<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d13953979\x26blogName\x3dDigital+Squid\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://digitalsquid.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://digitalsquid.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-1185506453169371183', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The End! for now.....

we should have done this long time back.... we didn't.... its about time we said goodbye! its around 3 years too late but its closure... :)..

goodbye folks and goodnight!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Wataniya's fibre optic cable

when? where?

Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year Promotions.

first of all HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone..

With the new year, The telecom companies are coming up with new year promotions and the first thing which have grabbed my attention currently is the reduction in price of all mobile to mobile calls for the first few days of 2007.

have announced that from 31st December to 3rd of January;

Postpaid customers can talk at 0.90 Rf per minute.
Prepaid customers can talk at 0.99 Rf per minute.

Note: * both fnf nominated numbers at 0.77rf for Postpaid and 0.84 for Pre paid.
* Applicable to same network calls

WATANIYA have announced that on 2nd, 3rd and 4th of January from Midnight till 1am, all call charges will be reduced by HALF.

Postpaid customers can talk to as low as 0.28 Rf per minute
Prepaid customers can talk to as low as 0.35 Rf per minute.

Note: * Applicable to same network calls.
* Price will vary between different talk plans

Friday, December 29, 2006

ROL Back Online

This is just to inform that ROL is back online and working fine. However more questions still await to be answered... like.. is this permanent? is everything fixed? where does ROL go from here? do they change their service structure? what if somethign happens tommorow? do all customers still need to pay the full monthly bill this time around as well ?

anyway... i'm not being too harsh on them. we shoud actually give them credit as well. The service have been restored within almost 3 days time. so thank you for that *with a pat on the back* !

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

ROL - Focus Infocom Internet Services DOWN!!!

It has come to out attention that ROL ( Raaje Online provided by Focus Infocom) services are currently down.

The services seem to have affected ROL's ability to provide internet services to the country. Currently it is being reported they are unable to provide internet access to any of their customers.
In addition to this wataniya , who has teamed up with ROL for their data services ( GPRS and WAP) are also unable to provide their customers with internet access.

Dhiraagu's connection is still up, possibly due to multiple connections they have in place to the internet backbone. That being said there are some issues connecting to Singapore and south/east Asian sites with Dhiraagu as well.

The cause of this outage is being attributed to the Taiwanese earthquakes that struck yesterday. Internet service in Asia slowed down after three earthquakes hit southern Taiwan yesterday according to (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aYHaxhLE4rr0&refer=home) and could possibly take weeks to repair those links.

taken from http://www.internettrafficreport.com , the graphs below show that Asia region's connectivity has deteriorated to a very bad state.

ISP's, Banks, and other Institutions with rely on the internet for it's operations have been affected in the region

Although the cause of the problem was a natural disaster, it is evident which ISP is better prepared for a situation like this. Dhiraagu is also be affected but the impact is minimal compared to Focus Infocom's ROL services.

Is it a better indication of who is a better ISP? Remains to be seen.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

DSCN project cost USD 20 or 27 million?

Theres been a lot of talk going on about how much did Dhiraagu really invested for the Dhiraagu Submarine Cable Network (DSCN) project… in some websites it seems the project is USD 20 million,


While Dhiraagu claim it’s a USD 27 million dollar project.


So people have asked me, “ how come SLT says 20 million and Dhiraagu say 27 million?” … to be honest, I am not too sure… but I just wanted to give my view on why the confusion has occurred..

Dhiraagu’s submarine cable landed in Hulhumale. However, additional domestic links were established between Hulhumale and Male', Male and Kaafu Villingili and finally the cable connecting the two atolls, Laam and Gaaf Dhaal. And in their press release, Dhiraagu have mentioned that the links established between Laamu Gan and Gaafu Dhaal Gadhoo is the final phase of DSCN project's marine work.

So maybe, the additional 7 million Dhiraagu mentions could most probably be for the first domestic inter-atoll submarine cable.

