With all the buzz about the new 3G service from Etisalat called easyblaze, I decided to put it to the test, to experience things for myself. easyblaze is Etisalat’s 3G service that advertises internet speed of up to 42Mbps. Although the internet speed of Etisalat easyblaze is quite fast (one of the fastest I have used), I was not too impressed maybe because my expectation was too high due to the marketing hype. I was expecting the internet speed to blow me away, but it didn’t.
Do not get me wrong, the speed of Etisalat easyblaze was fast enough for all my needs. It was very fast, my only disappointment was that it was not as fast as I imagined it. So, maybe I have a wild imagination.
Setting up for Internet browsing on Etisalat
It has been over a year since I last browsed the internet on the Etisalat network. Then they were still on EDGE and the internet speed was pretty fast by EDGE standard. However, they were not fast enough to compete with 3G offerings. But with the launch of 3G, they got me interested.
To do the internet speed test, I had to buy a new Etisalat SIM since I had none, smiled to the camera and completed the SIM registration process. I had no need of buying an internet modem, since I already had an unlocked modem with maximum upload/download speed of 5.76Mbps/7.2Mbps and from the result of my internet speed test; my internet modem is more than adequate for Etisalat easyblaze.
I then activated my SIM by initiating a call. Then I created a new internet profile for Etisalat easyblaze on my modem. I called it Etisalat 3G, then entered etisalat as the APN and saved it. Finally, I loaded a N2,000 recharge card, and activated the Etisalat easyblaze 200MB internet bundle which costs N1,600 by dialing *229*2*6#. I received an SMS confirming the activation almost immediately. So, with all the hard work behind me, I was now ready to put the internet speed of the Etisalat easyblaze to the test.
Etisalat easyblaze internet speed test
The internet speed test took place for an hour. During the course of the hour, I browsed the web, visiting websites, posting updates on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, checked and read my email. I also streamed two Youtube videos and downloaded 13.3MB software. Throughout the test I monitored the waveform on the statistics interface of modem’s software. I also used speedtest.net to check the speed of the network.
Browsing on Etisalat easyblaze
Browsing the internet on the easyblaze network is quite fast. The Nigeria Technology Guide completely loads in less than 10 seconds. The text part of the site loaded in under 3 seconds. The network is fast enough for your Facebook and Twitter notifications to update in real-time without any need for refreshing. Also new emails on your GMail and Yahoo mail updates in realtime without refreshing.
So, the Etisalat easyblaze offers a good internet browsing experience.
Streaming Video on Etisalat easyblaze
I streamed two videos for the test. One was the 1 minute 20 seconds promo video of new Nokia C2-05 and a 2 minutes 26 seconds launch video of the Nokia N9 in Dubai. Streaming video on Etisalat 3G internet is very smooth. I did not experience those annoying breaks and cracks inherent with streaming videos on EDGE or slow 3G networks.
The sound was continuous, so also was the video for the duration of both videos. I even streamed the videos 2 times each during the cause of the hour to confirm and in both cases, the internet speed was fast enough to handle seamless video streaming. So, Etisalat 3G internet can handle your video and audio streaming needs.
How fast is Etisalat easyblaze?
I used speedtest.net for the speed test. Over the course of the hour, I used the site to test the network five times and got the following upload/download internet speed 0.9Mbps/2.69Mbps, 0.66Mbps/1.48Mbps, 0.33Mbps/1.29Mbps, 0.57Mbps/1.2Mbps, and 0.21Mbps/1.04Mbps. This is well below the capacity of my modem and the advertised speed for the network. So, you can now understand why I was not too wowed. During the cause of the hour the maximum download speed I observed from the waveform was about 3.555Mbps.
I downloaded Firefox 7.01, a 13.3MB file, in under a minute, this is quite fast (although it could be faster) as a file of such size could take between 30 minutes and an hour on GPRS/EDGE.
What about network efficiency?
Browsing on 3G internet consumes a lot of bandwidth not necessarily because the network is inefficient but because on a faster network we tend to browse more sites and view more videos. Also while on 3G most web 2.0 website will automatically sense your higher speed network and automatically use Ajax and Flash to improve your user experience. This leads to more data usage.
During the course of the one hour internet speed test, I consumed about 56MB. Note that I turned off all automatic updates. To test the efficiency of the network, I used the Firefox download. I checked my balance before and after the download to see how much data I actually used. The result was 14MB for downloading a file of size 13.3MB, not bad at all.
So, Etisalat 3G internet is efficient. However, because you are on a faster network, you are likely to be more productive leading to more data usage. Do not expect the 200MB bundle to last more than a few days. For me it could last between a few hours to a day and a half depending on my data usage. So, the 200MB internet bundle is only good enough for testing the Etisalat 3G network, to do some serious internet stuff on Etisalat easyblaze go for the 1.5GB or 3GB internet bundles or higher.
Etisalat easyblaze is fast and competes well with other 3G internet offerings in Nigeria. If you are currently browsing on Etisalat easynet or an EDGE/GPRS network in any easyblaze coverage areas, you will experience a remarkable internet speed boost if you switch to Etisalat easyblaze.
However, if you are already browsing on 3G, you should do well to test Etisalat 3G internet first, before making any long term commitment. From our test, you do not need a helmet or a seatbelt to browse on Etisalat 3G internet as the speed will probably not blow you away.
Etisalat 3G internet is fast, you can load pages faster, browse web 2.0 sites in all their glory, stream videos without any breaks and cracks, and you could probably download a full CD in under 30 minutes.
So, yes Etisalat easyblaze is okay for you, but beware, there is nothing spectacular about it.
Do your own test with speedtest.net and tell us how it fared in our comment box.
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