U Mobile today jumped on the LTE bandwagon by providing 4G services in limited locations within Klang Valley and Johor Bahru.
U Mobile claims its LTE network is capable of delivering speeds up 75Mbps but take that claim with a dollop of salt as virtually all operators publish theoretical maximum connection speed that’s almost impossible to achieve in real world situations.
But the good thing about the U Mobile LTE plans is that its available for prepaid users as well and the plans on offer cover a wide customer base giving you some very affordable and practical options.
Using LTE on U Mobile is painless because you don’t have to go through the hassle of upgrading plans or changing SIM cards. If you’re a U Mobile customer and you’re using an LTE device then you’re pretty much set, all you need to do is activate LTE services by sending the text message ‘LTE ON’ to 28118.
The only issue is that U Mobile’s LTE coverage is very limited at the moment but the operator say that they are expanding coverage at a brisk pace while exploring other “strategic approaches” for network expansion. Currently U Mobile’s LTE network spans Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya, Puchong, Berjaya Times Square and Taman Molek in Johor Bahru.
And if you’re an iPhone or iPad user, you’re out of luck because U Mobile’s LTE network does not currently support the Band 3 (1800MHz) channel that some Apple devices are running but if you’re using the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPad mini Retina display and iPad Air then you’re good.
In conjunction with its LTE launch, U Mobile is offering the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for RM999 if you sign up for the Ultimate Device 158 plan with a commitment fee of RM120 per month for 24 months. The offer starts today to 17 December 2013 to 31 January 2014. For full details on U Mobile’s LTE offerings, click here.
The wait for Celcom’s 4G LTE service is finally over and they have finally revealed its Broadband Plan with download speeds up to 50Mbps. The 4G LTE service is tied with their Celcom First Data Pro plan which offers 10GB of data at RM138/month.
At the moment they cover Bandar Sunway, Shah Alam, Putrajaya, Danau Kota, Jalan Imbi, Jalan Pudu, Bangsar, Jalan Tun Razak, KLCC in the Klang Valley. Selected places at Ipoh, Pulau Pinang, Johor Bahru and Melaka are covered as well. You can check for the full list of its coverage here.
As an early bird promotion, they are offering the 4G LTE Modem for only RM199 with 3 months free subscription. This is limited to the first 1,000 sign up and it can be done at Blue Club @ Sunway Pyramid, Blue Cube Pavilion and Blue Club Menara Celcom tomorrow onwards (23rd April 2013).
To promote Celcom’s 4G LTE service as the fastest network, they have gotten some help from Usain Bolt which is known as the fastest man in the world.
Check out the official commercial starring the Jamaican sprinter after the break. For more information on the service, head over to Celcom’s 4G LTE page for more info.
Celcom today has unveiled its foray into the LTE race by launching its 4G LTE Experience Hubs. The experience centres are located at Menara Celcom in Kuala Lumpur and its Blue Club flagship store at Sunway Pyramid.
Celcom’s 4G LTE network runs on the 2600MHz LTE spectrum which came into effect this year. This practically means if you have a new device that supports 2600MHz (Band 7), it is likely to be compatible with their network once their service is commercially available. Among its future 4G LTE product portfolio includes Huawei’s array of 4G LTE USB dongles, tablets & smart phones.
For a start, Celcom will only be introducing data only plans in February and smart phone plans are expected to follow right after.If you’re eager to try it out yourself, head over to their experience hubs.
For more information, visit Celcom’s 4G LTE page.
There has been as much confusion as there is interest about the latest wireless technology to hit Malaysia — LTE. LTE is capable of delivering download speeds up to 100Mbps and promises to offload data traffic from 3G networks struggling to keep up with an ever increasing load and when voice-over LTE comes to Malaysia, we will be able to enjoy much improved call quality with HD Voice. But unlike the current crop of 3G smartphones, the availability of phones that are compatible with the 2600MHz (Band 7) LTE standard used in Malaysia is rare and many are asking what phones currently in the market support the 2600MHz frequency.
Before that, let’s start off with LTE devices on sale in Malaysia that are not compatible with 2600MHz. The iPhone 5, iPad mini and iPad 4 are not compatible with Malaysia’s LTE network. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
Currently, there are three devices that are compatible with 2600MHz – ASUS Padfone 2, Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. We got in touch with Mark Dioguardi, Chief Operating Officer at Maxis and he confirms that the three devices will work with Maxis LTE.
