Telekom Malaysia’s (“TM”) Streamyx customers have long felt left in the dark with comparatively pricey monthly dues and backward internet broadband speeds. While some lucky 266,000 Streamyx customers have moved up to unifi, a large fraction of approximately 1.27 million Streamyx customers still have not. But TM may have something up their sleeve.
A leaked internal company presentation slide posted by Amanz.my, revealed that TM may be proposing something called unifi Air—a wireless solution that offers fibre-like connectivity in areas without fibre broadband infrastructure—a possible solution for the long-standing Streamyx problem.
Unifi Air works through cellular 4G LTE connectivity on the 2.3GHz band. It offers installation-free, hassle-free usage, via a Huawei B618-65D LTE wireless router. The solution promises speeds that are even faster than “mobile phone connectivity” and will allow up to 64 devices to connect to it simultaneously.
The proposed plan will cost users MYR79 per month based on a 24-month contract and will offer unlimited quota. There’s no upfront payment and users will not have to pay for the LTE device. Customers will get one month free waiver for the service and there’s a 30-day cooling off period based on the activation date. It comes with a SIM that’s locked to the router.
The solution looks similar to unifi’s existing unifi Wireless Broadband solution that also offers “fibre-like speeds” for MYR79 per month. However, there’s a 60GB quota. The plan also requires you to purchase the wireless router separately.
It’s unclear if unifi Air will replace the current unifi Wireless Broadband offering seeing that there’s plenty of overlap in terms of features. Comparing point-for-point, there’s no reason why TM would want to retain the current package though.
TM’s unifi mobile 4G LTE network coverage currently stands around 77 percent of the household population in urban and rural areas. For 3G coverage, a RAN sharing agreement Celcom provides up to 90 percent.
Another potential solution for Streamyx users is TM’s own pre-5G solution via Time Division Duplex (TDD) technology that the company piloted at SetiaWalk Puchong in March.
Streamyx customers may also have an alternative—YTL Communications’ (“Yes”) YesGigawire technology. It’s 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—up to 867Mbps download speeds. Giga Wire technology can use fibre as a back haul or even use YTL’s Terragraph, a Facebook networking solution.
Last month, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Sing Deo gave TM one month to resolve issues faced by Streamyx customers. Following a series of discussions with the minister, there are several solutions being considered. In a recent interview, TM’s new CEO Datuk Noor Kamarul Anuar Nuruddin shared that the company will explore all mediums to extend coverage including both wireless and wired connectivity options.
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