Can Yes deliver the best 4G LTE network in the country?

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What is your ideal 4G LTE network? If you ask anyone, most would answer lots of cheap data. Personally, I would prefer a network with coverage that’s wide enough that I wouldn’t even need to worry about it.

For almost 10 years, most Malaysians have a choice of 4 mobile networks, namely Celcom, Digi, Maxis and U Mobile. This year, things are starting to change as more operators are entering the space.

Webe, formerly known as P1 has been launched but their full commercial services are yet to be seen until the second half of this year. This week, Yes is expected to introduce its 4G LTE service and they could go to market ahead of Webe.

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No Lagging, No Frustration, Always 4G LTE. That’s the promise as spotted recently in their sponsorship of Astro’s Euro 2016 coverage.

While our current telcos especially Maxis and Digi are competing to have the widest coverage, there are still areas where 4G can’t cover. For Yes to claim no lagging and always 4G LTE sets a high level of expectation. If this was a new network, we would dismiss this as a gimmick but Yes isn’t your typical telco.

Traditionally, most operators would launch with a small patch of service areas and then expand their network according to priority demand areas. To accommodate its coverage shortfalls, newcomers would rely on domestic roaming for places where their own network isn’t available. For example, U Mobile currently relies on Maxis for additional 2G/3G coverage and Webe has a similar arrangement with Celcom. If a subscriber goes into domestic roaming, speeds are usually less ideal as it switches from 4G to 3G.

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When YTL Communications did WiMAX, they took a different approach by rolling out sufficient coverage before launching to the public. Many were skeptical at first but when Yes 4G was launched, they had over 1,000 sites that provided a claimed 65% Peninsular Malaysia coverage. As a result, customers get a great experience in more places right from the start. That was quite remarkable for a brand new network.

It is no secret that YTL has been doing LTE trial runs and they are busy rolling out LTE coverage extensively for the past year or so. Realistically, we don’t think they would beat the bigger incumbents like Celcom, Digi or Maxis but who knows, they might have a wider 4G LTE coverage than U Mobile. If they do, that’s pretty amazing for a short period of time. Coverage aside, Yes would need to offer more exciting packages for today’s data-centric users. Most users don’t really make more calls or SMS and we hope the new plans would cater for the Social, YouTube and Spotify generation.

Yes will be having an event this Wednesday along with Samsung’s new Galaxy J 2016 series. We’ll be there at the launch so stay tuned for the latest update. What do you expect from Yes? Let us know in the comments section down below.

Alexander Wong