The problem is, the LTE plans available from Maxis at the moment are for data only. So while you can put a Maxis LTE SIM card into an LTE compatible phone and you will be able to access data services, you won’t be able to make or receive phone calls. For this Dioguardi says that Maxis “will be announcing LTE enabled plans to support LTE SmartPhones soon.” And that’s something we’re curious about.
Let’s also look at devices in the horizon that will work here. The soon to be release Sony Xperia V supports 2600MHz. There are also versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III (GT-I9305) and Galaxy Note II (GT-N7105) that support 2600MHz as well, so it’s safe to assume that operators looking to make LTE phones available in Malaysia in the shortest time possible will chose to offer these models. In addition to this, there is a growing list of multi-band LTE smartphones that will be compatible with 2600Mhz and as operators like Maxis and Celcom continue to expand their LTE networks, the selection of LTE devices for you to choose will grow as well.
Got a question about LTE? Let us know and we’ll try our best to answer them.
Information made available to us has revealed that Celcom is very close to launching its LTE network and it likely to happen this week. Supporting this information is the LTE experiential booth that Celcom has setup at its headquarters in KL. Customers wanting to know more about Celcom’s LTE network can visit Menara Celcom to try out the service themselves.
Like Maxis, we expect Celcom to have its LTE service available in a few key market areas and gradually expand coverage and subscriber momentum builds up. Also, we don’t expect Celcom to offer LTE smartphones in its initial launch however there are three phones in the market right now that supports the 2600Mhz LTE standard in Malaysia – ASUS PadFone 2, Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 – but it remains to be seen if Celcom (and Maxis) have provisioned its network to allow these devices to surf on LTE data.
We’ll be on hand to try our Celcom’s network when it is available, stay tuned for updates on plans and pricing. And finally, no, the iPhone 5 will not work on Malaysia’s LTE network. Hope this clears any confusion.
This has to be the most surprising announcement we’ve ever received. Just as Malaysians usher the New Year, Maxis has launched the first salvo in the next generation war for mobile dominance.
In an official statement Maxis has announced that it now has LTE networks available at Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Damansara Utama, Desa Sri Hartamas, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Bandar Sunway and Cyberjaya, and by doing so, is officially the first telco in Malaysia to make LTE available in the country. Maxis plans to light up other parts of the country with LTE “soon”.
Maxis claims that its LTE network is able to reach speed of up to 75Mbps. The operator say subscribers can expect a typical average speeds of 10Mbps to
Along with the new network Maxis plans to bring new services that takes advantage of the superior wireless capabilities that LTE has to offer.
You can subscribe to Maxis’ LTE can subscribe to the service at Maxis Centres in KLCC and Taman Tun Dr Ismail. There is no additional charge for LTE on Maxis. The service is available with any of Maxis existing data plans starting from RM88/month. Existing subscribers can also upgrade their current Maxis 3G modem to an LTE modem for a fee. Full details available here.
Currently only one LTE device (modem) is available from Maxis but the operator says that more devices including smartphones will be available “soon”. At the moment we know that the ASUS PadFone 2 as well as the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 are compatible with the 2600Mhz LTE network in Malaysia but it is not known if Maxis has provisioned its network to allow these to run on LTE.
With telcos gearing up for 4G LTE in 2013, Celcom has has announced that they will upgrading their network across Malaysia to be LTE ready. Just like DiGi, customers may experience service interruptions but Celcom strives to minimise downtime as short as possible.
According to their announcement, the service interruptions will only happen a few hours a day for each area. This affects voice calls, mobile internet and reloading/transferring of credit. Celcom has posted a full list of areas which they are upgrading from today until February 2013 and it is interesting to point out that no upgrading works will be performed during festive weeks.
The full list can be viewed here.
Thanks @weisheatan for the alert!
Maxis and REDtone have entered into an infrastructure and spectrum sharing agreement that will enable both players to speed up the deployment of their 4G LTE mobile networks. Together with REDtone, Maxis claims that, once built, its 4G LTE network will be able to deliver the fastest mobile data connectivity not just in Malaysia but in the region with transmission rates up to 150Mbps. Maxis say that the speeds that its next-gen network is capable of delivering will be two times above the theoretical limit of what the other local 4G operators can currently deliver.
Maxis is looking to launch is 4G LTE service “early next year” in parts of the Klang Valley with deployment to other regions “closely thereafter”. REDtone is expected to launch its mobile broadband service sometime in 2013.
