After almost 3 years of waiting, WiMAX operator Yes 4G has finally arrived in Sabah. During the official launch, its Executive Director Yeoh Soo Keng has mentioned that Yes 4G network has covered 60% of populated areas in Sabah and they aim to extend this further to 80% by year end. A quick check on their coverage map reveals that most major towns in Sabah including the interior ones have coverage.
Apart from Kota Kinabalu, Tawau and Sandakan, Yes 4G has coverage at Kudat, Ranau, Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Papar, Beaufort, Kuala Penyu, Sipitang, Keningau, Tambunan, Lahad Datu and Semporna. In addition, the duty free island of Federal Territory Labuan is covered as well. If you plan on uploading a resolution video of your climb at Mount Kinabalu, unfortunately the National Park isn’t covered by Yes 4G yet. Who knows they would extend their coverage to the highest peak of Malaysia later on.
At the moment, they have 5 retail outlets at shopping malls in Kota Kinabalu. Unlike other operators that roll out services in phases, Yes 4G has emulate their same strategy of building a wide coverage network first before starting their service commercially in Sabah.
You can check out some maps of Yes 4G’s Sabah coverage areas after the break.
It has been speculated for quite a while that Green Packet is selling a major stake of its P1 WiMAX business. Now Reuters has reported that the deal is more or less finalised and Green Packet will be announcing the successful buyer by the end of this month.
Its Managing Director and CEO, CC Puan is expected to make an announcement on the deal in the coming weeks. So far, it has been speculated that DiGi, TM and YTL are in talks in acquire a controlling stake of P1 for its wireless spectrum. Among the 3, YTL is the only provider with an active WiMAX service running under its Yes brand while DiGi has started its 4G LTE service in mid 2013. TM is said to be planning to roll out LTE services by this month.
P1 is currently allocated 30MHz in the 2.3GHz WiMAX band and 20MHz of the 2.6GHz 4G LTE spectrum. Such spectrum is very limited and is very valuable for other players that aims to grab a foothold in wireless game.
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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.
Yes has recently launched a new device in a form of a Samsung Chromebook which comes with built-in 4G WiMAX connectivity. Running on Chrome OS, the Samsung Chromebook is powered by a dual-core Exynos 5 processor with a 11.6″ display that does 1366×768 pixels resolution. Weighing just slightly over a kilogram, the Chromebook boasts a battery life of 6.5 hours. In terms of storage, it gets a SSD storage of 16GB with complimentary 100GB Google Drive cloud storage for 2 years.
The Samsung Chromebook is priced at RM1,299 outright with RM100 Yes Credit. Alternatively, it can be yours from as low as RM988 with 24 months contract of Yes 88 Plan that offers 3.5GB at RM88/month. However there’s an upfront advance payment of RM311 required, which means you would need to prepare RM1,299 at the time of purchase.
The idea of having a 4G connected laptop isn’t entirely new in Malaysia. P1 has offered WiMAX embedded laptops and netbooks 3 years ago without much success. The biggest challenge back then was mobile coverage and pricing which was a premium over the standard non-WiMAX offering. As far as mobile connectivity is concerned, Yes WiMAX network is capable of seamless connection while on the move and it all boils down to the appeal of Chromebook’s cloud based OS. Being heavily reliant on internet connectivity, it is different from the usual Mac/Windows laptops experience.
For more information, head over to Yes’s 4G Chromebook page.
Watch the Samsung 4G Chromebook promo video after the break.
Yes has introduced a new time limited promo ValuePacks where it offers double the quota that’s split based on off-peak and on-peak usage. This follows the exact same time slot as Maxis Broadband with peak data running from 8AM until 2AM and off-peak data from 2AM until 8AM. The special promo ValuePacks are offered from now until 2nd August 2013. The existing 1Malaysia Valuepack, ValuePack 68 & 150 are still being offered as well.
