P1, which was famous for its bold Potong campaign has kicked off its new “Ready to P1ay” offering. The 4G WiMAX telco says they have made improvements to its network and the campaign signifies its confidence to take on new subscribers. This is made possible with its backing by TM and SK Telekom.
With the new promotion, new customers can sign up with P1 Broadband with RM0 upfront payment and RM0 first month subscription fee. This gets you connected without paying anything until your first bill.
After almost 3 years of waiting, WiMAX operator Yes 4G has finally arrived in Sabah. During the official launch, its Executive Director Yeoh Soo Keng has mentioned that Yes 4G network has covered 60% of populated areas in Sabah and they aim to extend this further to 80% by year end. A quick check on their coverage map reveals that most major towns in Sabah including the interior ones have coverage.
Apart from Kota Kinabalu, Tawau and Sandakan, Yes 4G has coverage at Kudat, Ranau, Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Papar, Beaufort, Kuala Penyu, Sipitang, Keningau, Tambunan, Lahad Datu and Semporna. In addition, the duty free island of Federal Territory Labuan is covered as well. If you plan on uploading a resolution video of your climb at Mount Kinabalu, unfortunately the National Park isn’t covered by Yes 4G yet. Who knows they would extend their coverage to the highest peak of Malaysia later on.
At the moment, they have 5 retail outlets at shopping malls in Kota Kinabalu. Unlike other operators that roll out services in phases, Yes 4G has emulate their same strategy of building a wide coverage network first before starting their service commercially in Sabah.
You can check out some maps of Yes 4G’s Sabah coverage areas after the break.
It has been speculated for quite a while that Green Packet is selling a major stake of its P1 WiMAX business. Now Reuters has reported that the deal is more or less finalised and Green Packet will be announcing the successful buyer by the end of this month.
Its Managing Director and CEO, CC Puan is expected to make an announcement on the deal in the coming weeks. So far, it has been speculated that DiGi, TM and YTL are in talks in acquire a controlling stake of P1 for its wireless spectrum. Among the 3, YTL is the only provider with an active WiMAX service running under its Yes brand while DiGi has started its 4G LTE service in mid 2013. TM is said to be planning to roll out LTE services by this month.
P1 is currently allocated 30MHz in the 2.3GHz WiMAX band and 20MHz of the 2.6GHz 4G LTE spectrum. Such spectrum is very limited and is very valuable for other players that aims to grab a foothold in wireless game.
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Internet connectivity is a necessity for smart phone users and WiFi hotspots can sometimes be either slow or hard to find. In the US, there’s a service called Karma which offers WiFi connectivity through Clearwire 4G WiMAX network and you’ll also get to earn free data quota by sharing your hotspot connection.
It basically works like a personal MiFi hotspot but the device is open for the public to join. Whenever someone connects to your device, they will be prompted to sign up for a free account with 100MB quota and in exchange, you’ll also get to earn 100MB per referral. Imagine if a WiFi hotspot goes down at a busy coffee place, this could be a golden opportunity to earn heaps of free data.
In terms of device, Karma uses the same Infomark 4G WiMAX hotspot as Yes Huddle XS which pushes a claimed 8-10 hours of usage. To start, you would need to purchase the MiFi for US$99 and it comes with pre-bundled 1GB of data. If you need more, you have a choice of 5GB at US$50 or 20GB at $180 which is roughly US$9 per GB on the highest bundle. Yes, it is expensive compared to other alternatives out there but the advantage is there’s no expiry on the data quota. This makes it suitable for light users that occasionally use the service as a backup.
While this concept looks good, there are some shortfalls with the service. For the owner, more users on board means less available throughput bandwidth to use despite having separated accounts. More connected users could also mean shorter battery life as well which isn’t ideal for the hard core road warrior.
For the strangers that latched onto a Karma hotspot, their connectivity is heavily depended on the host. So, if a Karma hotspot owner walks away, your connection is gone as well. Another downside is that Karma is limited to Clearwire’s WiMAX network and there’s no fall-back to other 3G networks when WiMAX isn’t available. Nevertheless, it is still a novel idea of earning free internet quota in return of creating more usable WiFi hotspots for the local community.
Would you think such service would work in Malaysia? Probably it is something Yes and other telcos with MiFi devices could consider.
For more information, you can head over to Karma’s website.
P1 now offers a new MiFi personal hotspot which claims to offer higher performance. The new device that carries the model number MX230 comes in a perfect square design with slimmer profile that’s somewhat similar to the huddle XS.
Compared to the earlier MF230, the new MX230 is heavier at 75g (MF230: 62g) but it is able to connect up to 8 devices simultaneously, which is great for sharing with your peers. The built-in battery is said to last up to 6 hours.
Both MF230 and MX230 are offered on rental basis bundled with 24 months contract of 6GB ToGo 69 plan for RM69/month. The MF230 is being offered for free while the new MX230 requires RM100 modem upgrade free. As a special promo, they are offering additional RM200 rebate (RM10x 20 months) and another extra RM50 off if you sign up online. ToGo 69 plan offers uncapped speeds on best effort basis.
For more information, head over to P1 MiFi page.
