As companies are rushing to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act 2010, TM has announced that it will be discontinuing its 103 Directory Assistance service this Sunday, 16th February 2014. The service will be discontinued only for TM Residential customers and TM business customers will not be affected.
In case you’re wondering, TM’s 103 hotline is being managed by the Directory Service Centres located at Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and Kuching which has access to a database of fixed line phone numbers. When you call them up, they can provide the registered fixed line phone numbers simply by providing the person’s full name and location. If required, they can help to transfer you to the desired number at the end of the call. It is charged at RM0.30/call for TM fixed line users while mobile users will be charged more at RM2/call.
This is probably seen as an easy way to mine phone numbers which is why the service is coming to an end. TM will also cease to produce white pages as well. Hopefully we should be getting fewer unwanted tele-marketing calls after this.
While Najib is proud of cheap kangkung the rest of you may be more interested to know that apparently Malaysia has the most affordable internet in the world (or at least among emerging and developing countries).
This may be harder to swallow than a bunch of uncooked water spinach to some but in the Affordability Report 2013, an independent study done by the Alliance for Affordable Internet, Malaysia tops the list among 46 emerging and developing countries including China, Brazil, Turkey and Hungary in terms of affordable internet.
Published on December 8, last year, the report presents an ‘Affordability Index’, which ranks nations across communications infrastructure and access and affordability indicators fundamental to achieving affordable Internet. The study also explores key barriers to affordable internet.
While many Malaysians lament that internet in Malaysia is still expensive compared to developed countries like Singapore and Korea, the study finds that Malaysia is on the right track noting that Government initiatives such as Public-Private Partnerships to expand broadband infrastructure and making basic internet access and equipment affordable for the low-income bracket through subsidies are bearing fruit. According to MCMC, four out of five Malaysians now have access to 3G.
This is a stark contrast to developing countries where people are living on less than US$2/day. In these countries, the report noted, entry-level broadband costs an average of 40% of monthly income and most cases basic internet exceeds 80% or 100%. As a result, billions cannot afford to get online, entrenching the digital divide and constraining economic and social progress.
Sonia Jorge, executive director of A4AI commented:
“Countries such as Malaysia, Brazil or Morocco, which top our Affordability Index, show how rapid progress can be made when innovative technologies are twinned with an enabling, forward-looking policy and regulatory environment which stimulates supply as well as demand. A4AI is committed to working hand-in-hand with countries to help drive down the cost of broadband.”
So what do you think? Feeling the good vibe? Internet in Malaysia may not be as cheap as some might like but it is certainly affordable and readily available compared to many countries even the developing ones. At the very least speeds have increased while prices have remained fairly constant and it’s certainly good that most local operators are not as restrictive with data quotas and usages as they can be. Let’s hope some things remain the same while other continue to improve
You can download the full report here.
For those needing more speed in the workplace, TM has introduced a 100Mbps UniFi package for businesses. The 100Mbps subscription is offered at RM1,599/month but as an early bird promotion, they are offering it at RM1,399/month.
In terms of speed, BIZ 100 offers 100Mbps download and 50Mbps upload and by default it comes with dynamic IP. Fixed IP is available as an add-on at RM200/month. The package also includes RM100 worth of voice calls and 10GB of web hosting.
For residential users, there’s a way to get 100Mbps for less with Time’s 100Mbps broadband at RM179/month. Of course it is subject to service availability which is rather limited compared to TM’s HSBB network.
For more info, head over to TM’s UniFi Biz page.
UPDATE: TM partners with Green Packet, P1 & SK Telekom to expedite roll out of LTE services. More details here.
After much speculation, TM has finally revealed that it is indeed planning to launch 4G LTE services in a bid to grow and protect its data services business.
In an interview with The Star, TM’s group CEO, Tan Sri Zam Isa explained that the company will be exploring wireless technologies for the expansion its wireless broadband services in underserved areas.
However it is not clear if the country’s largest telephony and broadband provider will expand its business into the mobile space or if it will use LTE to provide broadband services to areas too expensive to serve with fibre or copper. It’s likely that TM is keeping its options open but expect the company to start with a nomadic service when it kicks off its LTE service.
Commercial service is expected to start in February 2014 and the company targets to have 100,000 users on its LTE network within 2014 and more than one million LTE subscribers by 2017.
