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Friday, October 30, 2020

How fast is the internet in Qatar?

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Average download speeds in Doha are 50 percent roughly one-third slower than in the UAE but rank among the fastest in the GCC, according to a newly relaunched tracking tool.

The Guardian newspaper’s “download deathmatch” application lets visitors compare the amount of time it takes to load a high-resolution photo or share a short video online.

It shows that Internet users in Qatar experience the second-fastest internet speeds in the Gulf.

Based on data collected over the past 30 days by network diagnostic firm Ookla – which offers the popular Speedtest application – Qatar internet users experienced an average download speed of 10.54 megabits per second (Mbps), ranking it 67th among 118 countries.

To put that in context, that means it would take 3.8 seconds to download a five-megabyte file, such as a large photo. By comparison, the same file would take 2.53 seconds in the UAE.

Qatar fared slightly poorer on the upload side, with an average speed of 4.02 Mbps, which ranked 74th in the world.

Using the application’s measurements, it would take nearly one minute and 40 seconds to upload a 50-megabyte file, such as a video clip. That’s twice as long as in the UAE.

Need for speed

As in many countries, slow internet speeds can be a source of frustration for residents in Qatar. A 2011 ictQatar survey found slow connections speeds was perceived to be the biggest challenge facing local digital media users.

Average speed measurements can also mask fluctuations that both irritate and delight local residents:

http://twitter.com/MAbdRabbo/status/507519768467763201/

Under Qatar’s national broadband strategy, released slightly more than a year ago, ictQatar wants 95 percent of the country’s households to have access to broadband service of at least 100 Mbps for downloads download and 50 Mbps effective upload speeds by 2016.

Thoughts?

Correction: A calculation error misstated the percentage difference between speeds in Qatar and the UAE.

45 COMMENTS

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Michael L
Michael L
5 years ago

Simple answer: nowhere near fast enough and fluctuations are maddening and random … I note the article does not offer a value for money analysis as I’m sure Qatar would be near the bottom of that table, prices here are extortionate

desertCard
desertCard
5 years ago

Mine is terrible even AFTER they installed FO.
Fluctuates constantly and at times just shuts down.
Country this size with the resources it has to BE tech savvy alas is NOT.

Mike
Mike
5 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

The fluctuations are horrendous. I spend the evening constantly switching my router on and off. It rarely helps but its one of the only ways I manage to download.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Sometimes the problem lies with your router. You don’t seem like techy-knowledgably guy.
I work on the internet at very different times, and never had fluctuation issue.

sicti
sicti
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Troll…

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
5 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Sometimes the problem lies with your router. You don’t seem like techy-expert guy.
I work on the internet at very different times, and never had fluctuation issue.

desertCard
desertCard
5 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

It’s not my router

DEEM
DEEM
5 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

It is your router. Unless you have a dedicated line coming directly into your home, you are on a shared service. Like in a block, compound or tower. The chances are all the routers in the building are using the same channel, you are therefore, all sharing the same bandwidth. The minute someone else on that channel starts skyping grandma or FaceTime with thier family back home, your share drops through the floor. Find someone that knows how to properly configure your router. Oh, and if you are downloading copyrighted material illegally…. Like bit torrent or Utorrent…. You are not really in a position to whinge, are you?

Skander
Skander
5 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

It’s not illegal in Qatar. Technically speaking.

Asinine Thinker
Asinine Thinker
5 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

Really? That’s your answer? Oh God, you should be the spokesperson for AT&T, God you know how to sell BS

Additional question: When the “f” did ictQatar ban torrenting? Do you even have the slightest clue what torrents are and why they are useful?

DEEM
DEEM
5 years ago

No, it’s not the answer,but it has resolved the issue for a number of people. I didn’t say torrents were banned…. But downloading copywrite material without paying… IS STEALING…. No ifs, no buts.