You can get more information on their press release and DMA news.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nail Down Your Connection Speed!! Dhiraagu Unlimited Package Review

So it has been a while since Dhiraagu released its "Unlimited" adsl package. The first package from dhiraagu to be so. Many of us were very excited about the package being launched and rushed to sign up screaming "weeeeee... unlimited internet.... finally!! "......oh how wrong were we!!!

Dhiraagu's old 256kbps home user package the 'baraboa' one supposedly had a contention of 1:200 as so it was mentioned on dhiraagu's website as well as TAM. the new Unlimited package is supposed to have a contention of 1:75 according to TAM (http://www.tam.gov.mv/articles.php?artID=69) of coz the lower the contention the less sharing is done between users... well at least thats the way it usually is. wonder if i have this all wrong.

i do know dhiraagu has been very explicitly stating that the connection speed is not guaranteed.... no kidding!!!??? the connection i try to use seems to have a data cap set on it!!! or maybe its just my imagination.......

the above is just for HTTP downloads, starting at 1 something in the AM going on till well 7 AM. reason i used HTTP is, coz its most likely that all other protocols will be limited or http will be prioritized. i donno wat. but the fact of the matter is using a few download accelerators , coupled with normal http downloads pointed at different ends of the web, i've been tryin to sqeeze my connection to the limit. somehow it seems to be stuck at 30Mega Bytes per hour or less... it just dosent seemt to go any higher? is this just me or anyone else tried it?

hmm lets seee it usually averages around 28-30 per hour so.. lets jus say 29 MB as an average...(up and down)

29MB x 1024 = 29696KB x 8 = 237568 kbits / hour

237568kbits / 3600 seconds = 65.99kbps.... or 8.24 Kbytes /sec

(probably around 64kbps if you account for uploads)

did i get that right? any calculation errors? my bit to byte converter might be a bit rusted but if i got that right the average connection speed i get is around 64kbps

i donno.... is it just happening to me? does it seem fair to advertise a package as 256/64 when the average speed one receives is around 64kbps....

non guaranteed or not!! this isn't exactly any better than what focus used to offer.... and isn't useful for nythin other than surfing or chatting... if thats your cup of tea.. then ur better off with the 1GB baraboa package as its unlikely ur gonna exceed the usage with browsing or chatting, plus it's faster..

anythin more than that, like skyping, webcam, jus too slow to be even bloody useful......

well dhiraagu, jus have to say it's a disappointing package. but guys with enuf patience can put on their download accelerator shoes and maybe skim a few gigs of data off a month.... (don't even bother with torrents.... protocols other than HTTP seem to be on some limiter)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dhiraagu's Fibre Optic Cable or Submarine Satellite?

Yesterday was supposed to be a memorable day for all of us… do I need to say it again? … ok if u say so..

Yeah DHIRAAGU ( dhivehi – raajeyyge –gulhun) supposedly launched the first submarine cable in Maldives… happy aren’t we? But for what…. Yes, for cheaper and more superior quality service… and I’m not saying Dhiraagu’s submarine cable is not going to take any of those away from us… hopefully, a submarine cable is got to do what a submarine cable’s got to do right?

Ok back to my point… I just want to take notice on some minute details I came across in the whole launching of it..

Did it really happen? Did the first call made via the submarine cable get disconnected TWICE?
Ok… it did really happen… and think abt it.. if I did not know any better I would be saying.. “ is this the quality submarine cable brings?” … coz I can call a friend of mine in Singapore on my skype phone on dialup and still have a better conversation..

Something bothered me and I tried to get a bit more information and it came to my attention that the call was NOT made through cable BUT via SATELLITE… but they said it was fibre optic cables at the end of each sentence eh… and after calling 123 numerous times last night.. and got hold of her (after waiting IN LINE for 10 minutes) at around 2045hrs.I was even able to get the lady over there to agree with me on this as well…

So how come Dhiraagu “so called” launched a product which did not really exist in the first place… I mean yeah they have the cable in Maldives now and it’s going to work as well for sure… but just because Wataniya was going to launch their cable sometime soon , Dhiraagu wanted to FAKE a whole event JUST to TOUCH MALDIVES first.

