While Najib is proud of cheap kangkung the rest of you may be more interested to know that apparently Malaysia has the most affordable internet in the world (or at least among emerging and developing countries).
This may be harder to swallow than a bunch of uncooked water spinach to some but in the Affordability Report 2013, an independent study done by the Alliance for Affordable Internet, Malaysia tops the list among 46 emerging and developing countries including China, Brazil, Turkey and Hungary in terms of affordable internet.
Published on December 8, last year, the report presents an ‘Affordability Index’, which ranks nations across communications infrastructure and access and affordability indicators fundamental to achieving affordable Internet. The study also explores key barriers to affordable internet.
While many Malaysians lament that internet in Malaysia is still expensive compared to developed countries like Singapore and Korea, the study finds that Malaysia is on the right track noting that Government initiatives such as Public-Private Partnerships to expand broadband infrastructure and making basic internet access and equipment affordable for the low-income bracket through subsidies are bearing fruit. According to MCMC, four out of five Malaysians now have access to 3G.
This is a stark contrast to developing countries where people are living on less than US$2/day. In these countries, the report noted, entry-level broadband costs an average of 40% of monthly income and most cases basic internet exceeds 80% or 100%. As a result, billions cannot afford to get online, entrenching the digital divide and constraining economic and social progress.
Sonia Jorge, executive director of A4AI commented:
“Countries such as Malaysia, Brazil or Morocco, which top our Affordability Index, show how rapid progress can be made when innovative technologies are twinned with an enabling, forward-looking policy and regulatory environment which stimulates supply as well as demand. A4AI is committed to working hand-in-hand with countries to help drive down the cost of broadband.”
So what do you think? Feeling the good vibe? Internet in Malaysia may not be as cheap as some might like but it is certainly affordable and readily available compared to many countries even the developing ones. At the very least speeds have increased while prices have remained fairly constant and it’s certainly good that most local operators are not as restrictive with data quotas and usages as they can be. Let’s hope some things remain the same while other continue to improve
You can download the full report here.
Happy Prepaid is having a Kelantan & Terengganu only special where they are offering a QWERTY Phone and simpack for just RM168. The phone in question is a CSL Blueberry 1300 while the RM168 sim pack comes with RM90 worth of Free Internet usage and RM100 worth of free talk time with a minimum usage of RM20/month.
The RM90 credit for mobile internet would last about 4 weeks with its RM15/week unlimited internet promo.
If you’re in Kelantan or Terengganu and looking for a cheap phone, this might be worth a look. For more information, head to Happy’s promo page here.
We’ve just discovered that Happy Prepaid, an MVNO service under DiGi has just introduced a prepaid internet offer exclusive for Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
Their starter packs are going at RM15 which comes with 3 days worth of data and validity period. It starts off similar to DiGi prepaid internet at RM2/day but it gets cheaper
with higher value top ups.
For RM10 top up you’ll get 6 days of usage while RM30 top up gives you 18 days which is about RM1.67 per day to stay connected. The fair usage for this plan is capped at maximum 2GB a month which upon exceeding you might be just throttled further to snail crawling speeds. Just like the rest of DiGi prepaid internet offerings, download speed is limited at 384kbps which is adequate for normal surfing but challenging for those who require speedier downloads.
For more information, check out Happy Prepaid Kota Bharu page here.
We visited Happy Prepaid’s website recently and we got a surprise on their splash screen. It looks like Happy Prepaid has segregated into Happy for the rest of us and a Bahasa Malaysia only version of Happy Prepaid for Kelantan & Terengganu.
So what’s with Happy Prepaid for Kelantan & Terengganu?
6 months ago, Happy had stopped its happy rates when they remove the 45 minutes for only 99sen offer. It had made a lot of frown faces and the Happy trail somehow was beginning to trickle down.
Recently they had revised their plans and hopefully this would put more smiles on faces. Until 31st July 2009, they are offering a Happy Hour promotion of 33 sen for 45 minutes of calls made to both Happy and DiGi numbers from 9am-5pm.
For normal calls to all networks, calls are charged at 33 sen/minute and calls from the 3rd-15th minute are free.
The reader said:
After using Happy for almost a year, I’m extremely annoyed that they changed their rates suddenly on Jan 22, 2009, delusionally advertising them as “new happy deals”. What bullsh*t.
We couldn’t agree more and here are the details.
Happy hinted that the “
no-frills” cheapskate mobile service provider was working on new rates.
Happy revealed the revised rates on January 22, and we’re pretty sure many were very disappointed with the crappy “Happier” rates.
MNP in Malaysia has been hot on the lips of telcos recently as it is seen as a big shake up in the communication business. After a long wait, MCMC has finally confirmed that MNP or better known as Mobile Number Portability will kick off in the Klang Valley by September before it is implemented Nationwide by October.
What is MNP?
If you haven’t heard of it, MNP allows mobile subscribers to keep their mobile numbers including its prefix with them if they wish to switch to a different operator. Currently, there are 4 main operators in the country and the prefixes (010, 011, 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019) are fixed with the registered operators.
If a user is a Maxis subscriber bearing 012-1234567, he/she won’t be able to bring this number with them when switching to a different operator. This has become a big barrier for consumers who wish to switch as mobile numbers tend to be a personal identity which many won’t want to lose. Read the rest of this entry »
After Maxis launched its Hotlink 365, DiGi has responded with its Reload Once, Stay Connected for ONE Year offer for a limited time period between 23rd July – 31st August 2008.
DiGi’s offer is simple and gives more value to its customers as it only requires a RM100 usable reload. This means every single sen spent for validity is actual credit or talk time that subscribers can use.
On Hotlink 365, its subscribers are required to pay a yearly fee of RM33 which is similar to paying access fee which subscriber can’t utilise. On top of the RM33 fee, they would need to top up RM30 within the first 6 months of activation.
Happy, a no-frills prepaid on DiGi’s network has finally introduced direct debit payment thru Maybank2u. Previously Happy accepts only credit card transactions which limits its online subscription audience. Currently, it is estimated that there are 2.7 million credit card holders in Malaysia which is equivalent to only 10% of the population. With this new payment channel, we believe they are now capable to acquiring a larger subscriber base.
At the same time, Happy has also spread its wings about a week ago to Sabah! It was reported that they have been organising roadshows at strategic locations in Kota Kinabalu. As MNP is drawing near, it is obvious that Happy needs to spread its presence around Malaysia in other to secure its footprint in the prepaid segment.
Happy was launched sometime in December 2007 and it had created some buzz in the telco industry.
Who is this Happy? By now, most of you should have seen its multi coloured advertisements on TV, Internet and newspaper. While Happy is a part of DiGi, it tries to disassociates itself from the big yellow where its advertisements and promotional materials do not carry the DiGi brand. Even their sales channel are limited to their website and selected Giant hypermarkets. We’re wondering why they are not making use of DiGi’s already established dealer channels nationwide.
It is only after you looked closely, you will know that Happy comes from DiGi. In fact, Morten Lundal, the former CEO of DiGi said that Happy is formed by a rebel group in DiGi’s headquarters itself.
The next question is why did they create Happy when DiGi is already a strong prepaid-centric brand? It could be possible that Happy is a limited time experiment by DiGi. In an event where the outcome is not desirable, they could easily pull the plug on Happy without affecting DiGi as a whole.
So what’s the deal with Happy?