YTL Communications Sdn Bhd, has launched in Malaysia what it claims to be the “most affordable” 4G Mobile Internet service with voice via the “YES 4G network”. It will be five times faster than the current 3G network but the price will be compatible and very affordable. YES will put Malaysia on par with the South Koreans, Singaporeans and Japanese on the technology front. Based on its Executive Chariman Tan Sri Francis Yeoh press conference and several news release this is what we know so far :
– At the launching, YTL Communications and Samsung also introduced the world’s first all 4G mobile phone called the “Yes Buzz” which has a touchscreen and a slide-out keyboard. There is a USB dongle called GO, which can even access and be plug in to recessed ports like those ones on the MacBook Air. Next up, a MiFi-type device called Huddle enabling one to share the 4G connection via WIFI.
– Users just have to “pay-as-you-go(use)” of nine sen for 3mb of data, one minute of calls or one short message service. “Yes” also offers a rebate of up to 30 per cent to power users who consume high amounts of data. This will effectively reduce the already attractive rates to as low as two sen per MB or RM20 per GB while offering users the power to self-manage by setting temporary data caps. It will have the lowest rate in the industry with no monthly commitment and conditions.
– The saving will start at 2.5GB . The more one use, the less one need to pay. For usage of 4GB and above, subscribers would get a 30% rebate for every GB used. YES subscribers will receive a rebate of RM9 for data usage of 2.5GB while usage of 3GB will get RM23 rebate.
– Unlike current offerings where mobile data and voice are separated, YES will have everything into one plan with no additional charge. There will also be mobile TV by end 2011.
– Coverage in the peninsula will start at 65% ( with 1500 base stations ) and increasing to 80% by end 2011. The company had invested about RM2.5bil for the Yes 4G infrastructure working with Samsung, Cisco, GCT Semiconductor and Clearwire. Running on the 2.3Ghz spectrum, the Yes 4G network is 20-30 denser than the one found in the US, and costs just 1/6th of the price to build. YES 4G is a 100% digital, all-IP network and is the world’s first 4G network to incorporate voice, earning its claim to be the world’s first converged 4G service (voice + mobile internet + mobile broadband).
– YTL’s 4G network will be SIM-less. A Sim Card is not necessary and one is not locked on to one device. The network runs on a user ID that comes with its own mobile number. All one need to do is log-on using the user ID (call the Yes ID) and all the information is accessible on any device. One can log on to multiple devices, all at the same time. It’s possible to receive a call and have it ring on the hand phone, your computer … or home phone, all at the same time. We just need to pick the device most convenient to answer the call or make a call from.
Prior to the launch, YTL Comms has received thousands of pre-registrations which was three times above expectation. I have immediately signed up and obtained a mobile number 018- XXXXXXX of my own choice when this was announced. My small hometown was shown in its promotional video as one of the towns with YES enabled.
If you haven’t registered yet ,browse to http://www.yes.my to pre-register your unique, free Yes ID and 018 mobile number.
– Under the present mobile number portability arrangement , existing mobile phone users of other operators can port over their numbers to YTL Comms to enjoy 4G performance and innovation.
3G is a legacy service. It is developed using voice technology and it can’t cope with the massive amount of data that consumers are demanding. Malaysia’s broadband speeds are miserable . I have touched on this in my previous postings at https://leemn.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/malaysia-broadband-speeds-a-joke/ . Reproduced below a portion of it:
Based on millions of recent test results from Speedtest.net, its broadband index compares and ranks consumer download speeds around the globe. The value is the rolling average throughput in Mbps over the past 30 days where the mean distance between the client and the server is less than 300 miles. Detailed results are at http://www.netindex.com/download/allcountries/
Malaysia ranks a lowly 102nd out of 152 countries in terms of its average download speed. We are in the bottom 50′s and we should be “proud” in view of Malaysia proudly proclaimed Multimedia Super Corridor initiatives to bring the country forward to the digital and computerized era of the future.
The tests showed that Malaysia’s average download speed was 1.90 Mbps as compared with 2.49 Mbps in Uganda – land of the poor and starving.
The nation’s download speed was also about 18 times slower than the top-ranked country, South Korea, which had an average download speed of 34.14 Mbps.
Latest update till 5 Jun 2010 :
Just to illustrate how embarrassing we are – just look at the rankings of the following countries which are supposedly less developed than us : Albania (99 ), Bosnia ( 83 ), Uganda ( 86 ), Rwanda ( 85 ) , Mongolia ( 36 ), Kazasthan ( 60 ).
Asian countries ranking in comparison : Korea ( 1 ), Japan ( 5 ), Singapore ( 30 ), Thailand ( 61 ), China ( 75 ) .
So, what’s this thing called 4G?
The true definition of 4G has been, thus far, been sketchy and highly muddled. In layman terms, 4G is simply defined as the fourth generation of the cellular wireless standard, superseding 3G and 2G. 4G is a fully IP-packet switched network solution which facilitates ultra high-speed broadband, IP telephony, seamless connectivity, global roaming across multiple networks and next generation multimedia support (IPTV, streaming video, rich media, etc). International Telecommunications Union-Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R)‘s 4G requirements specifies target peak data rates of approximately 100Mbps for mobile access and 1Gbps for stationary or low mobility access.
There has been two clear players/standards – both which are considered pre-4G technologies (because they do not fully comply with IMT-Advanced requirements). Globally, this hasn’t stopped telcos from branding their offerings as 4G. Firstly, there is 3GPP LTE (Long Term Evolution). Theoretically, LTE has downlink speeds of up to 100Mbps and 50Mbps uplink if a 20Mhz channel is used. LTE, if you didn’t know already, has been field-tested by Maxis in Damansara and Bandar Utama areas since July this year. The tests revealed impressive speeds of 60-104Mbps, utilising both 10Mhz and 20Mhz bandwidth channels. How fast is that? How about downloading a full length 640Mb movie in a minute? The world’s first LTE networks were deployed in Stockholm and Oslo in 2009.
Next is Mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e standard), which first made its debut in South Korea in 2006 (called WiBro). US-based Sprint Nextel started using Mobile WiMAX in 2008, also branding it 4G. Data speeds peaked at 128Mbps on downlink and 56Mbps on uplink via 20Hz channels.
Will the real 4G please stand up?
Just a month ago, the ITU accorded two technologies namely LTE-Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced2 or WiMAX 2 (IEEE 802.16m) the designation of IMT-Advanced (formal name for 4G), officially qualifying them as true 4G technologies. As it stands, existing 4G networks are not 4G, not for a long shot. But here’s the thing, LTE-Advanced and WiMAX 2 will not be coming anytime soon. Not in some years at least. Strictly from a branding standpoint, it makes sense for telcos to ride on the 4G moniker. For one, it is easier for consumers to relate to and differentiate from the old. Next, because technically speaking, LTE/WiMAX are indeed new generation technologies (however short they fall off ITU specifications) and are definite steps up from voice-centric 3G (UMTS — CDMA — HSPA/HSPA+) which are available currently.