Hopefully Dhiraagu’s services will be able to make best use of the fiber optic cables soon, but today at this second.. I don’t think so… throughout the whole ceremony they were only able to say.. WE WILL, WE CAN, WE COULD and more of WE WILL… but there was not a single WE HAVE…. Mere speculation, which in fact would mostly be true to be honest.. but as a customer I would have loved to see something there…. ( but remember… its not fully functional so can’t happen)

Anyway back to the point… having a ceremony saying “official launch of the Submarine Cable” and not showing us anything of the submarine cable.. and faking a whole conversation with the president, claiming it was the first call made through the cable abroad, while in reality it was a normal satellite call.. it’s a bit funny isn’t it…

It’s not funny actually.. it’s just another tactic to ‘andhun alhuvaning” the general public… simple as that ..

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dhiraagu Set to Reduce Internet Prices

Guess it has been a while hasnt it?

Anyways jus a lil update on whats going to happen to dhiraagu's internet prices in a bit. TAM has recently released the tarrifs for dhiraagu's products such as dedicated internet access , national leased lines, a totally new ADSL package with a price cap and their wifi hotspot usage fees.

The dedicated internet access reduction will have little intrest for most ppl ( coz they are mostly targeted to large corporations and such. but i can tell you it offers significant reduction in prices.
details as on http://www.tam.gov.mv/articles.php?artID=67

what is more interesting is the price capped ADSL packages, 256/64 speeds with 1:75 contention as compared to existing 1:200 on the home ADSL (baraboa) package, starting at MRF 430 and Price Capping at MRF 690. Beautiful!!!! looks better to me than the focus 64kbps connection.. :) cheers... just hurry up with the formalties and get on with releasing the package.... we'll be lining up in front of the door.... finally an 'unlimited' ADSL package.... yay

(link http://www.tam.gov.mv/articles.php?artID=69)

wifi rates for dhiraagu hotspots are out.. i can't say i'm thrilled with the rates... MRF 10 for half an hour? 30 for 2 hrs... thats a bit too much isnt it?.. i really don't think i can afford to get online with dhiraagu wifi.. targeted at travellers maybe?... too bad.. i was dreaming of sippin a coffee at westpark an typing up stuff for the blog....

(link http://www.tam.gov.mv/articles.php?artID=68)

anyways.. dhiraagu.. cheers.. good on ya.. lets see what focus infocom can do... personally i think that ADSL package would be very very competitive to the starter 64kbps package offered by focus infocom for 650 bucks. for an additional 40 bucks you are probably going to get a better speed an a more stable connection.


Nation-wide Wireless Network in Maldives

Are you planning to deploy a Wide Area Network? Would you like to do it in the shortest time possible, with as less hassles as possible for deployment and at attractive costs?

Welcome to smartBridges. The preferred solutions partner for deploying Wide Area Wireless Networks.

Imagine covering an entire island with cables and wires. Possible, but it would take months, if not years. It would cause huge investment for deployment. Add to it, the cost of equipment and most would be ready to give up the idea. Now try to repeat the same for 200 islands!

The government of Maldives was facing a huge challenge when it decided to leap frog and provide Internet access to the all the people. The immediate answer was wireless. But, the question is, how to achieve this? The wireless market is flooded with products, but most of them focused on “Indoors” applications. The option of using indoor devices, with long-range antennae does exist. However, is this the right solution?

The island of Male required a complete wireless solution deployed across the city. This would give instant broadband access to users in offices, homes, schools, Government offices etc. Visitors, consultants and tourists to the island who carry laptops with either built in WiFi or as an add-on, would also have the ability to connect to the open node free of charge for the duration of their stay. Local Internet users would find the wireless features useful as more areas are covered with the airPoint PRO Outdoor, and users who may be in the more congested telephone circuit locales would also benefit from the new technology.

