Wireless Broadband using 3G / HSDPA has been quite a hit lately in the local broadband scene. In the past, Internet outside your home or office was pretty much your nearest Starbucks with WiFi hotspots. Now as long as you’re in 3G coverage, you can surf pretty much anywhere and anytime.
Gradually it began to be widely acceptable and is seen as the best alternative to the mainstream ADSL Broadband by Streamyx. However, there are some limitations to 3G/HSDPA Broadband which couldn’t make it a total replacement for Streamyx.
Firstly, most 3G / HSDPA are bounded by the dreadful Fair Usage Policy which limits usage where a power broadband user would likely to exceed. Maxis offers 3GB while U Mobile and Celcom offered 5GB. Obviously this allowance is peanuts for a user that would probably download a couple of movies, MP3s and streaming videos such as youtube.
When DiGi pre-launched its 3G Broadband service, they have even made a great start by offering 10GB which is the industry’s highest ever for a 3G. However after its first pre-launch attempt at Mutiara Damansara, DiGi must have gotten feedback that 10GB is not even enough to win customers over. After which they have bumped the quota to 50GB when they attempted their 2nd pre-launch promo at SS2, PJ.
For those who are seeking for true wireless broadband at home using 3G / HSDPA, one would need a 3G broadband plan with generous monthly data quota to match a power Streamyx user. In addition, those USB Modems aren’t doing any good if you plan to share the connection with your housemates or family members.
The UNLIMITED package
Somehow, somebody at Celcom had been thinking about this and they have came out with their Wireless Gateway package with Unlimited Data Quota. This is a bundled package where you’ll get a Huawei 3G HSDPA Wireless Router with unlimited 3.6Mbps data. However this bundled package would cost you RM299/month for a contract period of 18 months. To subscribe, an upfront payment of RM500 is required and the next subsequent subscription charges will be knocked off from this amount.
If RM299/month is too much to pay, which we believe it is a bomb to pay for a 3G HSDPA plan, there’s a lower package at RM139/month that is limited to 5GB a month. This is comparable with Maxis’s similiar broadband gateway offering that costs RM158/month. In terms of data quota, Maxis Broadband only offers 3GB per month as written in their Fair Usage Policy. With that comparison, Celcom’s offering is more attractive at RM19 less each month.
Wireless 3G Broadband now is unlimited by Celcom, but it depends whether it is worth RM299/month for a shared theoritical maximum 3.6Mbps connection. We believe RM299 is too much for wireless broadband.
Another close alternative P1’s Standard Office Plan that costs RM159/month for unlimited 1.2Mbps downlink / 500kbps uplink connection. Of course this only works if you’re area is under their WiMAX coverage.