Low cost airline, AirAsia has started public trial of its in-flight WiFi service. It is available now until October and it is limited to the first 60 passengers on board. You’ll know if your flight has WiFi connectivity when the crew makes an announcement during the flight.
To sign in, you’ll need to request for access from its connectivity portal and they will limit one connection per device during the flight. Before you get excited with what you can do at over 35,000 feet, the free trial WiFi service is capped at 1MB. It appears that usage would be restricted to popular instant messaging apps such as LINE, WhatsApp and WeChat.
We reckon they would offer more paid options once the WiFi service is commercially available. Expect to pay a premium if you wish to do more vigorous internet surfing during the flight. Apart from AirAsia, Malindo too has indicated that they would be offering WiFi on-board but there’s no mention of its roll out until now.
UPDATE: AirAsia commence free user trial of in-flight WiFi service.
When it’s time to fasten your seat belts and switch your phones to airplane mode, it marks a journey where you’re completely disconnected from the rest of the world. You could either have a nap or simply play with your smart phone in offline mode. That may not be the case in the near future as AirAsia and Malindo Air will be offering WiFi connectivity on their flights.
As more airlines are looking for a balance of cost efficiency and catching up with the latest consumer trends, some of them have started to order new planes without in-flight entertainment systems. This is to move towards a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model in favour of providing WiFi and streaming content to your own personal device. Looks like this shift is happening in Malaysia already.
Currently, there are over 400 Celcom First WiFi hotsposts in the country at key shopping malls, business centres, offices, hotels and transportation hubs. Celcom plans to grow this number as the service gains traction. For full Clecom First WiFi coverage details, click here.
The service is available for existing Celcom post-paid and prepaid subscribers and can be activated via SMS (auto-reload service and over-the-counter reload coupons are also available). In addition, the Celcom First WiFi allows you to manage and keep track of your WiFi usage and data volume quotas efficiently via a web-based account management system.
On top of the data connectivity, the Celcom First WiFi service provides addition value-add by feeding subscribers with special location-based services and information that is pushed automatically directly to their mobile device in addition to a whole host of Celcom rewards and privilege including bonus vouchers and discounts. Also, as an incentive, Celcom First Data Advance and Pro customers get an additional 1GB monthly WiFi access for free.
Head over to after the jump for detail on the Celcom First WiFi.
DiGi is now offering Free WiFi service for existing Broadband customers in the next few months. For starters, they have begun such service at 2 universities – Unimas in Sarawak and UMS in Sabah starting from 18th April 2011 onwards. This Free WiFi service however is only for postpaid DiGi Broadband users and those on prepaid internet, enterprise broadband and mobile data are not eligible.
This seems to be a good move for DiGi users as they can offload their data usage to WiFi. As a result, this will reduce their monthly broadband quota usage. Just recently, Maxis did something similar with its Maxis WiFi Hotspot subscription service. To use this Free WiFi service, you would need to login using your DiGi Broadband account and they have warned that multiple logins are not allowed. Speed is not guaranteed and it is mentioned as being delivered as trial and best-effort basis only.
Maxis has finally revealed its Maxis WiFi Hotspot service. Earlier on this was silently mentioned during its iPhone 4 price slash where it comes as a Free subscription for new subscribers. However it was later removed and we wondered if the service was ready for prime time. Now looks like it is finally ready and had reappeared on Maxis site together with its full packages.
Currently this service is only available for Maxis postpaid and Hotlink Prepaid customers. For SMS activations, there are 3 plans available – RM3 daily, RM10 weekly and RM20 monthly with 500MB, 2GB and 4GB quota respectively. Once you have finished your data quota or if your access has expired, your subscription will be terminated immediately.
However for postpaid customers, there’s another plan option which is rather affordable if you subscribe online. Maxis offers RM3/month with 2GB access for Maxis postpaid customers. That’s quite a vast difference compared to its SMS activated packages.
In terms of coverage availability, we can’t seem to get a list as the WiFi Coverage Area finder is not working. You can try your luck again over here. For any assistance related to Maxis WiFi, you can call their careline at 1800 82 1123.
This isn’t the first time Maxis offered a WiFi subscription service as they previously had a WiFi service branded Utopia alongside other providers such as AirZed and TM Hotspot during the early days.
