Maxis First to Launch 4G LTE to Malaysian Customers

Maxis 4G LTE
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Maxis 4G LTE
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Maxis 4G LTE. Image credit: Maxis

Maxis is starts off the new year with a bang, announcing the launch of its 4G LTE service on 1 January 2013 – the first Malaysian telco to successfully launch the “true” 4G network. Available in selected areas, customers will enjoy wireless speeds of up to 75Mbps, with typical speeds of 10 to 30Mbps. More sites will be activated soon.

Early last month, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) announced the allocation of the 2600Mhz spectrum band, paving the way for mobile broadband access speeds of up to 100Mbps, as specified by the ITU as “4G”.

Maxis is one of eight companies allocated with the 2600Mhz spectrum band along with Celcom Axiata Bhd, DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Packet One Networks (M) Sdn Bhd, Puncak Semangat Sdn Bhd, REDtone Marketing Sdn Bhd, U Mobile Sdn Bhd  and YTL Communications Sdn Bhd.

Aside from new player Puncak Semangat who received the bulk of the 2600Mhz spectrum (with 40Mhz), the rest received 20Mhz each.

Maxis was the first telco to run and complete extensive 4G LTE field trials. The company has been running 4G LTE trials for 2 years and conducting extensive 4G LTE interworking tests in a live network environment.

Long Term Evolution (LTE) is one of three rival technologies specified by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as 4th generation or “4G”. Typical 4G speeds are 5-10 times faster than 3G. Current networks locally are HSPA+ dual carrier-based, and up to 42Mbps.

So how fast is fast? With 3G, a 750MB download would take 50 minutes. On the other hand, with 4G LTE, download the same sized file in just 5 minutes.
New Maxis 4G LTE modem
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New Maxis 4G LTE modem. Image source: Maxis

Maxis 4G LTE service is now available in selected parts of the Klang Valley including Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Damansara Utama, Desa Sri Hartamas, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Bandar Sunway and Cyberjaya. Customers who wish to experience next generation wireless data speeds with 4G LTE can walk in to Maxis Centres in KLCC and Taman Tun Dr Ismail during normal operating hours to sign up for the service. Customers can subscribe to any of the monthly Wireless Broadband packages from RM88.

For now, the service is available for Maxis’ own wireless broadband devices. Expect smartphones and tablets to support this new standard soon. Note: iPhone 5 users (LTE version) will not be able to use the new 4G LTE service due to incompatible spectrum band. The iPhone 5 uses the 1800Mhz spectrum band, available in certain countries, and not the 2600Mhz spectrum as allocated to local telcos.
This however will be changing once the MCMC approves the 1800Mhz for local usage. No official timeline has been announced for this.
It’s a major milestone that the long-awaited 4G LTE service is finally available in Malaysia and it’s a great kick-off for Maxis, and for Malaysians to the new year.
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