With thousands killed and over a million affected in the on going Gaza crisis, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has started a humanitarian fund. Now anyone with a mobile phone can send their contributions via SMS from as low as RM1. No matter how big or small, every single contribution can make a difference to those in need.
Your mobile donation can be made with the denomination of RM1, RM3, RM5, RM10 or RM20. All you need to do is SMS “GAZA” followed by the amount (e.g. “GAZA 5″ for RM5 or “GAZA 20″ for RM20) to 13999. All contributions will be channelled through MCMC’s humanitarian fund.
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While the Government and telcos are busy imposing taxes on prepaid packs and reloads, what are they doing to protect subscribers from scammers like this one.
These vermin are getting creative with the way they bait unsuspecting subscribers and its easy to fall into their trap if you’re not careful.
Don’t fall victim to such scams, following the instructions on the such messages will allow these companies to send more text messages to your mobile number and charge you ridiculous amounts of money for receiving them. Worst of all, it’s almost impossible for an unknowing subscriber to unsubscribe to the service.
Best to ignore such SMS and submit a formal complaint to MCMC and your service provider. At the same time the regulators and the industry are not doing enough to eliminate these scams. It’s disturbing to see that such scams are still running rampant.
So it seems Malaysia has a new 4G operator.
Yesterday, Puncak Semangat Sdn. Bhd. (PSSB) announced that it will be the first Bumiputera company to offer telecommunications services based on LTE. It’s Managing Director, Datuk Abdullah Kadir Bacha says that the services PSSB will offer will reduce the digital gap between rural and urban areas by offering broadband access and related content to all Malaysians — all the same-old, same-old PR speak.
PSSB says that it wants to deploy a nationwide 4G network based on LTE but there was no timeline given on when this network will be deployed.
PSSB is a privately owned company that was founded in 1993 with five other subsidiaries under its name.
A quick check on Google revealed very little about PSSB and its MD that’s relevant to this news. Building a mobile network is tremendously complex and requires huge sums of money. In the course of the mobile industry in Malaysia, many have tried and many have failed. In terms of 4G, out of the four, all but only two WiMAX operators are actively in business at the moment. Even established 3G operators are cautious when it comes to 4G deploymen though Maxis and DiGi have indicated that they are looking to deploy LTE networks sometime in 2012.
So the question is, does PSSB have what it takes to deploy a nationwide 4G network? We’re not saying “no” but looking at past records of other operators and judging by the lack of background info on PSSB, its difficult to say “yes” as well.
What do you think?
Selangor State Assemblymen for Seri Setia and Parti Keadilan Communications Director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad claims that reliable sources have informed him that Bukit Aman had called for a meeting amongst telcos to discuss the possibility of disrupting access to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter on July 8 and 9.
If this is true, one can construe the order by Bukit aman to be in direct violation of the Malaysian Multimedia Act that guarantees that there will be no censorship of the Internet in Malaysia, and it contradicts what Prime Minister Najib Razak has said in April of this year where he promised that there will never be any form of censorship of the internet, though in this case the term censorship appears to be very vague.
Before anyone goes panicking, we must stress that this bit of information is remains UNCONFIRMED. Even if the meeting did happen it now remains to be seen if the operators summoned by Bukit Aman will execute the order to disrupt access social networking sites this weekend. But the reality remains, as with any heavily regulated industry, if the order does come it, there is very little the players within that industry can do but to comply to the directive.
We surely home that its doesn’t come to this.
The days of specific number prefixes to identify telcos and 7-digit mobile phone numbers are, well, numbered.
Starting from December 15, all mobile operators will issue new mobile registrations with a universal prefix and 8-digit mobile number. However subscribers with existing (read: virtually everyone) 7-digit mobile numbers will not have to worry as they can still continue using their mobile number.
For those of you who are rearing to get a nice number with the new prefix we have to tell you that although MCMC stipulates that the date of implementation of this new 3+8 number system is December 15, not all telcos will be giving out 011 numbers on that day.
This is stated in DiGi’s FAQ on the subject matter which can be found here.
From DiGi FAQ Question 5:
Will the new 011 prefix be available from 15 December 2010 as stated on the SKMM announcement?
The date stated on the SKMM announcement (15 December 2010) is a target date by which all systems needed to launch the 3 + 8 number range for all mobile service providers should be ready.
and question 7:
If there are no 011 prefixes available on 15 December 2010, when will DiGi launch its 3 + 8 number range (011 prefix with an 8-digit mobile number)?
