Broadband Quality: Are you getting what is promised?

Posted on March 13, 2008  /  13 Comments

Quality of Service Experience (QoSE) of broadband was a topic that has been discussed in LIRNEasia blog for sometime and we find many readers share the view of the Australian cartoonist who portrayed information superhighway to a modern car with cart wheels – the infrastructure.

LIRNEasia’s on-going QoSE benchmarking project aims to find the answer to the question, based on evidence not perceptions, whether the users actually get what has been advertised by the operators.

A seminar presenting preliminary results of Broadband QoSE measures, with the participation of Professor Timothy Gonsalves of IIT Madras (who headed the team that developed the methodology) will be held in Colombo on the 18th of March. This is an open event, but prior registration is recommended. (Tel: 011 267 1160, 077 763 6821; e-mail: kapugama[at]lirne[dot]net)

Here are more information about the event and broadband quality test plan for those who are interested.

Some previous discussions: and


  1. I have seen advertisements for Dialog WiMAX contain a reference to a Fair Use Policy. In that they state that the speeds of ‘high users’ will be restricted. The quotas they mention are ridiculously low. For example they define a high user as someone who downloads or uploads more a 4GB per 30 days. This is for the 1Mbps package. If this policy is implemented anyone using their connections for anything multimedia will exceed the limit and end up with a connection only slightly faster than dial-up but costing upwards of 3000/- a month.

    I know its not ethical. Rather than investing in more hardware and bandwidth they choose to show us the sun and give us a lightbulb! They promise an unlimited package but in practice its useless for anything but reading CNN and getting cricket updates. One doesn’t have to use P2P to exceed this limit!!

    Is this practice legal? Does anyone know if the TRC is aware of this?

  2. In yesterday’s Sunday Times Dialog had advertised a funny package.

    Downlink 7.2 Mbps
    Uplink 384 kbps
    Free Download limit 300 MB

    (a) For what application one needs such a ridiculous downlink to uplink ratio (20:1)? If the Downlink is large the uplink has to match it. May be not 1:1, but at least 1:4.

    (b) At 7.2 Mbps rate, a user downloads roughly 1 MB per second. So he is free to use the package only for 300 seconds or five minutes!

    Is this a kind of joke?

  3. Thiwanka,

    That is only for movies. Requires only a wide downlink. Similar packages are offered by cable TV guys in other countries.

  4. Dear The Future Today

    What kind of movie can you download with the 300MB quota? Once you exceed the 300MB you’ll have to pay at a rate of 10/- per MB. At that rate a movie would cost about Rs. 11,000/-!!

  5. Is this the reason why these guys try their best to stop Airtel entering the market?

    If Airtel is there Dialog cannot play games like this.

  6. Read to see what Web Alochana has to say about this issue.

  7. I wanted to attend this public lecture, but had to change the plan at the last moment. Sorry.

    Don’t know whether it has to do anything with the lecture but for the first time I see today an operator advertising the fact that the download can be ‘less than what they promise’ if several users try to access the server simultaneously. (See Dialog HSPA ad in Sunday Times)

    At least it is a great achievement making them admit that. But they should tell how low that can go down. Otherwise if there are 100 users we will get only one hundredth of the promised speed.

    Also for the first time Dialog presents another package with a 1 GB limit. But is there is big difference between 300 MB and 1 GB? For me it would be over by a week.

    Please share with us any presentation material from the public lecture.

  8. The presentation slides have been posted. Please use “broadband QOS” as the search term and the relevant posts will come up.

  9. Sorry Thiwanka, they were scattered.

    Now you have a one stop download centre at:

  10. @The Future Today: You require a 40 byte empty TCP ACK packet to be sent for every TCP packet that you receive. That means that unless each packet that you download from the internet is very large, your download speed is effectively limited by your upload speed.

  11. Since the pricing models of different packages of broadband services offered by operators are different, I would like to see a “Monetary Dimension” being included in LIRNEasia’s methodology of measuring BBand QOSE.
    Simply to see how much worth are we getting out of a Rupee spent on BBand.
    This will provide a fair basis to compare I hope.

  12. Thanks, Pingu. That is a great suggestion. We will work on it.