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You probably might not realise it but the undersea cable fault that crippled our internet speeds last month has finally being fixed. TM has reported that restoration works have been completed, and international internet traffic between Asia and the US should be back to normal.
The problem had occurred right after Malaysia Day and many users had been complaining of incredibly slow speeds connecting to various international sites including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The faulty 20,000KM high bandwidth fibre optic cable not only affected Malaysia but other operators around the region that rely on AAG for international traffic. It was earlier estimated that the issue would be restored by 6th October this week.
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If you’re having a slow internet experience, it is not just you. An undersea cable had broke recently and this is causing a slow down for international web traffic between South East Asia and the US. Considering most of our online content comes from US sites, this would greatly impact majority of internet users in the Malaysia.
The issue had started since Tuesday night and TM has issued an announcement that customers will be facing degradation of internet service. TM has updated that repair plans are under way and it is targeted to be completed by 6th October, subject to weather and sea conditions. As this is an international link, the problem isn’t isolated just to TM or Malaysia but it affects internet users around region.
Yahoo! Singapore reports investment firm Kim Eng in Singapore has revealed that operators on the island republic are planning to reduce generous data caps, scrap the current unlimited data option in 3G packages, and roll out more usage-based plans in the future.
The report noted that the review comes after the ever-increasing adoption of instant messaging platforms and Voice over IP (VoIP) applications such as WhatsApp and Viber. Such tools allow mobile users to send text messages and make phone calls for free, thus eroding the need to pay for costly voice calls or SMS.
A spokesperson for StarHub confirmed with Yahoo! Singapore that the company is indeed working on reviewing the price scheme for its data packages and may consider rolling out usage-based data pricing.
“We are reviewing current pricing plans and consider introducing usage-based data pricing to ensure optimal network quality for our customers,” said Chan Kin Hung, StarHub’s head of products and solutions.
“In addition, we will not offer unlimited mobile broadband plan on the Long Term Evolution (LTE) platform when we launch our LTE service, which is likely to take place in the second half of 2012,” he added.
Mobile data usage is through the roof, this is a global phenomenon and the advent of increasingly powerful mobile devices and apps will only fuel this momentum, but what are operators doing to cope with the surge in demand?
Bandwidth, just like water, electricity or oil, is a finite resource. There is a cost that’s tied up to bandwidth and someone has to pay for it. As revenue from traditional streams like voice calls and SMS slow down, operators are hard pressed to find other ways to turn a profit.
Data is the next big thing for operators but unlimited plans are not feasible for business, at the end of the day something has got to give and by the looks of it, consumers are being served the short end of the stick.
Will Malaysian operators resort to doing the same? It looks very likely. The number of mobile devices is on the rise and so too is mobile data usage. At the same time, voice and SMS usage has plateaued. As a result, operators are now applying more stringent control over subscriber data usage. Where before you could get away with bursting your monthly data cap, chances are operators are not so lenient anymore.
It might be a couple of more years or perhaps a little bit more but the days of the unlimited mobile internet plans are numbered, wherever you are. The sad fact about all this is that there’s pretty much nothing we can do about it. When the time comes, we will all have to bite the bullet and start being responsible with our data just like how we are with our water and electricity. Internet has indeed become the utility of the modern world. Like any utility, there is a cost that we will all have to bare.
Note: KBps indicated in chart is actually kbps which is kilobits per second (kbps), not KiloBytes per second (KBps). 1 Byte = 8 bits.
Content delivery service provider Pando Networks sampled over 35 petabytes of data from 27 million downloads in 224 countries to bring us this interesting information.
And it looks like when it comes to download speeds, not much has changed. South Korea still boasts the fastest download speeds in the world with an average of a whopping 17.62Mbps. That’s average ok. Some will get faster and while some surfers will get slower download speeds in Korea but the average gives a good indication that overall, the country enjoys enviously speedy internet connectivity fixed or mobile.
Other notable Asian countries on the list are Japan at number six with an average download speed of close to 11Mbps and Hong Kong at the tail end of the global top ten with an average download speed of close to 8Mbps.
Eastern European countries are well represented as well with Romania in second place with an average download speed of 15.27Mbps. In fact Eastern European countries take up four out of the top five countries with Bulgaria, Lithuania and Latvia all enjoying immensely fast downloads.
