Mobinil, one of the 3 mobile phone networks in Egypt, owned by the same owner of Link dot NET, one of the leading ISPs in Egypt as well have come with a WiFi service for cafes, just like other ISPs provide.

When I’m in a cafe, I just use the Internet connection that the cafe provides via their ISP WiFi, and that’s it. I do NOT have to pay extra money for the Internet service. I do NOT have to register my Email and mobile phone number anywhere. I do NOT have to buy scratchy charge/balance cards like those for mobile phone credit. This is how it has been for years.

Mobinil screwed that all.

To get to the Internet in cafe, you have to do this the first time you connect:

  • Register your Email and mobile phone number
    • Refresh the page (clearly hosted by Link dot NET) if you get this exception
      mobinil2
      I’ll not get into the details of how horrible  is getting much detail of an exception. It’s not the first time.
  • Wait for the activation code to come (As SMS to your mobile phone, because you have no email, as you have no Internet yet)
    • MY friend did not get his activation code, in this case you call the customer service land line number to get the code.
  • Activate the service using the code, and then sign in to the service page (although you have just activated your account, they don’t know who you are).
  • Use a promotional free 2-hours card to access the Internet (clearly for only 2 hours).

Every time you want to connect to the Internet from a cafe, you have to:

  • Buy a card similar to the ugly scratchy cards you buy for you mobile phone credit
    • The packages available are:
      • 2 hours for 10 EGP
      • 10 hours for 50 EGP
      • 130 hours for 150 EGP
  • Sign in to the service
  • Enter not only the PIN code hidden under the scratch here part, but also a card serial number that’s even very hard to see.
    • I could not see the serial number for how small it is. My friend read it for me.
    • Here’s how the card looks like. The blue rectangle is the PIN code and the green rectangle is the serial number.
      cardBack - Copy
  • Use the Internet finally with the amount of hours you paid for. In my experience, the speed looked like 256Kb or 384Kb max, but maybe this is different from cafe to another or whatever.

For everybody who reads this, is this normal ? Is it a very popular style in so many countries ? I used to go to a respectable cafe paying certain amount of money for my coffee to get extra customer services. Not only that they get me AC and will not kick me out as soon as I finish the coffee, but also that I can get my FREE Internet.

Clearly Mobinil is able to replace other ISPs for cafe Internet, and has already acquired the big name cafes that I know. This is too bad.

 

I want my FREE cafe Internet back!! It has been there for years, and there’s no reason I have to let it go now.

 

Hopefully the other Internet providers will recover this somehow, otherwise, there should be sort of strong petition or stopping going to cafes with this service or such.

 

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  • http://www.ahmed-essam.com Ahmed Essam

    Peace be upon you Mohamed

    Look,First it is all about Egypt Security as far as I read about this issue before in some blogs

    http://misrdigital.blogspirit.com/archive/2008/06/09/كارت-الإنترنت-الشقي-من-أمن-الدولة-للإتصالات.html

    So I think it is clear now, why you have to enter all of this data, although remember that there is people that put same password in everything they use on the internet this will let such people to know some information about you, password style for example

  • http://

    Some places here in the US do this. StarBucks is one. Most airports, don’t offer free Wifi even in the cafés. Smaller airports offer free Wifi. I normally do not have any problems finding free Internet here though. I’d miss the free Wifi in Cairo as well. That was my only reason for going to Cilantro.

  • http://

    There is no such thing as Free on Earth!
    Except for Air, you should pay for anything you use
    why should any internet company subsidize big Restaurants/Cafe chains?
    it just doesn’t make sense
    can you give me one reason?

  • http://weblogs.asp.net/meligy Mohamed Meligy

    Value-add to the services provided in those cafes. That’s how it used to be for years :).
    I mentioned this in the post already if you kindly check again.

  • http://

    This was fast man :) (chapeau)
    I agree with you in a way (your solution is still considered paid as F&B margins can cover it) but then you should redirect your request to Cafes
    they can offer it for free if they want, it’s quiet cheap compared to their revenues from food and baverage

  • http://

    Well it depend on the reason they did this new solution!!

    as we know you are required to register and recive your activation on your mobile (which is VERY Weird) so he is what’s happening:

    They are tracking all the users on the INTERNET coffee or any coffee shop you enter.

    They do Violate your right!

    Human Rights Press:
    http://www.anhri.net/press/2008/pr0809.shtml

    Los Angeles Times:
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2008/08/egypt-new-warni.html

    Egypt Daily News:
    http://dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=15683

  • http://justice4every1.blogspot.com/2008/08/mobinils-invasion-of-cafes.html Sherif Abdel Aziz

    Profiling is one thing Mobinil is doing …and also controlling the market , they are moving towards having deals with all coffee shops in egypt, now where is the competition ? what kind of service they will offer if they own it all ?

    It used to be free , and it got all cafes running and going, we don’t need another dinasour controlling the internet market again..Egypt is this one country that one company in any type of buisess can manipulate the entire market. be it internet, mobile phone services, food, etc…in a country with no rules…we have to stop big companies from eating us alive and controlling the market one way or another

  • http://

    haha….when i was in Turkey, i was bugged because all WIFI access was only through pay cards…I was like “if i was in Egypt now i would have been sitting in Second Cup streaming and downloading for FREE!!” and then i came to find Mobinil WIFItook over my favorite cafes ….even Cilantro :(

  • http://www.karenscoffee.com/ mohamed

    go to karens

  • Genoamonda

    iwont call free mobinil