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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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5. Monthly maximum download volume is distributed evenly on a daily basis.
This simply means that a UniFi VIP5 with 60GB monthly download usage will be capped at 2GB/day over 30 days. We find this totally unacceptable to cap on a daily basis when the package is a monthly subscription.
As comparison, 3G Broadbands offers from daily to weekly and monthly subscriptions. The subscription download usage is capped according to its purchased quota. If a user buys weekly or monthly, the user is able to determine when to utilise its download usage as long as they are within the download quota and validity. If a user subscribes to a plan that allows 5GB of usage a month, he should be able to finish up 5GB at uncapped speeds before its validity period.
TM UniFi’s daily cap is disadvantage as users will lose out if they fail to use UniFi even for a day which is equivalent to lost of 2GB/day for VIP5. If UniFi faces technical problems or downtime, is UniFi going to give their affected customers additional 2GB for each day of inaccessibility? We doubt it.
The way TM UniFi hide this important term on daily cap is totally irresponsible and done without class. Telcos should be transparent and up front with their terms & conditions especially when it affects their customers greatly. The least they could do is to make it clear up front that monthly usage is distributed by daily basis. Not all customers are as sharp as one of our readers and this would obviously trap unknowing customers in a unfair contract.
Daily capping only works if the service provider charges on a daily basis and we hope TM UniFi will remove such clause. Users that pay monthly deserves to utilise their monthly download usage whenever they want to without restrictions.
Yesterday, TM’s CEO Zamzamzairani while commenting on suspension of capping said that “To us it is not a cap, it is a trigger point. We want to implement a fair usage policy for this new service, it will not be done immediately, we will monitor usage first.”
Dear CEO of TM, your UniFi customers will be tied to a 24 months contract and how such Fair Usage Policy will be implemented is of great concern. All customers deserve to know how this is done fairly and clearly before they sign up or else they will be a victim to TM’s whim and fancies.
Thanks Gary for the heads up!
There have been various debates on Download Caps after the release of TM UniFi’s High Speed Broadband Plans. Many have argued that High Speed broadband is pointless if TM caps on one’s download capabilities.
TM UniFi’s lowest entry VIP5 of 5Mbps comes with 60GB maximum download bandwidth per month while its higher VIP10 comes with 90GB and highest VIP20 with 120GB. No download cap applies for the more expensive business/commercial packages.
TM reaction to complaints
With lots of people raging online about TM’s unfair practice and some users even calling for boycott against UniFi, TM immediately announced on their twitter the following:
NO volume cap 4 all #unifi packages 4 now.Decision due to public feedback.TMwill only monitor usage pattern 4 time being
Many people immediately rejoiced citing the voice of twitter have won over giant ISP. The fact of the matter is, this announcement is nothing new to us. It has been known that UniFi subscribers will not have their usage capped until at least June this year as mentioned in our previous post.
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.