“We are looking to set a new benchmark in data service quality,” Chief Executive Officer, Sandip Das
With a capital expenditure investment of RM3.7 billion in the past three years, Maxis say it is the biggest network investor in the country with 81% – or 5,200 sites – of its network now in high speed 3G. Out of those 5,200 3G sites, 3,400 are HSPA+ enabled capable of delivering speeds with a theoretical limit of 42Mbps.
Local operators have been playing the waiting game with LTE network as the money required to build such a network with enough coverage to make it useful to subscribers is immense. But as the demand for mobile data increase beyond the capacity of existing 3G networks, the need to shift to the next generation in mobile connectivity will be hard to ignore. Collaborations such as this is one way to speed things up as operators make more efficient use of the spectrum that is available to them while MCMC finalise its 2.6Mhz LTE spectrum allocation to operators.
Will we be seeing LTE phones next year? Yes but we believe when LTE networks come online within the first quarter of 2013 at the earliest, operators will offer data dongles and MiFis first before moving to dual-mode LTE phones and tablets that will still depend on 2G/3G networks for voice, text messaging and back-up data connectivity when LTE coverage is not available.
In any case, 2013 is going to a year to look forward to as 4G comes to Malaysia in a big way. As a result of that you can expect to see cost for broadband connectivity drop as well. We’re definitely looking forward to a next year.
Update: At 1625hrs DiGi announced via Twitter that services in affected areas in Petaling Jaya and Damansara has been fully restored.
If you’re using DiGi and are in Petaling Jaya and Damansara and are currently experiencing problems getting connected to the internet and, making and receiving phone calls, well then you’re not alone.
As it turns out the DiGi is currently having issues with its network in Petaling Jaya and Damansara. We can’t determine how many customers are affected by this but the fact that DiGi has made a public announcement about the issue via its Twitter account indicates to us that the issue is something that affects a lot of people.
DiGi is currently undergoing an ambitious network upgrade exercise. Whilst this is going on, DiGi say subscribers can expect intermittent network disruption but referring to the update schedule posted by DiGi, upgrades in Petaling Jaya should have been completed by December 16. In the schedule, DiGi assures that “there would be no service interruptions in your area if it is not listed in the Upgrade Schedule” and Damansara is currently not listed in the update schedule. It’s also worth pointing out that the schedule has not been updated since December 2.
With the network upgrade DiGi hopes to be the first LTE network in the country by the end of the year and also at the same time deliver a more robust and reliable 3G service to customers. While DiGi’s aspirations are indeed noble, we’re not sure if subscribers are patient enough to wade through the disruptions as DiGi sorts out its network. Chances are most won’t be.
Since December 2011, DiGi has begun a network upgrade of epic proportions. DiGi says the exercise is the single most ambitious network modernisation the operator has embarked upon. That’s also indirectly saying that its network was probably not able to cope with the ever growing hunger for mobile data in Malaysia.
The upgrade is expected to continue through 2012 and within this period DiGi targets to upgrade over 400 sites a month on average. Once completed, a total of over 5,000 DiGi sites will have been upgraded.
DiGi says its “Tomorrow Network” will be Malaysia’s first LTE-equipped network by the end of 2012. At the same time the upgraded network will also expand existing EDGE and 3G coverage to 95.8% of the Malaysian population. In addition, DiGi also promises a more stable and environmentally friendly network once the year round upgrade is completed.
It’s certainly interesting to see what this new DiGi network can deliver to consumers. But we noticed that DiGi didn’t specifically put a number to how large its LTE network will be. Being Malaysia’s first publicly accessible LTE network is commendable but if it’s just a small coverage area confined to city centres, it wouldn’t be that useful either.
In this respect, Yes did an amazing job with its WiMAX network covering over 60% of the populated areas in West Malaysia from day one. What Yes did is a hard act to follow but it is not impossible and we’re pretty sure DiGi is aware of this. So we’re expecting DiGi’s LTE footprint to be considerable so that it will be practical.
While all this is fine and dandy, DiGi subscribers can expect some network disruption as the operator upgrade its network in stages. DiGi has put up an upgrade schedule where you can check which areas are currently being upgraded (thus will be prone to network disruptions). At time of writing, areas in Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and Subang are affected. Do check the website periodically to see the latest areas affected by the upgrade.
We would like the information presented in the upgrade schedule to also include areas in which the upgrade works have been completed. This way, users can try the new network out for themselves and see if there are discernible increase in network performance and stability.
All the best in your network upgrade DiGi. To DiGi subscribers in the upgrade areas, do let us know if you noticed any difference in network performance and stability. Thanks!
For more on DiGi’s Tomorrow Network, click here.