TM has just issued a release saying that it will expand availability areas for UniFi to include Penang, Johor and more areas in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor from July 1
Specifically, TM will extend UniFi to Kulim Hi-Tech Park (Kedah), Bayan Baru (Penang), Senai and Permas (Johor) industrial areas and residential areas in Wangsa Maju, Sungai Buloh, Melawati, Kepong, Cyberjaya, Putrajaya and Damansara.
Currently, the UniFi FTTH service is only available in four urban areas within Klang Valley – Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Bangsar, and Taman Tun Dr. Ismail.
TM claims that UniFi can now serve over 375,000 premises in its coverage areas with over 3,200 customers currently using the service. By the numbers, it looks like UniFi’s uptake is worryingly slow considering that the service has been available since March. With just 3,200 subscribers, you’re looking at just over 1,000 subscribers a month, less than 40 subscribers a day.
With over 375,000 premises within the service’s availability areas, the total number of subscribers on UniFi is less than 1% of that number.
We’re not sure what’s going on here. Is it that Malaysian’s don’t want or need high-speed broadband or that TM’s not promoting the service enough.
We suspect it’s a bit of both further compounded by security risk UniFi customers are exposed to when using the service.
More alarming, TM has spent a whooping RM2.3 billion on UniFi to date. If you do the math, with just 3,200 subscribers using the service right now, that equates to a cost of about RM7.2 million per subscriber.
Fast internet is definitely not cheap people.
Some concern UniFi customers reported that there’s a backdoor access thru UniFi’s router. It was discovered that TM has left an open access on UniFi’s router by allowing Remote Access ON by default which poses a security vulnerability as it is believed that such admin access had similar passwords on all UniFi routers.
Acknowledging that this is of great concern, TM responded by issuing a press statement citing that such remote access was done with intention of providing better troubleshooting when technical support is required.
With the security concerns, TM has admitted that this may not be the best way to go so they have proposed a solution by changing all TM UniFi routers which are D-Link DIR-615 to a unique one which is exclusively known to the customer & TM.
The security concern raised is a valid one and TM shouldn’t have implement such remote access without its customer’s knowledge. Nevertheless, it is good that TM acknowledges such problem and had immediately proposed a solution for its customers.
If you’re a UniFi customer, we suggest you take the necessary step of disabling “Remote Access” by unticking “Enable Remote Management” in your D-Link DIR-615 Wireless router. More details at a Low Yat forum here.
This isn’t the first security vulnerability for ISP customers in Malaysia. Even P1 W1MAX has similar vulnerability for its DV-230 WiMAX modem with WiFi where its password has the same pattern as the SSID. If you’re using this modem, we suggest changing your WiFi password too.
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Considering that UniFi is now available in Taman Tun Dr Ismail Shah Alam, Subang Jaya and Bangsar – some of Klang Valley’s most affluent areas – we think that this is rather surprising.
We know that it takes up to eight hours to install UniFi in a typical house but by our calculations, 900 subscribers in a month is not really an impressive number taking into account that TM and the government will be spending RM11.3 billon for HSBB in the hopes of covering 1.3 million households and high-impact economic areas by 2020.
Within the year TM is looking to have UniFi available Petaling Jaya, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Damansara, Cheras, Selayang, Puchong, Serdang, Klang, Kepong and Wangsa Maju.
Its funny how in the report, TM’s CEO, Datuk Zamzamzairani warns users to expect teething problems in the initial stages as TM is still ramping up its capabilities. Things will smoothen out after that. Perhaps he knows something that we don’t.
TM UniFi Price Plans are out after a long wait since the launch yesterday evening. Let’s go straight to the details.
UniFi Home Users
3 Packages are offered: VIP5, VIP10 and VIP20 designated by its Broadband speeds
All UniFi Home (Residential) Packages comes with:
UniFi Business Users
3 Packages for commercial use are: BIZ5, BIZ10 and BIZ20
All UniFi Business Packages comes with:
UPDATE: Official Price Plans are out.
TM has finally launched its new High Speed Broadband brand called UniFi at Merdeka Square this evening. UniFi is a convergence of 3 services namely broadband, video content (IPTV) and telephony.
IPTV is something exciting to look forward to as it is seen as a serious 2nd Pay TV operator. Just recently it had announced agreement with 20 content providers and this is expected to grow provided TM is aggressive in getting more channels. At time of launch, there will be 22 channels, video on demand and other interactive services.
3 packages are available with speeds of 5Mbps, 10Mbps and 20Mbps. This positions UniFi right above Streamyx that tops at 4Mbps. For its IPTV Content, a dedicated 8Mbps will be allocated for this purpose in addition to the broadband package. We believe this would allow IPTV content to stream on an exclusive bandwidth without interfering with broadband usage.
Pricing is not available at the moment but monthly subscription is rumoured to start from RM150 to RM300. An official price plan is expected to be released tomorrow. Official Price starts from RM149, details here.
Availability is still limited to 4 exchange areas namely Shah Alam, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail (TTDI), Bangsar and Subang Jaya. According to TM, UniFi is now available to 311,000 premises in those 4 areas. It is expected that UniFi will expand to over 48 exchange areas by end 2010 which allows 750,000 premises potentially connected to UniFi.
More details tomorrow.