P1 4G today has made several revisions to its broadband offering for its Combo (OnePlan), Fixed (ForHome) and Outdoor (ToGo) plans. P1 was offering broadband plans without contract for quite some time now but with the recent change, all plans now come with either 12 or 24 months contract duration for fixed broadband and 6 months contract for outdoor. Subscribers that picked the 24 months option will get to enjoy additional savings off subscription fees.
With the cheapest cost-per-GB MiFi plans in the country there’s actually a strong case for P1 to promote its MF230 MiFi device. The generous monthly data allowance combined with seamless wireless connectivity for up to five devices makes it easy for users with multiple devices to get connected when out and about with a MiFi and a P1 plan.
P1’s MF230 MiFi was initially launched exclusively with Harvey Norman back in December 2010. To purchase the MF230 you will need to buy an iPad with Harvey Norman as well. There is no option that allowed you to purchase the MF230 as a standalone device.
We thought that this exclusivity period was only for a couple of months, so we got in touch with P1 Customer Service via its web-chat service on its website to get the latest information about the MF230 and whether it is available a standalone purchase item now.
The above screen capture was the answer that we got from a P1 customer service rep. Close to four months after the Harvey Norman deal, you still can’t buy the MF230 from P1 directly. This is confusing because there is a prominent mention of the MF230 MiFi on P1’s website but as we’ve discovered, the device is not sold by P1. The only way to get the MF230 is through Harvey Norman and even then, you’ll need to buy an iPad from them first.
With the market now inundated with tablets from numerous manufacturers MiFi devices are gaining popularity. We have a market primed for a high adoption of this particular breed of gadget. And with the impending iPad 2 mania hitting the nation this coming Friday, it’d be smart for P1 to start selling its MF230 through multiple channel rather than rely on one single channel partner (in this case, it’s Harvey Norman). Also, there should be an option to purchase the MiFi standalone and not have it tied-up to an expensive purchase-with-purchase program.
On top of this P1 CEO Michael Lai openly proclaimed via his Twitter account that its MF230 “works wonderfully well while others fail”. If this is indeed the case, then it would seem that P1 have a strong product in its hands. So why the bashful market approach?
We’re not sure why P1 is not selling the MF230 using their own channels. All we know is that, if the CEO thinks very highly of the device, the should make it widely available and easily purchased.
Google has announced another new official Android device, the Nexus S 4G. This comes after the original Nexus S device and it also runs on the latest Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. Just like the Nexus S, the Nexus S 4G is co-developed with Samsung and it also features the same 4″ Contour Display with Super AMOLED. The device currently is available via Sprint which allows it to take full advantage of its 4G WiMAX network. Before you get someone in the US to buy one for you, do realise that this Nexus S 4G runs on CDMA/EV-DO network instead of GSM network.
At the same time, Google has also announced that existing Sprint customers will be able to utilise Google Voice while keeping their same number. For those who didn’t know, Google Voice lets you stay connected on multiple platforms with just 1 number. You can read up more about this in our previous post here.This sounds similar to Yes‘s voice service where all your devices can share the same ID. Watch the demo video after the break to get a clearer picture.
Nexus S 4G will be made available for online order this coming spring and shall make their way to Sprint retailers and Best Buy stores in the US.
When we went on a road test to Penang earlier on, Yes 4G coverage on the North South highway wasn’t really as covered as we would expected. The speeds were great at areas with coverage but the lack of coverage makes it a tough choice if you require seamless connectivity on your trip up north.
With Chinese New Year around the corner, most people will be traveling back to their respective home towns outside the Klang Valley. Now Yes has proudly announced that North South highway is now powered by Yes 4G. This makes long journeys more entertaining provided that their coverage is truly seamless throughout the route.
P1 has started the new year with a revamp of its fixed broadband packages for home and business users. Previously they had 3 home and 2 business plans with speed offerings between 400kbps to 2.4Mbps but now they have bumped their highest Pro plan with 4.8Mbps download speed.
To make it simple, P1 no longer offer separate plans for business or home users so there’s only 3 plans to choose from right now – Lite with 400kbps, Plus with 1.2Mbps and Pro with 4.8Mbps. This also means that they have stopped offering unlimited plans which was previously exclusively for business users.
The Lite and Plus plan remains unchanged as it maintains the same speed, quota and monthly subscription. However with the new rates, existing Plus users are clearly enticed to get 4X the download speed with 10GB additional quota for a mere RM40. That’s only RM4/GB for additional quota for those who exceed their typical 20GB quota for Home Plus plan.
Earlier on, P1’s Pro plan was originally priced at RM199/month for 2.4Mbps download speeds at 40GB quota a month. Probably knowing that this is too much for a wireless broadband service, they later reduced the subscription fee to RM139/month while reducing the quota to 30GB a month.
With the latest revision, Pro users get to enjoy much higher download speeds but like any other wireless services, it all depends on the network congestion of your area. We hope that P1 is ready to deliver 4.8Mbps download speeds to avoid situation of over-promising like its P1 W1GGY some time ago.
The offer is also made sweeter as P1 is giving all plans additional 50% off for the 2nd and 3rd month subscription, which is basically 1 month worth of savings. For more information, head to P1’s broadband promo page.