Apart from introducing these new ValuePacks, Yes has also made a drastic change on its unused data quota, calls and SMS. Previously, the Yes ValuePack allows you to carry forward unused usage to the following month as long as you top up before the expiry period which makes it rather appealing.
After 1st August, any accumulated data, calls and SMS will be automatically forfeited after 30 days even after topping up with a new ValuePack. For existing customers, you have 90 days grace period to utilise your accumulated data. Now the valuepacks are merely data quota boosters that last for 30 days. You can get the full valuepack details here.
For those who don’t really use much, Yes has also revised its Prepaid Plan. In the previous Yes plan, you would need to commit a minimum of RM30/month spending to keep your account valid. Now with the new “Yes Prepaid Plan”, there’s no longer a RM30 minimum monthly spend. This means you truly pay for what you use without spending a minimum RM30 each month.
To sweeten the deal, they are giving quarterly Bonus where they give additional data based on your quarterly top up. The quarter bonus are as follows:
RM75-RM150 (1GB – 500MB off peak / 500MB on peak)
RM151-RM450 (3GB – 1.5GB off peak / 1.5GB on peak)
RM451 and above (6GB – 3GB off peak / 3GB on peak)
Fortunately the free data does not expire and it is given out in January, April, July and October. More details of the new “Yes Prepaid Plan” over here.
Overall, the new revision is good for very casual users who would want to keep Yes as a backup internet service since there’s no RM30/month minimum spend. However for long term valuepack users, the new 30 day expiry is quite a turn off. For those who can’t finish their monthly valuepack top up should consider disabling auto renewal and activate valuepack only when it is needed.
UPDATE: It has been brought to our attention that the 1Malaysia Valuepack comes with hidden restrictions (Read FAQ #10). Valuepack generally allows unused bundled calls/sms/data to be carry forward but the same benefits do not apply for 1Malaysia valuepack. If you are using the previous Valuepack 68/150, you would need to top up with a minimum of Valuepack 68 or else you will lose all your accumulated talktime, SMS and data. This is a tricky situation which some of our readers are caught off guard. Thanks Leongwhg for highlighting.
Yes now adds a new 1Malaysia valuepack into its prepaid broadband offering that offers 1GB of data for just RM25/month. This is seen as a low entry monthly commitment option that compliments the current Valuepack 68 which offers 3.5GB for RM68 and Valuepack 150 with 10GB for RM150.
While it seen as RM5 cheaper than the standard pay as you go Yes prepaid rates of RM30 for 1GB (3 sen per MB), the
valuepack comes with its own advantage such as the ability to bring forward unused data to the following month. For example if you only used 500MB this month, the following month you will have a total of 1.5GB provided that you top up before the expiry of the valuepack. In addition, Yes is bundling free 100 minutes of voicecall and 300 SMS but that’s only limited to numbers within the Yes network.
For those who are on existing valuepack, this 1Malaysia valuepack is the cheapest way to keep your accumulated data and calls validity active. For more information, head over to Yes Valuepack page.
The new model comes with a smaller footprint and it is almost half the weight of its predecessor. In terms of specs which we’ve obtained from InfoMark, the Huddle XS has less battery capacity but boasts a longer life of up to 6 hours. The only disadvantage of the Huddle XS is the lack of removable battery.
For existing or those intending to subscribe to Yes on prepaid, the Huddle XS is priced at RM480 outright. It is also offered as low as RM80 if you purchased it with 24 months contract of Yes Unlimited Super Postpaid plans.
For more information of the new Huddle XS, head over to Yes Huddle XS page.
Yes today has finally launched its long awaited 4G Android smart phone that comes with dual-mode (4G WiMAX/3G SIM) capabilities. It retails for RM1,688 outright and comes bundled with 3 plan options of 3 plans on offer at RM88, RM138 & RM238 monthly.
