terms and conditions not found.
  2. Users must first subscribe to one of the Etisalat data roaming packages to be able to use the eWiFi weekly or monthly data package, which at first blush makes one wonder what the point is of paying extra for the eWiFi package, but the advantage is that data use is unlimited during the time period subscribed to. Daily eWiFi users do not need to subscribe to an Etisalat data roaming package?

To subscribe, follow these steps:

  1. For one day access only, skip this step. Send sms (without quote marks) "WEEK1GB" for one week or "COMBO" for one month data roaming package to 1010, or dial *177#.
  2. Send sms "id" for one day only access, or "ir" for daily access on weekly and monthly package to 1010 for 24 hrs access to iPass WiFi network. You'll receive an SMS from Etisalat with username and password.
  3. Download and install the iPass eWIFI app from the Etisalat website, or from an app provider if available, launch the app to enter your details.
  4. You can use internet when within range of an iPass eWIFI hotspot. Access available for 24 hr periods only?
  5. For weekly and monthly subscriptions, send "ir" to 1010 again for another 24 hr period of access? Information supplied says "SMS "ir" for daily access to 1010" for weekly and monthly packages. Presumably you don't need to reinstall the app each time though.
Etisalat data roaming in Saudi Arabia and Egypt March-May 2012
  • 01 March 2012 - A press release from Etisalat said "UAE mobile data packages can be used when roaming in KSA and Egypt at no extra charge". Subscribers will need to connect to Mobily-KSA (in KSA) or Etisalat-Misr (in Egypt) networks. This promotion is only valid from March to end of May 2012.
International data roaming packages from Etisalat (20 July 2011 press release)
  • Available to Wasel prepaid and postpaid Etisalat customers, including BlackBerry.
  • Purchase from the UAE or abroad by dialing *177#, or send SMS with purchase code to '1010'. View list of SMS purchase codes by texting 'ROAME' for English or 'ROAMA' for Arabic to '1010'.
  • Or purchase direct from an Etisalat Business Center or by calling 800-2300 (in the UAE).
  • Data packs from 100MB to 3GB in 14 countries.
  • Daily data packs of 6MB available in most other countries. The press release said 520 countries across the globe but there aren't that many countries in the world. Perhaps they meant telecom operators.
  • Data packs include SMS mobile alerts for pre-defined thresholds or when limit has been reached, along with an option to purchase another data pack.
  • To enquire about data roaming usage, dial *177#, or send text SMS 'GR' for Global Pack, 'PR' for Preferred Pack, or 'AR' for Alliance Partner to '1010'.
  Daily Weekly Monthly Countries - Operators
Cost AED 95 AED 395 AED 495  
Etisalat Alliance Partners 1GB 2GB 3GB Saudi Arabia (Mobily)
Preferred Partners 100MB 200MB - Bahrain (Batelco), Egypt (Etisalat Misr), Germany (T-Mobile), India (Vodafone), Italy (Vodafone Omnitel), Jordan (Umniah), Kuwait (Zain), Malaysia (Maxis), Oman (Omantel), Saudi Arabia (Mobily), Thailand (AIS, DTAC, Total Access Communications), Turkey (Turkcell), United Kingdom (O2 - Cellnet), United States (Cingular Wireless, T Mobile - VWC Denver)
Global 6MB - - All (excluding Lebanon, satellite and flight operators)
Global flat rate       AED 1 postpaid (subscription accounts), AED 1.50 prepaid (Al Wasel) per 30 KB. Works out to about AED 33-50 per MB, or AED 33,000-50,000 per GB. Watch out!

Dubai locations

  • Dubai Healthcare City - Caribou Coffee, Starbucks - good (HSDPA)
  • Dubai Internet City - Bean & Byte Coffee Shop - weak (Edge only)
  • Dubai Internet City - food court - weak (Edge only)
  • Dubai Marina Mall - Cafe Nero - good
  • Mall of the Emirates - Westend (Evory, Apres) - weak (Edge only)
  • The Dubai Mall - Caribou Coffee - good
  • Souk Al Bahar - Caribou Coffee, Starbucks - good
  • Wafi City - Pyramids Carter's - good
  • Wafi City - Caribou Coffee - good

Sharjah locations

Last update Thursday 02-Jan-2014. Page development 1H 2T 3D 4L 5C.
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