The LTE version of the Galaxy S4 (i9505) is now available from Maxis for as low as RM1,399 with contract or, for a limited time, for RM999 for Maxis One Club members (RRP RM2,499). Aside from a more battery efficient 1.9Ghz quad-core processor, the LTE Galaxy S4 is virtually identical to the non-LTE version in terms of looks and, arguably, in performance as well.
But where the octa-core, non-LTE S4 is a battery muncher, the LTE S4 offers a significant improvement in battery performance over the non-LTE version though we’re not sure if the RM300 premium is worth it considering LTE coverage in Malaysia is sporadic at best right now. So if you’re staying in outside of market centres like Klang Valley, Penang or JB, you won’t be able to benefit much from the speed offered by LTE.
Or you can just opt for our current favourite, the HTC One offering great build quality, awesome sound from the dual front speakers, a display that’s better than the one on the S4 and a fuss-free interface that’s free from gimmicky bloatware. And, at RM2,299 for the 32GB version, the HTC One is RM200 cheaper than the 32GB LTE Galaxy S4.
In any case, the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE joins Apple’s iPhone 5, iPad mini and iPad 4; Blackberry Q10, HTC One, Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC One XL on the list of LTE devices currently available from Maxis.
Maxis’ position as the country’s leading 4G LTE operator is further strengthened with a claimed LTE subscriber base of over 130,000 customers since the service was available on January 1 this year. In addition, Maxis say that it has doubled its 4G LTE coverage in the Klang Valley to include areas such as Bukit Damansara, Kepong, Sungai Besi, Sentul and Subang Jaya, as well as expanded LTE to Penang and Johor Bahru in addition to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
For the full list of Maxis’ 4G LTE coverage areas, data plans and devices, click here.
|Android, LTE, Maxis, Mobile Devices, Mobile OS, Players on the Field, Samsung, Technologies|
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If you’ve been holding off your Samsung Galaxy S4 purchase for the LTE version (i9505), you’ll be happy to know that Maxis has listed the LTE S4 as “coming soon” which means it should be in stores in about a couple of weeks.
In terms of pricing, we don’t expect the LTE S4 to differ in price from the non-LTE version as the specs are pretty closely matched. The major difference being the processor — the non-LTE (i9500) runs Samsung’s very own Exynos Octa-core processor (Effectively two quad-core units, one for heavy loads, one for power efficiency) while the LTE version runs a 1.9GHz quad-core Krait processor.
Aside from the faster internet connection (up to 60Mbps download on Maxis LTE in some areas we’ve tested), the quad-core processor in the LTE S4 is potentially more power efficient than the octa-core powered S4. From our tests, the non-LTE S4 with the octa-core processor proves to be a power-hungry device struggling to got beyond 10-12 hours on normal use.
Thanks for the tip @DectAfiq
When the availability of LTE networks was first announced in Malaysia early this year, iPhone and iPad owners wondered if their device could take advantage of the blazing speeds that the new network standard has to offer.
Back then, LTE in Malaysia was only available on one spectrum, the 2600MHz (band 7) spectrum, which is not compatible with the iPhone 5 and the new iPad. Early on, there were talks about repurposing the existing 1800MHz spectrum currently used for GSM to support LTE and while telcos confirmed that 1800MHz will eventually be used for LTE, both regulators and operators didn’t provide much information on when and how it will happen.
As it turns out, the 1800MHz refarming is happening and Maxis is quick to stake its claim as the first operator in Malaysia to make band 3 LTE available to Malaysians.
So what does this mean to you? Well, if you’re an iPhone 5, iPad (fourth generation) or iPad mini user, it means that you can now jump on board the LTE bandwagon (where coverage is available and only if you’re a Maxis subscriber at the moment). Congratulations. This also means that future iPhones and iPads will support Malaysia’s LTE network.
For you to access the Maxis LTE on your iPhone 5 or compatible iPad, you’ll need to run the latest carrier settings update. There should be a notification about this update on your device already. If you have not received the update notification yet, just run a manual update check — Go to Settings > General > About. The update should be available then.
Maxis say that subscribers who subscribe to data plans with a data quota of 1GB and above are able to jump on LTE automatically. Those with data plans with data quota lower than 1GB will have to upgrade to enjoy Maxis LTE speeds. Why is this? Maxis say that because of the super fast speeds on LTE (between 10 to 30Mbps), you’ll have the tendency to use up your data quota faster hence the need to upgrade to a higher data quota plan.
What about if you’re on other operators? Well, it depends on when these operators want to launch their LTE service and if they have the 1800MHz spectrum to use in the first place. So if you’re on Celcom and DiGi, there is a possibility that band 3 LTE will be available for you. P1 4G or Yes 4G on the other hand may not be able to offer band 3.
On a side note: Wondering when Celcom will launch their LTE plans.
There has been as much confusion as there is interest about the latest wireless technology to hit Malaysia — LTE. LTE is capable of delivering download speeds up to 100Mbps and promises to offload data traffic from 3G networks struggling to keep up with an ever increasing load and when voice-over LTE comes to Malaysia, we will be able to enjoy much improved call quality with HD Voice. But unlike the current crop of 3G smartphones, the availability of phones that are compatible with the 2600MHz (Band 7) LTE standard used in Malaysia is rare and many are asking what phones currently in the market support the 2600MHz frequency.
