Yes is Malaysia’s fifth telco to launch 4G LTE and they are about to reveal their full plans at the end of the month. Ahead of its official roll out, owners of the new Samsung Galaxy J (2016) series (J1, J5 and J7) are able to try out their network with the bundled prepaid SIM.
I have been using the SIM for a week and here are my findings so far.
Lets start with the technical bits. In Malaysia, most telcos including Celcom, Maxis, Digi and U Mobile are operating on FDD-LTE (Frequency Division Duplex) at 1800MHz (Band 3) and 2600MHz (Band 7). For TM’s new Webe service, they are running on 850MHz (Band 5), which is why they are called “850 by Webe“.
So what’s the deal with these different bands? The higher the frequency (e.g. 2300MHz/2600MHz) offers higher capacity but it isn’t as good for penetrating walls and buildings. Lower frequency (e.g. 700MHz, 850MHz) is great for wider reach especially in rural areas but the disadvantage is lower capacity.
For Yes, they are running on TDD-LTE (Time Division Duplex) at 2300MHz (Band 40) and 2600MHz (Band 38) that’s great for high density areas. If you’re unfamiliar, TDD-LTE isn’t entirely new and it is widely deployed in China and also in India. Most global phones from Samsung, Apple, Huawei and Xiaomi are already supporting dual-band LTE.
When it comes to voice calls, most 4G telcos still rely on the old school 2G/3G network. If you noticed, 4G LTE is used only for data and you’ll be switched to 3G automatically whenever a call comes in. Unlike the rest, Yes runs purely on 4G and voice calls are delivered via VoLTE (Voice over LTE). As a result, calls are connected faster and the quality is noticeably clearer. That also means that you would need a phone that supports both TD-LTE and VoLTE which are getting pretty common these days.
You can hear it for yourself in our VoLTE test.