Currently we got no clue where this service is available but this seems to be an affordable add-on option for Maxis subscribers. For RM3 a month with 2GB quota, the WiFi option is great for users that often tether their phones with Maxis 3G network or those who often exceed their monthly quotas. All it boils down to is its coverage at popular hotspots such as shopping mall and coffee houses.
For more information on Maxis WiFi Hotspot, click here.
Who makes the coolest stuff in the world? Geeks do.
What’s even more amazing is that they do it at their spare time.
Yeah, it’s not going to change the world anytime soon but it’s pretty funky we think.
Take a look at how he put it all together in a video after the jump.
WiFi connectivity so far has mostly dependendent on a WiFi hotspot or access point. Point to point or peer to peer connectivity for mobile devices today still relies heavily on Bluetooth. Currently the WiFi alliance is completing its specification for WiFi Direct which allows Peer to Peer connectivity. This would definitely offer faster file transfers and open up possibility of WiFi P2P gaming and other peer to peer content delivery over WiFi.
Symbian is looking at implementing this in 2011 and there’s even a implementation guide to do this. So far there isn’t any apps yet but it is expected to make its way by next year. We don’t know why it took so long for WiFi to do this but it is better late than never.
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(UPDATE 1838hrs 16062010) Things are getting interesting with the Huawei E5830. We highlighted earlier that in DiGi’s FAQ about the device they’ve mentioned that it can’t function as a router while being plugged into a USB port. We even noted the question number – it was Q20 (Google Cached). We’ve discovered that DiGi have recently changed that question to now say that the E5830 can function as a router while being plugged in.
Wonder if we can get our hands on one to really find out.
DiGi also added 2 more FAQ items clarifying that the MiFi device uses normal SIM and that it is not SIM-locked to DiGi’s network.
Original Post: When DiGi first announced that it’s opening pre-orders for the Huawei E5830 MiFi device, we’re pretty sure many of you were stoked.
Having reviewed a similar device – the D-Link DIR-457 – we’re convinced that a MiFi has its uses for those who run with multiple devices. We noted in our review that a MiFI type of device gave us tremendous flexibility and not need to fiddle with USB dongles every time you want to connect to the Internet is simply a joy.
Back to the Huawei E5830. At first sight the device is much better looking that the albino DIR-457. It looked much more compact as well. Performance wise it edges the DIR-457 slightly being able to deliver HSPA speeds of up to 7.2Mbps down and 5.76Mbps up. And by that criteria alone the E5830 would have been a been a better buy. But it’s not that simple.
In our earlier posting about the device, a number of readers have raised the question – can it be used while being charged? We set to find out what the deal is with the E5830 and clear the confusion once and for all.
During the botched up demo, Steve claims that that the over 570 WiFi hotspots in the room was interfering with all his iPhone 4s including the backups. From the videos we’ve seen, it appears that his bevy of iPhone 4s was having a difficult time getting connected to WiFi.
We find rather worrying and here’s why.
During his keynote Steve said that the iPhone 4 “is one of the most precise and beautiful things” Apple has ever made. He went on about how the iPhone 4 glass and steel construction was like and “an old Leica camera”. Well, old Leica camera has problems connecting to WiFi networks too.
(UPDATE 1901hrs 16062010) It appears DiGi has amended Q20 in the MiFi pre-order page FAQ. It now says that the E5830 can still function as router while being charged (ie. Plugged into a USB port)
DiGi has announced that they are offering the Huawei E5830 MiFi device which allow users to share their 3G Connection over WiFi. This is a perfect bridge for WiFi powered device to work remotely on 3G network. You can make your own 3G powered WiFi hotspot from your pocket, which is perfect companion for WiFi version of iPad.
Don’t go rushing to DiGi centres yet as it is only open for pre-booking. You may pre-book at DiGi’s facebook group here.
DiGi is claiming this offering as Malaysia’s First ever Mobile WiFi, which we believe is First only for telco bundling. MiFi devices or mobile 3G to WiFi routers have already been on our shores for quite some time. Not too long ago, we’ve reviewed a D-Link DIR-457 Pocket WiFi Router here.
Some key noticable features of the Huawei E5830 Mifi:
Read more about it here.