Rapha31
Rapha31
5 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

I’m experiencing the same fluctuation with my 25mbps. Sometime the internet just goes off for 1 to 5 min then come back on at normal speed. After 1 am downloads became very, very fast, that means there is congestion issues at early ours.

Cerebus
Cerebus
5 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Found the problem with mine, after checking all the lines in the house, doing configuration updates, etc. etc. The “tech” that installed the fiber do three things wrong. He coiled the fiber into a tight coil (to tight and the glass loses a bit in the light transfer internally), he then used twist ties which were tightly wound around the fiber, which cracks the glass on the inside, and finally he shoved it back in the box and screwed the lid back on pinching the fiber between the lid and the box. I had them come out, and had to force the tech to replace the fiber strand after he did about 100 tests….then finally, it worked perfectly. For the first time it actually hit and exceeded my paid for speed. Then he tried to twist the ties around the fiber and jam it back in the box…..I forced him out the door. Big issue is having unqualified people doing the install…but that is not just a Qatar thing.

Althani
Althani
5 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

I mean if you don’t like the Internet here you can always go back to Cairo and enjoy high speeds there :^)

Michael L
Michael L
5 years ago
Reply to  Althani

Is this your stock answer to any legitimate criticism from people who live and work in this country: go home. A more nuanced, reasoned response would be most welcome.

Althani
Althani
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael L

Nope, This is directed specifically to him, The person who keeps criticizing and complaining on every thing from national day to Internet, The person that calls the locals here idiots, No stock answer or anything, I mean it sincerely :^)

DEEM
DEEM
5 years ago
Reply to  Althani

We are with you brother. The whingers and whiners get on our nerves. For the record, some of us love it here, for all its so called faults, and in many ways, because of its so called faults. I never understand why people visit a foreign country, expecting it to be like home, and are not only surprised when it isn’t, but spend all their energy taking snipes and potshots at the culture. If home is what you expect…. Go there.

Althani
Althani
5 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

Yes you are so right, It confuses me too, Maybe it’s just in their nature to complain and be whiny

Lelouch D' Merci
Lelouch D' Merci
5 years ago
Reply to  Althani

thats always the answer.. its like always blaming Israel..

Althani
Althani
5 years ago

It’s not a scape goat answer like blaming israel or Islam, I mean it sincerely.

Rienz
Rienz
5 years ago
Reply to  Althani

What a moronic and unintelligent reply.

Althani
Althani
5 years ago
Reply to  Rienz

I don’t know, Personally I think it’s more moronic when someone butts in someone else’s discussions

Asinine Thinker
Asinine Thinker
5 years ago
Reply to  Althani

Enlighten me sir, for I am asinine. Tell me again, how did “this” become your discussion?

Althani
Althani
5 years ago

Stop thinking so asinine

Jason
Jason
5 years ago

Qtel (Ooreedoo) long ago stated that they trottle network traffic. This is why you see the fluctuations. Certain times they will purpsoefully slow video streaming, torrents, etc during busy hours. It is a horrible crutch for an inadequate network.

dubious
dubious
5 years ago
Reply to  Jason

Not something unique to Ooredoo though. Virtually every ISP will do traffic management and you would not want to be a customer of one that didn’t.

If they’re doing it because they are overcontended that is an issue. Perhaps they were holding out to see how the QNBN thing went and since those guys recently got it in the neck, perhaps Ooredoo will feel more secure investing? Until ICT pull their socks up and force an OpenReach LLU unbundling type thing on us anyway. Any time now ICT… There’s fashionably late and missed the party late. Just saying…

Anyway, I could max out my 4Mbps DSL anytime, and since being upgraded to 25Mbps fibre, I have been able to max that out anytime I have tried too. I am not however living in a tower block or that dense a residential area though, so possibly the contention where I am is lower? Can’t complain at all!

sicti
sicti
5 years ago

Embarrassing quality and absurd prices both with oooooredooooo and vodafone. Quality and stability is more important. You can have 1 Gbps speed, if it’s available only 50% of the time is useless.