TM is no stranger when it comes to wireless networks. Currently, it uses CDMA technology to provide broadband and telephony services in areas where it is not feasible to provide connectivity via copper or fibre but the number of subscribers who are on TM’s CDMA network is low compared to GSM mobile operators. On top of that, LTE is a whole new ballgame for TM and it will be coming into the field as the underdog with everything to prove.
Assuming the February 2014 timeline is solid, 1 million subscribers within 3 years is an ambitious projection and a challenging one as well because TM will have to compete against strong incumbents like Maxis and Celcom.
It’s going to be tough but TM is familiar with massive challenges. It’s UniFi project is internationally recognised as one of the fastest and largest HSBB rollout in the world. From infrastructure to service, the project was completed in just 18 months.
2014 is going to be interesting for broadband in Malaysia. It’s going to be interesting to see if TM can repeat the success of UniFi. It’s not going to be easy. With UniFi, TM didn’t have competitors to worry about, the company’s foray into LTE will arguably be more challenging. TM has to build a wireless network from scratch and at the same time compete with established competitors in a very crowded market. Can TM do it? Share your thoughts.
Naturally most users will compare P1 Fiber service directly with the other HSBB players such as Unifi and Maxis. Although they looked the same there’s a big difference in terms of bundled extras such as voice calls, IPTV, add-on broadband and etc. Click on the table above to view the comparison.
In terms of all round solution, TM has a well balanced offering with unlimited calls to TM’s wide network of nationwide fixed lines and HyppTV IPTV service. For those who are already a Maxis subscribers and make more phone calls to Maxis numbers and overseas, their Home Broadband solution seems to more inticing with its generous bundling of voice calls including IDD and mobile. For P1, the key differentiation would be the 1Mbps mobile broadband with dedicated 3GB of quota. Despite having the “OnePlan” naming, the mobile broadband doesn’t share the home broadband quota.
All 3 come with 24 months contract and charges RM200 for installation. Currently TM and Maxis are waiving the installation charges. In terms of Fair Use Policy (FUP) enforcement, both TM & Maxis have yet to impose them which means it is still unlimited download for now.
P1’s Fiber service is expected to be launched this week and they are likely to offer introductory promotions to entice new subscribers. All P1 Fiber details above are derived from yesterday’s discovery. To stay competitive, P1 might just offer installation waiver and unlimited quota for a limited time.
UPDATE: Paul Tan also pointed out that if you’re looking for a fixed IP connection on the cheap. Maxis offers fixed IP across all it’s business FTTH packages even the entry-level 4Mbps RM188/month plan. UniFi on the other hand, does not offer fixed IP for its cheapest BIZ5 RM199/month plan.
If you’re looking for a fibre broadband connection, there are alternatives to TM’s UniFi. There’s Time Fibre which offers FTTH service, but its limited service locations means its not really a feasible alternative for the masses. Then there’s Maxis FTTH which offers a low entry point for those looking at a cheap and reliable FTTH broadband solution.
But so far, the alternatives has been mostly focused on consumer plans, now Maxis has upped the ante with a range of FTTH packages catered for businesses with packages that nicely fills in the gaps of UniFi’s BIZ offerings. So let’s see how the Maxis plans stack up against the TM’s UniFi.
Where UniFi offers three packages — BIZ5 (RM199/month), BIZ10 (RM599/month) and BIZ20 (RM899/month), Maxis offers up four — 4Mbps (RM188/month), 8Mbps (RM388/month), 16Mbps (RM688/month) and 32Mbps (RM988).
Twitter has become a legitimate avenue for customers to be heard both by other consumers as well as brands that are vying for their affection. Also, increasingly, Twitter has become an additional channel for brands to effectively track and address customer issues.
The latest to join the bandwagon and use Twitter as a customer service channel is TM. The brand today launched @TMConnects, a specific channel to address TM-service related support and queries. In terms of social media, TM was slow off the starting blocks being one of the last amongst the telecommunications providers to come on the social media space, but as they say, better late than never.
Looks like things are indeed turning around at TM and we applaud the telecommunications juggernaut’s brave move to bring more depth in its engagement with its customers online. The decision to come on Twitter is by no means easy for Malaysia’s biggest telecommunications company. Pleasing millions of customers and getting the right message across with just 140 characters will be a challenge for the new customer support channel but it is off on the right foot by making clear some rules of engagement to establish the right framework in conversations with fellow Twitter followers.
