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With Internet prices reduced everyday users come out as winners - Company officials consider CITRA’s decision enhances competition in the market [...] Infrastructure improvement remains needed

Posted Date: 28 Dec 2016

The reduction of domestic Internet tariffs, a timely step by CITRA, in which the local market is witnessing fierce competition between Internet companies seeking the highest market share and the largest number of customers, is a note agreed upon by most Internet companies within the local market. This move will contribute to reducing costs to the consumer, and will help companies to enhance their services by granting them some privileges indirectly, which will eventually lead to the development of Internet services in the local market, and help Kuwait become among the cheapest countries in providing these services for citizens and residents. 

This step is not the first and will not be the last on the path of developing all services in the communications sector, which has become a great concern at the level of the responsible authorities in the country, with the growing number of users on the one hand, and continuous population growth on the other. Reducing the cost of the Internet, according to a responsible source, comes within the framework of a long-term plan covering all services of the communications sector to enhance the quality of services on the one hand, and to meet the needs of consumers on the other hand. The official source confirmed to “Al RAI”, that CITRA, continues to take decisions that benefit the sector directly, 

pointing to the completion of the second phase of the installation of fiber-optic lines in some areas, and that the third and final phase will begin in cooperation with the Ministry of Communications in order to provide all areas of the country with fiber optic lines by 2020. This is provided that no bureaucracy or obstacles are encountered in the implementation plan by the responsible government authorities within the State. The source pointed out that the current time is the best time to implement a new tariff for home Internet, indicating that it will benefit everyone in the market, especially as it opened the way to high capacities up to 100 MB of the Internet, which was not available before, and stressed that he looks forward to higher capacities to meet customer needs. He pointed out that the decision will only include Internet companies at the present time, to be applied by communication companies that provide Internet services intuitively, 

noting the existence of several plans of CITRA that will be announced in a timely manner. He stressed that CITRA, in cooperation with Internet companies, continues to improve telephone lines in homes, noting that there is continuous coordination between them and the Ministry of Communications to develop the infrastructure in the communications sector. 

Al-Nisf Mohammed Al-Nisf, CEO of Quality Net, in the same context said: “The decision to reduce Internet tariffs will be of great benefit to consumers as the Internet grows in all parts of Kuwait, which will allow an increase in the number of subscribers by all segments of society”. Al-Nisf said in a statement to Al-Rai that “Kuwait is among the countries with the lowest  Internet tariffs in the GCC countries, 

pointing out that the decision will overwhelm companies on the one hand, but at the same time will grant them various privileges on the other hand. When costs are reduced at varied rates, this allows Internet companies to get free capacities for certain capacities (2.5 MB free for 10 MB, for example), this is to motivate customers and businesses, and to provide service as part of a strategy to shift to higher capacities.” He added that the new decision will increase the Internet capacity from 40 MB to 100 MB for the first time in the local market in the areas where fiber optic services are available, which constitute 12% of the regions of Kuwait, and are distributed to the south of Al-Surah, 

Rumaythiyah and Salmiya. He explained that “The benefits will be greater for the beneficiaries of these high capacities, followed by users of DSL services.” He also pointed out that “ Customers who benefit from the high capacity, make up less than 20% in the local market.” He also expressed his hope that the prices will also be reduced by communications companies because the decision has not yet been included in this category, praising the efforts of CITRA and its continuous work to provide the best services to consumers, as well as their close cooperation with companies to meet their requirements, enhance the service levels,

rank Kuwait for best services, and the lowest prices for Internet services. Yassen For his part, Atef Yassin, of Mada Telecom, said that “The main problem facing the market today is the weak infrastructure,” indicating that “the old telephone lines do not allow customers to get the capacity they would want easily. From a financial perspective, the decision to reduce domestic Internet tariffs is great for both the client and the companies to a certain extent, but will not technically help to improve the services provided by the companies.”
Yassin mentioned that “The number of Internet subscribers in Kuwait exceeds 1.5 million” pointing to the high number of beneficiaries of wireless communication companies and it is expected that the latter will resort to lowering the prices they offer in order to maintain market share, which they now enjoy as to Internet services. Al-Henawi
Ahmed Al-Henawi, Chief Commercial Officer of GulfNet, said that “ the decision by CITRA to reduce domestic internet tariffs would benefit the competition in the market, pointing out that it comes after about 3 months of reducing the cost of international services given to Internet companies for international communications by almost the same rate.”
Al-Henawi said in a statement to “Al-Rai” that “The rate of reduction will vary according to capacity, as it divides the local market between wired and wireless companies, noting that the decision stressed the reduction rate must range between 10 to 40% for Internet companies without including Internet service providers, via home router packages and router devices.”
Al-Henawi added that the decision provides for a reduction in the cost starting from 10% for the capacity ranging from 1 to 2 MB, bringing the annual tariff to KD 34 and KD 55 respectively, 15% between 3 and 5 MB to KD 70, KD 87 and KD 99 and 20% for capacities ranging between 6 and 12 MB, 25% for capacities ranging between 14 and 18 MB, 30% for capacities ranging between 20 and 50 MB, 35% for capacities ranging between 60 and 70 MB, and 40% for capacities ranging between 80 and 100 MB, so that their rate shall reach KD 507 and 537 per year.
He pointed to the “Cancellation of the policy of fair use in accordance with the new decision, so that customers can perform “Download” operations without limits. This allows them to watch movies and YouTube clips without interruption around the clock.”

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