The eclipse can be yours for free with 24 months bundling of eclipse 238 plan that comes with 7GB of data, free calls/SMS within Yes network and 1000 free SMS/minutes of voice calls. Interesting to note that they are offering the new slim Huddle XS 4G hotspot for RM400 with the bundled offer. The huddle XS is going for RM480 outright or RM80 when bundled with 24 months contract of Yes Postpaid plan. More details of the huddle XS here.
In terms of specs, it runs on a single core 1GHz Qualcomm processor with 512MB RAM and 2GB of ROM. Over at the front you get a 4.1″ WVGA display with a front facing VGA camera. At the back it comes with a 5MP camera with assisted LED flash and it is powered with a 1,500mAh battery. The eclipse runs on a rather dated Android 2.2 Froyo. In addition to your standard Android features, the eclipse can support 4 way video calls and 6 way audio calls over Yes’s 4G network. Being a dual-mode device, you can stay connected or make calls via your regular 3G SIM where Yes’s 4G network is out of reach.
More info on the Yes Eclipse here.
Head after the break for the introductory video of the Yes Eclipse phone.
Update: Picture of the actual device right after the jump. @jnoathan who contributed the picture also mentioned that the device will be called the Huddle XS. Also, @dieselelectric highlighted something we forgot to mention earlier — unlike the original Huddle, the Huddle XS features non-removable battery. Thanks guys! More details of the Huddle XS here.
In addition to the launch of its very own 4G Android smartphone, Yes is also working on a new version of its Huddle 4G mobile WiFi router and while we’ve heard about this a number of times since last year, there has not been any solid information about the device. That is, until now.
In the treasure trove of geekdom that is the LowYat.Net forums, we found very detailed albeit not officially confirmed information about the new Yes Huddle.
Like the old Huddle, the new Huddle is an off-the-shelve solution by Korean manufacturer Infomark and it’s the device you see pictured above. Overall, the new Huddle will be thinner and have a smaller footprint than the original but the device is said to have a longer battery lifespan – 7.8 hours claimed compared to the 5 hours in the original Huddle. The new Huddle is also thinner at 12.5mm compared to 18mm in the original. As far as we know, there won’t be any colour options, the new Huddle will only be offered in white.
The new Huddle also features an improved operation status indicator with three separate LEDs in charge of displaying power, WiMAX and WiFi status indicators making the power and wireless status levels easier to read at a glance. Although we would prefer a proper screen that can display information in more detail.
In terms of pricing, a source in the LowYat.Net forums said that it will retail for RM480 and is likely to be offered for free with a 24 months contract. Launch detail has not been revealed yet but it looks like it will happen soon if not at the same time as the Eclipse launch.
The Huddle is one of our favourite mobile router because of its long lasting battery and the consistent high-speed performance offered by the Yes 4G network. The new Huddle improves on all the critical aspects of the old Huddle and is set to be another popular device from Yes. However we would like to see Yes offer a special upgrade scheme for existing or long-standing customer to incentivise them to purchase the new device. Hopefully they’ve thought about that already.
UPDATE 2: Yes Eclipse 4G Smart Phone launched at RM1,688. Read more about it here.
UPDATE 1: Unconfirmed pricing of the Eclipse is RM1,680 outright. The phone is said to be offered for free with a 24-months contract. Monthly pricing for this plan is not yet known. If the pricing is indeed true, the Eclipse is way overpriced for its specification considering that you can get a current dual-core Android for the same amount of money or even less. The Eclipse is looking to be a device that will easily Eclipsed by its peers.
According to the dealer that posted, the device will be running on a single core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 processor, 512MB of RAM and 2GB of built-in storage. The screen is 4.1″ TFT that does a respectable resolution of 800×480. There’s a 5MP camera at the back with LED and a front facing VGA camera for video calls. Speaking of video calls, it was mentioned that the phone can make a 4 way video call simultaneously. In terms of dimensions, it is 12.9mm thick and weighs about 135 grams.
Yes is expected to offer bundling package like the other devices previously. More pricing and details shall be revealed this Wednesday.
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