Chilidog
Chilidog
5 years ago

Others have stated it, and yeah, I usually get the stated speeds in an individual speed test. But the inconsistencies and fluctuations are maddening. We pay way more with Oooooooredoesn’t for a way crappier network with much worse customer service than we did back in our home country. Keep getting those constant reminders that Qatar is still a developing country.

Asinine Thinker
Asinine Thinker
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Someone is going to come in here and say, “Go back to your country”. So here I am; breaking the cycle. Thank me later 😉

guest
guest
5 years ago

qatar=hamas hq

Green Hornet
Green Hornet
5 years ago

Oh I’ll tell you how fast it is! Slower than a slug!

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago

I am a bit skeptical about the data here. When you say “Qatar internet users experienced an average download speed of 10.54 megabits per second (Mbps)” this means to me that pretty much everyone in Qatar has fiber, and not only the lowest offer (5mbps) but a higher one. Is this true? Does Ooredoo communicate such numbers?
Also, honestly with an average of 10.54 mbps, you cannot be ranked 67 in the world. Come on guys are you telling me that there are 66 countries in the world where the average internet speed is more than 10 mbps? Nonsense. Even the US and China are far behind this number, and I can think of only few countries who can have such speeds, such as South Korea and Singapore, but definitely not 66 countries. I think the calculation method of Ookla is very flawed.

Jamal Al-Yafei
Jamal Al-Yafei
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

there is no 5Mbps .. Minimum is 10Mbps .. remember also most used websites are based in europe and USA , the routing is being bottlenekced for all GCC at one spot , Hopefully by 2016 when the other Routes Fiber cables are connected we will see more stable internet connections across GCC ..

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Jamal Al-Yafei

There is indeed 5mbps fibre at Ooredoo. 🙂
Again, this does not answer my questions. Even if the lowest fibre offer is 10mbps, to get 10mbps as a national average means that the majority of people use fibre, and only a tiny minority is still using 1, 2, and 4 mbps ADSL, or using myfi. I also think there are hundreds of thousands if not more without a permanent internet connection, and possibly a similar number sharing the same internet connection (such as those living in apartment blocks).

Jamal Al-Yafei
Jamal Al-Yafei
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

i know it weird , netindex shows qatar 54th out of 197 hehe

http://explorer.netindex.com/maps

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I think you’re a bit out of date. 10.54 Mbps is ridiculously slow in a lot of places now. I’m surprised Qatar is not even further down the table. Mind you I wouldn’t hold the US or China up as leaders. They’re too big. It’s usually the smaller places that it is easier to get the cables in – not to mention the high speed smart phone penetration levels.

Asinine Thinker
Asinine Thinker
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Haha, thats cute, you’re bringing up US and Canada as ISP role models to compare with Doha. Tell you what, South Korea is a better example.

zoeval
zoeval
5 years ago

Fast is not a word I’d use for broadband in Qatar.

AEC
AEC
5 years ago

Wouldn’t “How Slow..” be a better headline? For a country with so much money it is spectacularly slow.

Joson John
Joson John
5 years ago

Though I hav 12MBPS speed , I cant able to see live stream football matches without any disturbances 🙁 🙁

Sam Reding
Sam Reding
5 years ago

I took a look at the site and Qatar’s internet speed is roughly on par with Guam’s. The internet here is completely unbearable, such is almost always the case with a monopoly.

Saffa
Saffa
5 years ago

Remember, with sites like Ookla, it checks speed to a local server first. Try changing servers to UK/EU/US and watch the speed drop significantly. Its not much use if you get 100Mbps to a local server that you may use say 1x per day / 1x per week etc, but only get 1Mbps to a server you use a lot more frequently…

On my 20Mbps connection I regularly get 12-15Mbps locally and 1-5Mbps internationally… As someone else has mentioned bottlenecks, Qatar is served by FLAG Falcon cable landing in Sumaisma, and possibly also FLAG FEA landing in the UAE (via Qatar-UAE cable link). These are bottlenecks for all as these cables serve other countries as well…

dubious
dubious
5 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Apologies in advance if this gets a bit geeky.

