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[UPDATE] Maxis: “FUP due to MCO” a miscommunication, but traffic for Hotlink users are managed from 8pm to 12am

[ UPDATE 3/02/2021 14:20 ]: Maxis has provided a another statement on their network traffic management.

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Following our previous post on Hotlink’s alleged throttling for Prepaid Unlimited customers, Maxis has issued us an official response on the matter. According to the telco, the supposed Fair Usage Policy (FUP) due to the MCO is a miscommunication and it will only apply during specific situations.

Maxis says they do not manage speeds to 512kbps during the MCO. However, the telco admits that there’s a form of network traffic management between 8pm to 12am which they claim to be different from FUP.

Maxis hasn’t revealed what “network traffic management” means and whether it includes throttling or reduction of video streaming quality. The telco has shared that there’s a surge in usage during the MCO period and they are ensuring that all users will be able to gain access to reliable and fast internet.

The telco also said the network traffic management exercise will be implemented as an interim measure to ensure less data congestion. According to the statement, the intention is to provide a good mobile experience for all users.

Below is the statement from Maxis:

Firstly, Maxis would like to apologise for the miscommunication on the Hotlink Unlimited Fair Usage Policy (FUP) which only applies to certain situations. Maxis would also like to clarify that we do not manage speeds to 512kbps during the MCO period.

Our focus during a surge in network traffic especially during the MCO period is making sure that access to a reliable and fast mobile internet network is available to everyone for essential activities such as web access to important information, e-learning and work from home. This network traffic management for Hotlink users during limited busy hours at night from 8pm to 12 midnight is not to be confused with Fair Usage Policy. Instead, it is an interim measure to ensure less data congestion to ensure a good user experience. We continue to monitor traffic and quality levels, and optimise network capacity while accelerating upgrades to retain a good mobile data speed experience. We encourage customers to reach out to our customer service team for any further assistance.

What is Network Traffic Management?

The biggest question right now is what is really happening from 8pm to 12am daily? Maxis should be transparent with their product offering and policy as customers deserved to know what they are getting into.

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Fair Usage Policy is a standard practice in the industry to curb abuse from a small number of individuals which could potentially affect the entire network. However if the telco plans to manage the speeds of users across the board despite not hitting their monthly FUP quota, the telco should make it clear on their product pages. There’s no mention of any time-based Network Traffic Management on their official channels.

It was also alleged that Hotlink is also slowing down users from 8pm to 12am that have purchased a data add-on. According to their website, the add-ons promises to offer uncapped speeds for Mobile Usage and Hotspot from as little as RM1 per hour to RM10 for 5GB that’s valid for 7 days. It would be unfair if customers are still subjected to “network traffic management” if they have purchased the add-ons that promises uncapped speeds.

We’ve also reached out to Maxis for further clarification and we will update this post once we have more details.

[ UPDATE 3/02/2021 14:20 ]: Maxis has responded with the following statement:

Our customers have always remained our top priority and in these extraordinary times where there has been a surge in traffic, it is imperative that they continue to get the best connectivity experience. As communicated earlier, measures are undertaken for the network to ensure that data congestion is kept to a minimum with the ultimate goal of enabling a good user experience for all. We will continue to monitor traffic and quality levels, as well as invest and optimise network capacity for everyone.

Maxis didn’t confirm or deny that they are throttling users’ internet speeds. They emphasised that they are taking measures on their network to reduce data congestion to a minimum.

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Alexander Wong