A couple of weeks back, P1 together with ZTE organised a demonstration to showcase the capabilities of LTE in Malaysia. This strikes us as rather odd because since its inception P1 has been a strong proponent of WiMAX.
Its CEO, Michael Lai, has often been quoted as saying that P1 “will live and die with WiMAX” and that LTE stands for “late to evolve” rather than long-term evolution aggressively campaigning that WiMAX is the superior technology.
Why the sudden change then? Why condemn a technology and then flip 180 to adopt it? Could it be that P1 is having difficulties in getting its WiMAX network to work the way that they want it? Or are they looking for an edge to get a one up over its closest rival, Yes 4G? Or is it simply a case of the CEO making a bold statement without the benefit of foresight?
Whatever the reason may be, the message is clear, P1’s open demonstration of LTE marks a significant shift in the operator’s strategy, whatever that strategy may be.
Speaking of strategies, while the Government’s move to offer WiMAX in Malaysia has generally been seen as a bold step forward, most of the operators in which it has entrusted with the WiMAX spectrum have faltered. Out of the original four operators that were offered a WiMAX spectrum by the government, only two remain — P1 and Yes.
Between these two operators, which one is leading the 4G race? We attempt to answer this question by looking at the numbers.
Update: We downloaded the case study again to see if Green Packet rectified the error and they did. At the same time, we got a comment from a person claiming to be the Marketing Director of Green Packet, Carol Koh explaining how the major mix up happened. We can verify on the authenticity of the person behind the comment but check revealed that there is indeed a Carol Koh in Green Packet and she is the Marketing Director of the company. Below is the comment in verbatim:
Hi, I’m the Marketing Director of Greenpacket Solutions. We do take these things seriously, so thank you for pointing out this human error on the design & layout stage, which would otherwise undermine the case study. The pain and anxiety the team is feeling right now is punishment enough. The team had been forgiven after they promised to never make the same mistake again.
Miss Koh claims that the version of the case study in which we spotted the grave error was a “design & layout stage” version. If that was indeed the case, it shouldn’t be made available for download in the first place. In fact the, “design & layout stage” version has been on Green Packet’s website for public download since January 31, 2011.
A case study is a tremendously important piece of work. It is a highly detailed document providing in-depth investigation findings on a subject. Organisations use it to establish credibility, to showcase how effective a product has been in a certain application. Generally, it is a document that tells its readers “hey so and so is good and we’ve got the findings to back it up”.
In P1’s and Green Packet’s case, a case study is a demonstration of how they can’t even be bothered to read their own material.
P1 and it’s parent company recently released a case study entitled “P1 4G staying one step ahead” and it talks about how P1 is a “successful” 4G operator and how Green Packet has been instrumental in making P1 a success.
Although we don’t agree with the contents of the case study, both P1 and Green Packet have their justifications, but that’s not the interesting part. If you go through the document available for download here, you will notice that there is a glaring and terribly embarrassing mistake.
There are two quote boxes in the article highlighting two different high level persons in the P1 organization, one the CEO, Micheal Lai and the other Ti Lian Seng, the VP of Technology. The funny thing is both are saying exactly the same thing.
How did this happen? We don’t know but by our reckoning it is conceivable that neither Mr. Lai and Mr. Ti had even read their respective quotes before the call was made to publish the case study, and to us that tells you so much more about both company than any case study ever can.
REDtone, the other WiMAX operator which operates in East Malaysia is also doing a Chinese New Year Promotion for its Home Broadband packages. From now until 28th February 2011, they are giving 1 month free subscription, free 12 months modem rental, free activation waiver (worth RM100) and a 7 days money back guarantee.
Plans and packages wise, they are pretty much the same as before with their entry Home-Lite going at RM98/month with 1Mbps download speeds and 384kbps upload. The monthly quota for their Home-Lite is 25GB/month. More details on the promotion at their website.
When we went on a road test to Penang earlier on, Yes 4G coverage on the North South highway wasn’t really as covered as we would expected. The speeds were great at areas with coverage but the lack of coverage makes it a tough choice if you require seamless connectivity on your trip up north.