The The United States takes up 26th place in the study with an average speed of just under 5Mbps while China, home to the world’s largest Internet population, manages a rather unimpressive (relative to the other developed countries) 1.96Mbps.
The slowest Internet download, according to the study, is in the Congo, with an average of just 13 Kbps which is even slower than dial-up. Most of the world’s slowest countries on Pando’s list are located in Africa, where broadband access is sparse and mobile is often the most prevalent point of access for users.
Closer to home, Malaysia musters a not bad 1.4MBps download average on the list which is faster than Indonesia at 1Mbps download average but embarrassingly slower than Vietnam (close to 3Mbps), Thailand (2.1Mbps) and the Philippines (1.7Mbps).
Check out all of Pando’s study data presented in an interactive map right after the jump.
Happy Friday folks, just sharing this interesting infographic about internet usage and speeds from the turn of the century till now.
The data that intrigued us the most is the global average of data consumption a month — 11.4GB/month — but the whole visual makes for interesting browsing while you wait for your weekend to begin.
Head on over to after the jump and enjoy!
One of the leading names in internet security ZoneAlarm recently conducted a survey on how its customers create passwords, how secure these passwords were and if they are of an adequate length to be of any use.
79% of the users surveyed literally left the door opened when it comes to securing their online accounts with a strong password. As a result of that survey ZoneAlarm released this very useful infographic that illustrates some of the most commonly mistakes people make when selecting a password, as well as some tips on how to make your password more secure.
We found it to be very interesting and useful that we thought we’d share it with you.
According to a news report, Malaysia has achieved 21.1% household broadband penetration. This exceeds its projection of 20% penetration under Malaysia’s National Broadband Implementation Plan.
Deputy Minister of Energy, Water and Communications Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum also added that it targets to achieve 50% household penetration in 2010. This means we have about a year to cover additional 30% of our nation’s household with broadband. We see this as a challenging target to achieve.
However it is still possible as there are new wireless broadband providers that have emerged recently utilising 3G HSDPA and WiMAX technology. Currently, the 3G players are Maxis, Celcom, U Mobile and new comer DiGi. On the WiMAX end, we have Packet 1, Redtone, YTL and Asiaspace. Not forgetting also are other wireless providers such as Izzi as well. Wireless is generally much faster to roll out due to lack of physical cabling to each potential user.
However we have questions on these new players roll out. Are they able to fulfill the extra 30% household within 1 year through proper coverage planning and capacity management?
Also what defines broadband? Is there a proper minimum definition of broadband by 2010? It would be pointless if broadband subscribers are achieved but average speed obtained is below broadband levels.
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WiMAX is officially available in Malaysia next week! We will be witnessing not just one, but TWO WiMAX operators rolling out their services in the country.
Both operators will be launching at different ends in the country and its obvious that the two won’t be competiting heads-on in the same market segments for now. We are unsure on the reason behind such roll out strategy but both would have different challenges to face.
What to expect?
P1 W1MAX by Packet 1 has been showcased to the public several times namely at WCIT and the recent PC Fair. We are aware that they have a working LAN based WiMAX modem and initial feedbacks we seen have been encouraging.
Before this, Packet 1 has been actively promoting its trial programme and recently it has also mentioned that Packet 1 managed to sign up its first subscribers. This not only incidates that Packet 1’s W1MAX is ready for service but it also marks as Malaysia’s 1st ever WiMAX subscription in the country. At present time, we are still unsure of their current coverage areas and we hope to find out soon during the launch.
It is rumoured that P1 W1MAX would be available at 4 packages with competiting speed offerings with different price ranges. Their biggest competitor would be Streamyx at the moment and judging on evaluations we’ve seen, the performance of P1 W1MAX is something existing Streamyx users would look forward to.
As for REDtone, they have not given any clues on their WiMAX devices or offerings. There was nothing tangible to date and we are interested to see what sort of devices and packages available for subscription during launch in Sabah.
After much hype in the press, 2 operators have finally came out to launch officially in the market. The other 2 WiMAX operators, YTL and AsiaSpace have yet to make announcement on their commercial services to date.
Watch this space for more updates!