For what has felt like ages, Streamyx users nationwide have been looking for a solution to their lack of access to Unifi‘s fibre plans. Today, it looks like Unifi may have a solution on the horizon as a leaked slide from what looks like a pitch deck reveals something called Unifi Air, a proposed plan to bring Unifi and fibre-like internet connectivity to those who have no access to fibre ports.
According to the slide which was obtained by tech site Amanz, Unifi Air will give customers access to fibre-like speeds through mobile LTE on the 2.3GHz (it says 2.3MHz, but I suspect it’s a typo) band. This is done through a Huawei B618-65D LTE device that will be equipped with a SIM card that’s locked to the device (so you can’t stick it in your phone). This device promises to provide speeds that are even faster than “mobile phone connectivity” and will allow up to 64 devices to connect to it simultaneously. What’s more, the slide boasts that setup is a simple plug-insert-play, and that there will be no need for a technician nor hacking so users can do it themselves.
The Unifi Air plan that’s being proposed will cost users RM79/month and will be offered with unlimited quota on a 24-month contract. There will also be no upfront payments, and users will not have to pay for the LTE device either. What’s more, the proposal suggests that users will get a one-month free waiver for Unifi Air, but termination and device return can only be done at TMpoints.
From the looks of things, this technology is very similar to Unifi’s existing home wireless broadband solution which gives users access to fibre-like speeds for RM79/month, but there’s a 60GB quota. That plan also needs you to buy the wireless router separately, but doesn’t tie you to a contract.
TM has already hinted at this being a potential solution for their Streamyx problem when the company unveiled the new TDD-LTE Massive MIMO network at Setiawalk in Puchong. That technology also rides on the 2.3GHz band and can deliver a high capacity of up to 500Mbps. As a concept, this looks pretty solid because it doesn’t require as big of an investment to set up infrastructure, plus it should be pretty quick to roll out too.
The biggest challenge for TM would probably their LTE coverage. If a recent report by OpenSignal is any indication, TM has their work cut out for them.
Not the only feasible solution
That said, utilising LTE is not the only feasible solution to offer customers fibre-like speeds. Giga Wire, for example, looks like the best way to get Streamyx users connected because it can push gigabit speeds with existing copper cables. All it needs is a switch in the building and a new CPE (customer-provided equipment) in the customer’s home.
Then, there are solutions like Terragraph which can work for areas without fibre as a backhaul. Using Qualcomm’s latest chipsets, Terragraph is expected to be able to provide as high as 4.6Gbps of bandwidth by the end of this year.