With Chinese New Year around the corner, most people will be traveling back to their respective home towns outside the Klang Valley. Now Yes has proudly announced that North South highway is now powered by Yes 4G. This makes long journeys more entertaining provided that their coverage is truly seamless throughout the route.
P1 has started the new year with a revamp of its fixed broadband packages for home and business users. Previously they had 3 home and 2 business plans with speed offerings between 400kbps to 2.4Mbps but now they have bumped their highest Pro plan with 4.8Mbps download speed.
To make it simple, P1 no longer offer separate plans for business or home users so there’s only 3 plans to choose from right now – Lite with 400kbps, Plus with 1.2Mbps and Pro with 4.8Mbps. This also means that they have stopped offering unlimited plans which was previously exclusively for business users.
The Lite and Plus plan remains unchanged as it maintains the same speed, quota and monthly subscription. However with the new rates, existing Plus users are clearly enticed to get 4X the download speed with 10GB additional quota for a mere RM40. That’s only RM4/GB for additional quota for those who exceed their typical 20GB quota for Home Plus plan.
Earlier on, P1’s Pro plan was originally priced at RM199/month for 2.4Mbps download speeds at 40GB quota a month. Probably knowing that this is too much for a wireless broadband service, they later reduced the subscription fee to RM139/month while reducing the quota to 30GB a month.
With the latest revision, Pro users get to enjoy much higher download speeds but like any other wireless services, it all depends on the network congestion of your area. We hope that P1 is ready to deliver 4.8Mbps download speeds to avoid situation of over-promising like its P1 W1GGY some time ago.
The offer is also made sweeter as P1 is giving all plans additional 50% off for the 2nd and 3rd month subscription, which is basically 1 month worth of savings. For more information, head to P1’s broadband promo page.
For the uninitiated “The Hitler Meme” or “Hitler finds out” is a video meme involving the addition of new subititles to the dramatic scene of Hitler’s final meltdown from the German movie Downfall directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel. The subtitles are often anachronistically altered with humerous English subtitles surrounding current events.
It appears that the source of this viral video could very well be from P1 themselves and while some might not agree with the message in the video, we think many will agree that it is rather funny.
Head on over to after the jump for the funny vid. Also included, bonus video on the origin of the Hitler meme. Enjoy!
Update (1800hrs 23122010): P1 has updated the information on their website to include the newly launched MF230 MiFi device. Find out more after the jump.
A while ago, P1’s CEO, Micheal Lai teased everyone with the prospect of P1 coming out with a 4G MiFi. This was two months ago and he claims that the P1 MiFi “works wonderfully well while others fail“.
We like MiFis and it’s nice to know that there will soon be another type to choose from. Though it’s rather ironic that P1 was amongst one of the first (if not the first) operator to have hinted that they were going to market a MiFi device but are now the last of come into the market with one but as the saying goes, better late than never.
So here it is, the MF230 MiFi device from P1 and currently you can only get it from Harvey Norman.
Reliable sources reveal that in terms of pricing, the device itself cost RM250 but you’ll have to purchase it with a plan. The plan that comes with the 10GB data usage a month with download speeds up to 1.5Mbps at RM89/month. As an introductory offer, P1 is giving first month subscription free and you only pay RM44/month for the 2nd and 3rd month. Essentially the plan is the same as the one offered with the P1 W1GGY.
In terms of device performance, you can connect five devices simultaneously to the the MF230 and Green Packet claims that the battery lasts up to four hours “active-usage“. In terms of range, the FAQ states that you get 20 meter connectivity range indoor and 35 meters outdoors.
The P1 MF230 is produced by its parent company Green Packet, you can check out the specifications here. Unlike P1 devices previously the MF230 is branded Green Packet rather than P1 which can confuse some customer we think.
No details available on P1’s website yet but we’ll keep you posted if there’s any. P1’s website is updated with info on the MF230 and we’ve poured through the FAQ to understand the plan, head on over to after the jump to see what we’ve discovered.