Further, it was also required to connect the various islands. The sea in between made it very difficult to lay cable/ wires for achieving network connectivity. Moreover, there were the questions of salt water, moisture, extreme weather to be answered.

To such a complex requirement, smartBridges presented the right solution – the Outdoor Wireless. No Other company has such a complete range of outdoor wireless products as smartBridges. The airPoint PRO outdoor span the area with their coverage, thus bringing entire island together on a single network.

High Speed, high reliability and High ruggedness make the smartBridges solution an absolute fit for deploying long distance networks.

Encased in a weatherproof NEMA 4X box, the rugged airPoint PRO Outdoor is indeed the best solution for the Island, for it easily withstands the frequently harsh weather conditions of high rain, winds and tropical heat! Built to withstand temperatures ranging from -40 Deg C to 65 Deg C, the airPoint PRO Outdoor is the perfect solution for this tropical paradise.

smartBridges covered the entire capital city island of the Maldives with its solution. The whole island is spanned by the wireless network equipment from smartBridges. airPoint PRO Outdoor and airBridge are placed at strategic locations all over the island. Now the race is on to cover the rest of the islands and also provide backhaul links amongst the islands.

Why smartBridges solutions?

* Easy to Deploy and Install
* Easy to manage- remotely!!
* Extremely rugged and reliable
* Low power requirements
* Quick ROI

The above article was taken from the smartBridges website

Is anybody aware there is a Nation-wide Wireless Network in the Maldives or the so called 200 island wide Hotspot in the Maldives?

Definitely I was not aware. I was aware there are some smartBridges and airPoint PRO equipment throughout Male' during my various analysis projects but was not aware of such a 200 island wide Hotspot as mentioned in the customer success stories on smartBridges website.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Dhiraagu vulnerable to Social Engineering

This is the details of a social engineering attack pulled on Dhiraagu (for a good cause again).

What is Social Engineering?

Social Engineering uses influence and persuasion to deceive people by convincing them that the social engineer is someone he is not, or by manipulation. As a result, the social engineer is able to take advantage of the people to obtain information with or without the use of technology.

The texts in italics in this article are extracts from the book “Art of Deception” by Kevin D. Mitnick that gives you details of the tricks of social engineering attacks used in the case.

A friend of mine has called me to help him with his ADSL connection which keeps on dropping the signal every 2 seconds. They have recently moved to this new building and Dhiraagu has moved their ADSL also to this new building. I went to meet at him around 17:30 hrs on a Thursday.

I asked my friend for the username and password of the ADSL router which he has in order to find out what could be wrong. He didn't have that information as usual with most of us who doesnt keep those type of information in a safe place. I then asked him whether he has the ADSL username and password in case if I have to reset the router back to factory settings to access it. He didn't have that either.

I called up Dhiraagu 123 from my mobile (which has no relation to the address where the ADSL was connected) and directly told the guy that I don't have my username and password of my ADSL connection and the only information which I can give him is the address where the ADSL is connected to.

The Direct Attack: Just Asking for It

Anybody gutsy enough to call and claim to be the owner or whatever will likely to be taken at his word. Unless it’s obvious that he doesn’t know the terminology, or if he’s nervous and stumbles over his words, or in some other way doesn’t sound authentic, he may not even be asked a single question to verify his claim. That’s exactly what happened here with the support person.

The guy looked up the database and simply gave me the username, I then asked for the password, he gave me the same. Then I asked him for the username of the ADSL router (which Dhiraagu provides), he gave me the username and password for the router too.

The Direct Attack: Just Asking for It

Many social engineering attacks are intricate, involving a number of steps and elaborate planning, combining a mix of manipulation and technological know-how

A skillful social engineer can often achieve his goal with a simple. Straightforward, direct attack. Just asking outright for the information may be all that’s needed—as you’ll see.