Before that, let’s start off with LTE devices on sale in Malaysia that are not compatible with 2600MHz. The iPhone 5, iPad mini and iPad 4 are not compatible with Malaysia’s LTE network. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
Currently, there are three devices that are compatible with 2600MHz – ASUS Padfone 2, Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. We got in touch with Mark Dioguardi, Chief Operating Officer at Maxis and he confirms that the three devices will work with Maxis LTE.
The problem is, the LTE plans available from Maxis at the moment are for data only. So while you can put a Maxis LTE SIM card into an LTE compatible phone and you will be able to access data services, you won’t be able to make or receive phone calls. For this Dioguardi says that Maxis “will be announcing LTE enabled plans to support LTE SmartPhones soon.” And that’s something we’re curious about.
Let’s also look at devices in the horizon that will work here. The soon to be release Sony Xperia V supports 2600MHz. There are also versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III (GT-I9305) and Galaxy Note II (GT-N7105) that support 2600MHz as well, so it’s safe to assume that operators looking to make LTE phones available in Malaysia in the shortest time possible will chose to offer these models. In addition to this, there is a growing list of multi-band LTE smartphones that will be compatible with 2600Mhz and as operators like Maxis and Celcom continue to expand their LTE networks, the selection of LTE devices for you to choose will grow as well.
Got a question about LTE? Let us know and we’ll try our best to answer them.
This has to be the most surprising announcement we’ve ever received. Just as Malaysians usher the New Year, Maxis has launched the first salvo in the next generation war for mobile dominance.
In an official statement Maxis has announced that it now has LTE networks available at Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Damansara Utama, Desa Sri Hartamas, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Bandar Sunway and Cyberjaya, and by doing so, is officially the first telco in Malaysia to make LTE available in the country. Maxis plans to light up other parts of the country with LTE “soon”.
Maxis claims that its LTE network is able to reach speed of up to 75Mbps. The operator say subscribers can expect a typical average speeds of 10Mbps to 30Mbps.
Along with the new network Maxis plans to bring new services that takes advantage of the superior wireless capabilities that LTE has to offer.
You can subscribe to Maxis’ LTE can subscribe to the service at Maxis Centres in KLCC and Taman Tun Dr Ismail. There is no additional charge for LTE on Maxis. The service is available with any of Maxis existing data plans starting from RM88/month. Existing subscribers can also upgrade their current Maxis 3G modem to an LTE modem for a fee. Full details available here.
Currently only one LTE device (modem) is available from Maxis but the operator says that more devices including smartphones will be available “soon”. At the moment we know that the ASUS PadFone 2 as well as the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 are compatible with the 2600Mhz LTE network in Malaysia but it is not known if Maxis has provisioned its network to allow these to run on LTE.
Maxis and REDtone have entered into an infrastructure and spectrum sharing agreement that will enable both players to speed up the deployment of their 4G LTE mobile networks. Together with REDtone, Maxis claims that, once built, its 4G LTE network will be able to deliver the fastest mobile data connectivity not just in Malaysia but in the region with transmission rates up to 150Mbps. Maxis say that the speeds that its next-gen network is capable of delivering will be two times above the theoretical limit of what the other local 4G operators can currently deliver.
Maxis is looking to launch is 4G LTE service “early next year” in parts of the Klang Valley with deployment to other regions “closely thereafter”. REDtone is expected to launch its mobile broadband service sometime in 2013.
“We are looking to set a new benchmark in data service quality,” Chief Executive Officer, Sandip Das
With a capital expenditure investment of RM3.7 billion in the past three years, Maxis say it is the biggest network investor in the country with 81% – or 5,200 sites – of its network now in high speed 3G. Out of those 5,200 3G sites, 3,400 are HSPA+ enabled capable of delivering speeds with a theoretical limit of 42Mbps.
Local operators have been playing the waiting game with LTE network as the money required to build such a network with enough coverage to make it useful to subscribers is immense. But as the demand for mobile data increase beyond the capacity of existing 3G networks, the need to shift to the next generation in mobile connectivity will be hard to ignore. Collaborations such as this is one way to speed things up as operators make more efficient use of the spectrum that is available to them while MCMC finalise its 2.6GHz LTE spectrum allocation to operators.
Will we be seeing LTE phones next year? Yes but we believe when LTE networks come online within the first quarter of 2013 at the earliest, operators will offer data dongles and MiFis first before moving to dual-mode LTE phones and tablets that will still depend on 2G/3G networks for voice, text messaging and back-up data connectivity when LTE coverage is not available.
In any case, 2013 is going to a year to look forward to as 4G comes to Malaysia in a big way. As a result of that you can expect to see cost for broadband connectivity drop as well. We’re definitely looking forward to a next year.
Maxis is striving to be on the forefront when it comes to innovation. In order to stay ahead of the competition, they have been testing various of new technology and intend to be the first to offer in the country.
Recently they have announced that Maxis has started testing 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology on a trial run basis. This will give the company time to play around with the technology before the government announces the allocation for LTE Spectrum.
Maxis has been running various of trial runs on different technology and platforms such as HSDPA, DVB-H and even WiMAX. Some of which were launched and some didn’t.