DiGi will announce the launch of its new 3 + 8 number range once on www.digi.com.my or www.happy.com.my once the 011 prefix is available for customers.
Some of you may recall that this 011 prefix is not new and was previously used for Telekom Malaysia’s ATUR 450 mobile service.
Official MCMC press release from MCMC after the jump.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that Malaysia’s Broadband penetration had exceeded 50% ahead of schedule with 53.5% penetration today. As a comparison, broadband penetration was only 22% in 2008 and the target is to reach 75% penetration by 2015.
The achievement he said was contributed by the efforts by both private and government sectors especially in developing community internet centres at rural areas. So far 6 Kampung WiFi (WiFi village) had been implemented with 3100 more expected to be completed by 2014.
Check out the video of the announcement by the DPM after the jump
If you’re planning a trip to Dubai in October and plan to keep in touch with your friends and colleagues with BIS and BBM, well you can very well forget about it or consider doing all your mobile stuff on another device that’s not a BlackBerry.
The Emirates’ telecoms regulator have confirmed that travelers to the city-state of Dubai and the important oil industry center of Abu Dhabi will — like the 500,000 local subscribers — have to do without BlackBerry e-mail, messaging and Web services starting October 11, even if their BlackBerrys are supported by carriers from other countries.
This doesn’t bode well for the country’s ambitions to be a business and tourism haven considering that about 100,000 travelers pass through Dubai’s airport every day, making it the busiest in the Middle East. The new restrictions could leave time-pressed business travelers hurrying through, many of them changing planes for other destinations, without access to their e-mail or the Web. That would put BlackBerry services out of reach for business travelers and others passing through the busy Mideast airport hub of Dubai, which handled 40.9 million passengers last year.
The good thing is, unlike the infamous camera phone ban in Saudi Arabia circa the mid noughties, travellers into Dubai and Abu Dhabi are still allowed to carry their BlackBerrys into the country and they can still make phone calls with the devices.
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In what can be considered as a perplexing move, Rais Yatim who earlier ruled out the banning of BlackBerry services in this country yesterday made a statement saying that the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission is currently gathering detailed information about the BlackBerry service in the wake of bans of the service in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Rais said that the report from MCMC is expected to be completed sometime this week and that his ministry will be evaluating the information to see if a ban in Malaysia is required.
Wonder if a BlackBerry ban is a big enough issue to be discussed in Parliament? It’s definitely heaps better than talking in Parliament about this topic.
Looks like the 1.5 million BlackBerry users in this country are pretty nervous right now. Keep it locked on to SoyaCincau.com for the latest development on this.
Working in earnest to meet the 50% household broadband penetration target by the end of this year, the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture yesterday launched the BB Trail program in efforts to increase broadband awareness and uptake in rural areas.
The five month program beginning July 15, consists of road shows covering more than 500 locations across the country including Sabah and Sarawak.
In a press release made available to us, the Ministry says that:
At every stop, the BB Trail will conduct interactive games and contests related to Broadband, offering all interested participants the chance to win attractive prizes related to the National Broadband Awareness and Promotional Program.
The Program targets all age groups covering students and educators of all levels especially those in institutions of higher learning, entrepreneurs and small and medium businesses, parents, families and the public at large.
Through the implementation of the BB Trail, the public would be able to obtain choice information on how to subscribe to broadband easily, and get to select whichever service providers they prefer based on the different promotions and packages offered.
As of July 7, 2010, over 37% of Malaysian households have broadband connection. This equates to about 2.4 million homes out of the 6.3 million homes in Malaysia.
To achieve the 50% household penetration target by the end of this year, another 1 million homes will need to have broadband connectivity. With just five months left in 2010, about 200,000 homes will need to have broadband connectivity a month. That’s a huge ask and the Ministry has their work cut out.
As of Q4 2009, the country’s household broadband penetration stood at 31.7%. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for the 50% broadband penetration target but it’s looking like the Ministry might not hit it.
Let’s wait and see.
Press release after the jump.
The people at MCMC (or SKMM, whichever you prefer) are now looking at implementing a “mandatory standard for the quality of service for broadband wireless access service” and from what we here, this new standard could take off as early as June.
Currently SKMM is conducting a public enquiry to develop a framework of what the standards should be. Now is the time for you – the public – to voice you opinion and set the standard for quality broadband in this country.
So what are you waiting for? Details on the project HERE.