Knowledge of a company’s lingo, and of its corporate structure—its various office and departments, what each does and what information each has—is part of the essential bag of tricks of the successful social engineer.

What if somebody uses Social Engineering to harm these organisations and its customers?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


For the past 3 weeks I have been trying to get hold of ROL’s terms and conditions which I believe is something which each customer SHOULD be having.

Unfortunately I haven’t been successful and from my knowledge there are NO such documents in ROL. I will point out a few interesting facts I have come across while trying to get hold of this document from ROL!

Broken Links in the Website
The links for “Terms of Use” and “Privacy Policy” does not work

No Reply to email
It has been more than 2 weeks since I have sent an email to almost all the email addresses which were posted in contact us page in ROL’s website.

Telephone calls
Several telephone calls have been made to ROL and the girl who answered the phone had no idea what these documents were. So had a fun time trying to make her understand what they were for 5 minutes or so every time a call was made. Hehe. I asked to be passed to a senior personel and not once was able to reach anyone who was willing to answer me since they were all too busy at that moment or too busy at a meeting.

And while I was discussing my frustration with a friend of mine, unsurprisingly he also had the same problem. He was told that the copy was with their legal adviser for modification and that no applicable T&C is available at the moment. If i was him I would have brought to their attention that the availability of the currently practicing copy of the terms & conditions is a customers' legal right

So the question I ask out loud is that isn’t it a LEGAL RIGHT for each customer to be given these documents when applications are made? and ALSO for the fact that the application form asks the applicants to sign saying they understand the terms and conditions.

Lets see how the public reacts to this issue, somehow legally I think there is an issue when ROL makes the customer signs stating that they agree to these terms and conditions, but when they request to view these terms and conditions, they can’t have it? This is unacceptable on many levels and TAM as the regulating body should take action against ROL.

In comparison, that the T&C and the applicable usage policy of dhiraagu internet service is readily available on their website

I urge anyone who uses focus to file a complaint with TAM at their hotline on 332 3344, or email them at secretariat@tam.gov.mv

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Comments for the Telecom Policy 2006-2010

Telecommmunications Authority of Maldives (TAM) has recently opened Telecom Policy 2006-2010 for public comments. Since I am commenting for it, thought I would also share my comments with the viewers of the DigitalSquid blog to see their ideas as well.

The draft for this policy can be downloaded from TAM website.

Comments for Maldives Telecommunication Policy 2006-2010

The Introduction of this policy is basically the same thing from the policy of 2000-2005. I believe the past 5 years has brought enough change for us to write a better introduction than this.

Objective 1.1: Implement “one service one tariff” concept.

Even though the following action under the following objective was there in the policy of 2000-2005 to abolish the difference in telecommunication charges, we are at 2006 still studying the commercial impact of abolishing these differences.

Objective 1.1: Reduce the disparity in telecommunication charges between Male and the rest of the country.

Action 1.1.1: Abolish the differences in telecommunication charges among all inhabited islands, within a period of 3 years.

This action needs to be taken immediately and the difference in telecommunication charges to be abolished rather than studying the impacts of it for another 2-5 years.

Objective 3.3: The regulator should have a converged role of regulating IT and telecommunications.

I believe the following action should be added.

• The regulators skills should be enhanced for them to meet the challenges in regulating the operators.

The regulator should have enough people trained on the aspects of IT as well as telecommunications to properly regulate the issues. Unless there are trained people from these aspects, the regulator would not be in a position to properly regulate anything. People who knows IT / telecommunications should be there rather than some Management gurus who doesn’t have the knowledge or experience of IT and telecommunications. It should be more of a technical management than any other type of management.

Objective 4.2: Increase infrastructure competition

Action 4.2.3: Assign certain frequency bands as license free bands and allow installation of infrastructure for individual and scientific / experimental purposes.