At the end of the day, the proof is in eating the pudding. The @TMConnects now needs to show how timely. proactive and social it is in addressing customer issues. Good luck guys.
Follow @TMConnects here. So what do you think of TM’s move to have customer support on Twitter?
On a side note. Of late we’re been experiencing sporadic network performance with our UniFi account. A quick check on Twitter reveals that we’re not alone. Over the weekend, there was a spike (as far as we can observe) in the number of complaints and negative mentions about the performance of Streamyx and UniFi especially at night. We hope the TM techs are resolving the matter.
UPDATE: Updated Broadband Comparison with breakdown of Fixed, Mobile Broadband & Mobile Internet plans.
Our Malaysia Broadband Cost Comparison post is in dire need of an update since most broadband providers had revised/introduced new broadband plans. As demanded by you, we’ve updated the broadband comparison table as below:
Further breakdown with speed & excess charge by categories after the jump.
|Celcom, DiGi, Industry in General, Maxis, P1, Players on the Field, TM, TuneTalk, U Mobile, UniFi, Yes|
|Broadband Comparison, Broadband Price, Celcom, Celcom Broadband, Comparison, Malaysia, Malaysia Broadband, Malaysia Broadband Comparison, Malaysia Broadband Price, Malaysia Broadband Rates, Malaysia cost per GB, Malaysia Internet Rates, Maxis, Maxis Broadband, mobile broadband, P1 4G, P1 WiMAX, streamyx, TM, Tune Talk, U Mobile, U Mobile Broadband, Unifi, Yes|
Update: We’re gotten some response from both Maxis and TM PR with more information on their services. Maxis says that their Home Broadband is currently available in the following areas — Bangsar, Taman Tun Doktor Ismail and Bandar Utama.
TM tells us that one of the other value added service that they offer with UniFi is the Streamyx ZONE WiFi hotspot access. UniFi subscribers get free WiFi access at over 12,000 Streamyx ZONE WiFi hotspots nationwide albeit limited to 384kbps. We have a feeling not many UniFi subscribers are aware of this, so to find out what your Streamyx ZONE login ID is give UniFi a call at 1 300 88 1221. Also TM points out that currently it has yet to enforce data quotas for UniFi subscribers across the board. This explains why TM have subscribers who download terabytes of data on UniFi.
Maxis recently updated its HSBB service offering with three different plans where previously there was only one to choose from. This move makes Maxis a direct competitor to Malaysia’s premier HSBB provider, UniFi. This is good for the consumer because now there is more choice and more choice means better value as providers offer the best rates and services to vie for your attention.
On the surface this is the case but between the two, which provider offers the best value for money? We’ve assembled this comparison table for you to easily compare the offerings from TM and Maxis.
So how does the two fair? If it was us forking out the cash, which one would we choose?
UniFi celebrates it first year today with 60,000 customers subscriber to its fibre-based broadband service. In a press release issued today TM reports UniFi subscriber base has grown from a little over 30,000 at the end of 2010 to double that just before the end of the first quarter of 2011.
UniFi also celebrates its first year of service by being one of the faster fibre optics broadband networks in the world with over 60 exchange areas with close to 800,000 premises covered compared to a year ago where it launched its service in just four areas – Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail and Bangsar. TM expects to meet its 1.3 million premises covered by the end of 2012.
To celebrate UniFi’s first year success TM is offering FREE viewing of all 23 HyppTV premium channels from 24 March to 30 April 2011 to all our UniFi customers.
HyppTV currently offers 37 channels via UniFi residential packages. HyppTV’s 14 basic channels continue to be provided FREE-of-charge for all UniFi residential package subscribers. 23 PREMIUM channels are available for purchase on an ‘ala carte’ basis from as low as RM3 per-channel per-month whereas Video-on-Demand (VOD) starts from RM8 per title for all genres, including Hollywood, Malaysian, Asian and Bollywood. Popular Hollywood TV series are available from as low as RM48 per title (whole series) per season, viewable for an entire month. TM currently offers more than 1,000 hours of VOD anytime convenient to them.
As happy and satisfied UniFi customers we would like to wish UniFi happy first year.
Official press release from TM on UniFi’s first year after the jump.