Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo in a statement on Thursday, urged Telekom Malaysia (TM) to resolve issues faced by Streamyx customers, in a report by The Star. Special attention should be given to complaints by Streamyx customers on the lack of high-speed Internet connectivity and the high cost of access, he said.
Following a series of discussions with TM, Gobind said a number of solutions have been proposed. He added that TM should come up with an immediate decision on the matter and make an announcement detailing relevant strategies to tackle the Streamyx issue.
The minister said he is confident that TM, under the new leadership of chief executive officer and managing director Datuk Noor Kamarul Anuar Nuruddin, will be able to resolve the issues faced by Streamyx customers. He requested that TM present a report on the Streamyx issue to him within a month.
TM issued an official statement on the matter:
We have met with YB Minister and are fully committed to resolving this issue. We will be submitting the proposal within the month and will make an announcement in due course. Meanwhile we will continue to explore various fit-for-purpose technologies as well as optimising existing industry mechanisms in order to deliver a better broadband experience nationwide.
In a recent interview, TM’s new CEO shared that TM will explore all mediums to extend increase coverage including both wireless and wired connectivity options.
The disparity in speed and costs between copper-based Streamyx and fibre broadband customers has been the bane of frustration for Streamyx customers.
Based on 2018 data, there are approximately 1.27 million Streamyx customers in Malaysia. Around 340,000 of these customers are within unifi coverage and thus eligible for a no-cost upgrade to unifi. To date, around 266,000 Streamyx customers have moved up to unifi.
Streamyx packages are priced from MYR110 per month for 1Mbps to MY160 per month for 8Mbps. That sounds ridiculous when you compare to what unifi customers are paying for: starting from MYR79 per month for 30Mbps with a 60GB data cap; up to 1Gbps. In July last year, TM announced new unifi plans, raising the bar in terms of raw speed to up to 800Mbps, as well as pushing down the barrier of entry to just MYR79 per month.
As an alternative, customers can opt for unifi Wireless Broadband, which offers hassle-free, installation-free broadband over LTE. TM’s unifi mobile 4G LTE network coverage currently hovers around 77 percent of the household population in urban and rural areas, while a RAN sharing agreement with Celcom pushes 3G services coverage to 90 percent.
A potential solution is TM’s own pre-5G infrastructure via Time Division Duplex (TDD) technology that was piloted at SetiaWalk Puchong in March.
Another possible solution lies in the hands of a competitor—YTL Communications (“Yes”). The telco’s YesGigawire technology is a promising solution that delivers gigabit connectivity over existing copper infrastructure. The technology has been trialed in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Genting with encouraging results. In tests, Giga Wire can achieve download speeds of up to 867Mbps. Giga Wire deployment can use fibre as a backhaul or where it isn’t possible—Terragraph.
Header photo: KKMM