- Assign the entire FCC assigned license free ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) and Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (UNII) bands as license free bands and allow them to operate as per FCC regulations with power outputs and spectrum usage.

- Assign the Military whatever frequencies they require and keep the scope to move the existing operators in these frequencies to another unallocated frequency block depending on the requirements. Everywhere else the Military is on top of the priority list and gets what ever they want before any others get a chunk of the spectrum. They should be given priority, as they are our protectors.

Even though the following action under the following objective was there in the policy of 2000-2005 for the management of the Internet domain names of the Maldives, the action has not been taken to this date and it was not even mentioned in the policy of 2006-2010.

Objective 4.2: Make available resources required for the telecommunication operators.

Action 4.2.5: Assign the Regulator with the function of registration and management of the Internet domain names of the Maldives.

The .mv domains or the Top Level Domain (TLD) for the Internet domain names of the Maldives is still under Dhiraagu which is just one of the operators.

The .mv is also believed to be the most expensive TLD which costs around USD 93.39 / year with .tv next to it with USD 34.95 / year. This could be one reason why most of the people wouldn’t want to go for a .mv domain.

The Regulator could take a small fee such as USD 0.25 / domain to maintain the list of domains as ICAAN does for most of the TLD’s and let the Operators, ISP’s and other registered / accredited Domain & Hosting companies to play the role of registration and management of the Internet domain names of the Maldives.

Objective 5.1: Increase awareness of telecommunications and ICT

ICT seminars should also be added to Action 5.1.3

Also another point should be added to encourage to form local ICT groups and to support them to conduct various ICT programs to create awareness among the public.

I welcome comments to my article as well as comments to the Telecom Policy 2006-2010.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Digitalsquid is back!

This is just to inform to any reader that we are back and we will be doing our best to bring u the latest news and updates on issues which we find interesting in the IT/Telecom sector in Maldives.
Due to some problems (a.k.a "being busy" and "lazy"), we have not been able to update the blog and have recieved numerous complains from poeple.. hehehe.. so thats abt it, we r back and hope u like what we have to say, if not, just have a say and make a comment or even send a mail .. Or even if you wanna be part of it, you are more than welcome to join us.
Also, this time around, we are planning to look at the media/multimedia sector in Maldives as well as much as we can.
And again to make things clear to anyone who is interested in reading these... we are NOT against ANY person, or company or whatsoever... we are just a coupla poeple who wants things to change for the better in Maldives ( in our related fields that is ) .... we arent writing stuff anonymously... we just want poeple to know the issues and everyone has the right to know whats effecting them , dont they .
so cheers and have a nice day
note: now www.digitalsquid.org will be working as well.. so no need to use http://digitalsquid.blogspot.com everytime ...

The People of Baa Atoll are lying - Wataniya

On February 16, 2006 TAM Calls for feedback on Wataniya Coverage and to complement this work, TAM was collecting information on the coverage and quality of Wataniya’s mobile service. The information was collected via a 24 hour recording hotline, the telephone number of which is 3322 050.

People from a number of islands have called into the hotline to give their feedback, the bulk of which relates to coverage issues or “Range Problems” as they are commonly referred to as.

Details of Complain Calls to TAM Hotline

Due to numerous complaints received from customers, during the feedback programme, TAM requested Wataniya to investigate the matter.

As a result, Wataniya conducted the following study on Baa Atoll to check the voice and GPRS signal coverage and quality. According to Wataniya, these tests covered voice and GPRS samples in islands of Baa Atoll.

Complaint Investigation Report on Baa Atoll by Wataniya

Wataniya's Report clearly says that out of the 9 complaints from the 9 islands, 8 are faulty complaints meaning that the People of Baa Atoll are lying. This is one of the greatest joke I ever heard. One day Wataniya's lie detectors will claim that the whole Maldives is lying.

Disclaimer: Some images and logos that are listed here, and which are contained are owned by their respective owners. we do not claim ownership of such images and logos.