While I’m not saying there is no contention on the international uplinks, you are also running into a speed of light limitation.

What happens when you start downloading something is quite a complex operation in the background. For reliability TCPIP only permits a certain amount of data to be launched before the sender requires acknowledgement you are receiving them. The important setting here is the Receive Window (RWIN) – basically the amount of data that can be in-flight at one time before the sender stops sending. It is essential they do this for congestion control, and when TCPIP was invented with low bandwidth, slow and somewhat unreliable connections, this was fine and sensible. 64KB seemed decadently massive.

This comes into play with something called Bandwidth Delay Product (BDP).

Latency to Europe is ~150ms so if you have 10Mbps download, your BDP is 192Kb*. To get 10Mbps your RWIN needs to be set to this value. At 65k, almost 3 times smaller, your effective download speed can only be ~3.5Mbps, and that is without counting any overhead (typically 1/8 of the traffic). For ~200ms to the US, you’ll see more like 2.2Mbps. That’s assuming no packets are lost, as TCP backs off really quickly on seeing errors since it is optimised primarily for reliability.

Streaming video would conventionally use UDP to avoid this since we don’t care if we lose a few packets, but if you’re running over a TCP/IP VPN such as PPTP you’re back to hitting this BDP limit hard, plus you’re reducing your bandwidth even further for tunnel overheads, and you’ve got even higher latency.

That’s worst case and modern OSes will try and negotiate larger RWIN values if certain TCP options are in use (and they mostly are these days) – easy for your PC, not necessarily so easy for the server with a thousand connections and also dependent on the server infrastructure. EA.com for instance simply drops traffic if you aggressively tune RWIN. :/

BDP is one of the big drivers for Content Delivery Network companies like Akamai, Limelight, and CloudFront to deploy regional datacentres to get their customers’ data closer to you. Don’t know about the others, but I believe Akamai have servers in Dubai. You may also have noticed traffic to Google/Youtube doesn’t need to leave Qatar, but that might be as much for monitoring as our convenience! 🙂

tl;dr

It’s not all Ooredoo’s fault – you canna beat Physics and its stupid speed of light!

ps, when is Qatar setting up a Quantum Communications Lab? It even starts with the right letter! Q^2CL!

* 10Mbps = 1,280 KBps
150ms = 0.15s
1280 * 0.15s = 192KB

Saffa
Saffa
5 years ago
Reply to  dubious

yup 300million ms-1 is sooo pedestrian 😉

After that wall of text, I think the operative word you used was “congestion” 😉 para 3 line 5 🙂
Look I get all of what you’re saying, but the reality of the situation is that the providers advertise these great speeds etc., but what we actually have useful to us is a lot less. I’m not complaining, that is the reality of the situation. If I want something via the interwebz, the likelihood is that it will be sourced from Europe or North America, rather than a local server.

My 20Mb/s connection if it were in Europe would deliver that content to me quicker than my 20Mb/s connect does here (as per your expanation), and that is the reality, and that’s what people have issues with, I think. We’re being sold a Ferrari with a 100m track to run it on, when what we want is maybe a Honda Civic R and a Le Mans circuit….

Saffa
Saffa
5 years ago
Reply to  dubious

BTW ran a speed test last night to various servers. I’m on Voda…
Voda –> Voda 25Mb/s
Voda –> Ooredoo 1.4Mb/s
Voda —> UK (London) 1.3 Mb/s

Can’t recall the latency but it wasn’t too bad during the tests, certainly less than 500ms for UK

DL only, upload to all except Voda is roughly 1.4Mb/s, to Voda is close to DL speed… Granted I’m in a tower and not sure how they’ve set up the internal wiring.

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