From our findings, both tests produced consistent results. The Yes network is indeed capable of delivering mobile data services but there are several gaps in its coverage that we hope Yes can cover quickly to deliver true seamless mobility broadband. Having said that and considering the fact that Yes is a new network, we were mightily impressed by the extent of the network coverage so far as well as the speeds that we were able to achieve during the previous two road tests.
So things are looking peachy for this new network but we’ll have to keep reminding you this is still a new network with a relatively smaller load on it compared to the more established players. We’ve heard so many times before that Malaysians don’t mind paying for their Internet so long as it is consistent and reliable. This looks to be an opportunity in which YTL can capitalise on. There is no secret formula to being a successful Internet service provider, all they need to deliver is consistency.
As we’ve been enjoying very good speeds on the Yes network, we hope Yes is able to keep this speed consistent even as the network gets loaded up with subscribers. If they can, then there’s really nothing to hold Yes back in winning the hearts and wallets of Malaysians.
So back to our topic of discussion. We’ve shared with you our findings on the performance — both in terms of mobility and speed — of the Yes network in certain areas in the Klang Valley, the question now is how does Yes perform outside Klang Valley?
It’s common sense for telcos to focus the bulk of their network resource towards market centres and high densitiy areas. This means more that often than not, outlying rural areas are not as well covered as it should be. At launch Yes boasts a population coverage of 65% deploying over 1,000 base stations throughout the country. This is more than its current 4G competitor P1 which currently claim around 40% population coverage with under 900 base stations currently being deployed.
All this is fine and dandy but right now what we want to know is where exactly in the populated areas is the 65% coverage focused on. Can Yes deliver consistent connectivity outside city centres? How is the network performance in areas outside of KL?
To find out, we took our trusty Yes Go along with USB modems and SIMs from DiGi, Maxis and U Mobile and hit the road up north to Penang for a mega road test shootout. On the way, we also wanted to find out if the Yes network has indeed got most of the North-South expressway covered.
Initially their map showed coverage blanketing most parts of the highway however a day before our trip, we found out that the map has been “updated” revealing a completely different coverage map with much less areas covered. This got us contemplating if we should carry on with the test as it looks like there is no coverage on our route, but with the understanding that sometimes coverage maps can be inaccurate, we continued with the test anyway.
|Players on the Field, Product review, Technologies, WiMAX, Yes|
|4g, 4g wimax, ipoh, penang, WiMAX, Yes, yes 4g, yes 4g ipoh, yes 4g penang, yes 4g performance, yes 4g plans, yes 4g review, yes 4g roadtest, yes 4g speedtest, yes 4g usb modem, yes go, yes launch, yes malaysia, yes usb modem, yes ytl, ytl comms, YTL WiMAX, YTL yes|
Having tested the Yes Go’s mobility performance around Kuala Lumpur and discovering that the Yes network is indeed mobile delivering rather good performance, we decided to go a step further by taking the Yes Go to various parts of Petaling Jaya and Subang as well.
We wanted to find out if the Yes network can deliver consistent speeds and throughput performance outside of KL. We tested the Yes Go USB dongle on two routes, one along the New Pantai Expressway and the other along Federal Highway.
|Players on the Field, Product review, Technologies, WiMAX, Yes|
|4g, 4g wimax, Federal Highway, New Pantai Expressway, WiMAX, Yes, yes 4g, yes 4g performance, yes 4g plans, yes 4g review, yes 4g roadtest, yes 4g speedtest, yes 4g usb modem, yes go, yes launch, yes malaysia, yes usb modem, yes ytl, ytl comms, YTL WiMAX, YTL yes|
We are heading up north to Penang to test the performance of the Yes 4G network outside of KL. We will be updating our twitter feed regularly along the way.
We’ve reached Ipoh and so far we found the coverage along the North-South highway from KL is patchy. We managed to get connectivity, albeit intermittent, up to the 404KM marker of the North-South highway. Where there’s coverage, the speed is generally better compared to 3G operators. Considering that Yes is a new network, we can see from our road test that Yes has better data coverage along the highway compared to the more established 3G networks like U Mobile and in some instances DiGi. Look out for our full report coming soon.
For regular updates on our trip to Penang, follow us on twitter at @Soya_Cincau to find out how Yes compares with other 3G operators on the road.