Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Some things that should be done by Midsummer

The Latvian version of the Midsummer bachanalia, called Jāņi, is also a marker for when political and major economic activity take a break for the summer, just as in the Nordic countries. So I have made a list of things that should be cleared in the Latvian telecoms "space" up by June 23, just a few weeks off.

1) The government should declare its position on the proposal by Lattelecom for a management and staff buyout of the whole company. TeliaSonera, the half-mother, has already indicated it favors the idea. With the Swedish government proposing an immediate sale of 8 % of TeliaSonera, it would be good for potential buyers to know that the Swedish group was getting out of a potential stranded investment for a reasonable price.

2) I am hoping to hear something about faster wireless internet speeds from Triatel and/or the GSM operators. This is personal -- I want to set up something at my summer house in Carnikava that has a reasonable speed compared to my 10 Mbps Riga DSL connection. Maybe I can get an extra DSL over my fixed phone line? Triatel has hinted at an upgrade of at least some of its EV DO network from the present maximum speed of 1 Mps.
Bite's 3.6 Mbps HSDPA (or a similar speed from Latvian Mobile Telephone) would be interesting, too. My present operator, Tele2 (via LETA) has not announced that it is expanding HSDPA coverage outside Riga (as yet).
A Latvian blogger with the nickname onkulis complains that Triatel has set an unannounced limit of 5 gigabytes (GB) per month download, despite professing to offer "unlimited" internet. Technologically, it may be necessary to ration wireless bandwidth in the face of BitTorrent junkies, but this sould be made explicit. Sorry, Triatel, you can be the first among many operators in Europe to tell it like it is with the fine print (my son, in Sweden, hit a ceiling on a 10 Mps fixed broadband connection).

3) Finally, my pre-Jāņi wish list includes at least one decent (at extra cost, if you please) international film channel on Lattelecom's IPTV service. The Bollywood channel now on the list doesn't count and I have yet to see what the video-on-demand film offerings are like ( I had to return my Ruckus wireless test set up, which worked fine as far as the TV went, but presented problems with using the internet at the same time).


Bleveland said...

As for your second wish, we share that one. The odds for the Bite solution to work are not very good though. Their UMTS coverage really sucks if the coverage maps on the web are up to date. With that coverage you can forget about HSDPA already just outside downtown Riga / Jelgava etc. Then you're down to a maximum of 384 / 64 kbps IF you still have any UMTS coverage left. Otherwise you're down to Edge or even worse GPRS. The only valid alternative seems to be Triatel. So far they don't mention a word about a download limit (but I don't doubt they have one) and not about higher data rates either. It seems that Latvijas leading position in wireless broadband came off.
When it comes to download ceilings I am afraid we are facing the limitation of wireless broadband offered by the tiny Triatel network. It works fine as long as there are just a few users, but with increasing numbers of subscribers it seems that the service will be killed by its own succes.

Anyway Triatel it will (must) be. I wonder if it still /again is possible to sign up for a summer subscriber as they unofficially offered it last year (apperantly according to this blog).

Anonymous said...

Juri un lasītāji, ja es zinātu e-pastu, uz kurieni to visu nosūtīt, tad varētu piedāvāt daudz materiāla, kurš stāsta par Triatel pakalpojumu kvalitāti, diskriminējošo produktu politiku un vispār attieksmi pret klientiem. Vesela epopeja ar PTAC un citu iestāžu līdzdalību. Juridiskā sarakste un lietotāja skatījums ir dabūjami pēc pieprasījuma.