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Penang has the world’s largest wireless Terragraph Network with fibre-level performance

YTL Communications has announced its completion of its Terragraph Market Trial in Penang which had commenced from 1st March this year. Terragraph is a milimeter wave technology developed by Facebook that’s designed to provide gigabit speeds in urban areas without the complexities of laying fibre cables.

During the trial period, YTL Communications has provided free high-speed public WiFi in 50 locations in George Town and they have recorded over 19,000 unique visitors with 65% return users. According to the provider, an average public WiFi user consumes an average of 320MB per session and the highest usage recorded was 9GB for a single user.

The free WiFi service offers a peak download speed of 170Mbps and peak uploads of 160Mbps. The hotspots are located at strategic landmarks such as Love Lane, Chulia Street, Kapitan Kaling Mosque, Campbell Street, Goddess of Mercy Temple, Chulia Street Night Market and Armenian Street Art. To date, YTL has deployed 472 Terragraph nodes, and this is the world’s largest Terragraph network according to Facebook.

Apart from providing free WiFi, YTL Communications has also connected 120 local businesses, NGOs and government offices in George Town with a Terragraph-based Fixed Wireless Access solution. These premises are able to enjoy fibre-like speeds without the need for trenching or complex deployments. According to YTL, these fixed wireless users are enjoying up to 16 times faster speeds compared to their existing broadband providers.

They added that their top user consumes up to 130GB per day and the FWA service has received a 93% positive rating from the trial users.

Apart from Terragraph, YTL Communications has also introduced Gigawire into its Terragraph trial in George Town. This is a new technology that enables fibre-level broadband using existing legacy copper wires in buildings. According to YTL, there are nearly a million buildings in Malaysia that are built on copper wire infrastructure which hinders a significant number of Malaysians from enjoying high-speed access.

During a preview at Malaysia Tech Week, we are told that YTL’s Giga Wire deployment is capable of delivering as high as 876Mbps for downloads during their tests in several buildings in Penang, KL and Genting. This is seen as an alternative to Streamyx as existing buildings can get significantly faster speeds with faster deployment and no rewiring required.


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Alexander Wong