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Reader’s Letter: Experience using REDtone WiMAX

Email me your opinion and it might be published here!

Letter from Jonathan:

Hi Mr Kugan,

I’m one of your avid blog reader and want to thank you for an informative telco oriented articles which to be honest is scarce in Malaysia.

I realized that there is not much info about Redtone Wimax in Sarawak so I will share with you my experience so far. This my personal opinion coming from my own experience using Redtone Wimax.

The Redtone wimax here has started around April 2009 (if not mistaken) and initially geared towards to business/Office segment where the lowest price is as high as RM138/month including CPE (modem) rental for 1 Mbps package with dynamic IP and 1 year contract.

As of now, Redtone has offered 2 new packages targeted to home users [email protected] and [email protected] with download caps of 25GB and 45GB respectively.

As for me I got Office Basic Package 1Mbps and paying RM138 for that monthly.

The signal coverage at this moment is understandably quite limited as Redtone is still considered as new kid in town but they are expanding the coverage and actively promoting it as the fastest Wireless Broadband and I think they have the merit to claim that.

When I first got it I must admit I was surprised with the excellent performance. The speed could be considered perfect, really. Streaming youtube was a breeze with no stuttering at all. You could use it with dynamic DNS services like no-ip.org or dydns.org as the CPE (modem) hold true unique public IP Address like Streamyx does.

Since each user gets individual unique public IP Address, you don’t have to compete with other user when using rapidshare or megaupload. Compared to Streamyx, celcom and maxis, Redtone Wimax wins hands down.

After several months using it, the performance degradation is now creeping in. I made my measurements and found out the speed in average is slower several hundred kbps than before. Youtube streaming now not as fast as it was. Video streaming stutters occasionally albeit not as bad as celcom’s. Nevertheless the performance is still considered very good compared to other telcos.

However starting December 2009, Redtone has made a big mistake (in my opinion) by changing their network configuration. As a result, users does not get unique individual public IP Address anymore, instead they share a same public IP Address. The CPE(modem) now just getting private IP address. This is almost similar to Maxis and Celcom configuration.

So what does this means?

For normal users, the changes means that you cannot download from site like rapidshare or megaupload most of the time as you have to compete for a download free slot. If someone else already downloading from the site, you have to wait until it is finished and then compete for the free slot again. If you are lucky the download will start but most of the time you are out of luck. You will get EXTREMELY annoyed especially if you are already used to streamyx as streamyx DOES NOT have this limitation.

For gamers it means some of your online games might not work correctly as the connection cannot be configured for port forwarding. This is also true for torrent users.

For Office usage, dynamic DNS services are not working anymore. Furthermore you simply cannot access your Office remotely through VPN. You CANNOT do port forwarding if you want to host even a simple website.

The worst thing about this is that the package I got was and is still advertised/sold as Office solution which should at least enable you to access your office remotely through VPN and allow you to utilize dynamic DNS services. However, they literally throw out all the features that make it suitable for Office solution. As matter of fact it is now simply became the home package without download caps.

In all fairness, Redtone Wimax DOES offers you a very good performance but at a slightly high price compared to other telcos. That is the fact right now. However it may change as more user will subscribe and the service will be congested in a similar fashion as other telcos. We will have to see whether Redtone has the ability to handle it better than the other big boys out there.

If you planning to get Redtone Wimax to download files from sites like rapidshare or megaupload it is a BIG NO – NO as you cannot download from those sites most of the time (like when youre using celcom or maxis broadband) since you have to compete with other user for the free slot.

If you are heavy downloader from torrent or rapidshare you might tempted to get Office Basic 1Mbps package due to unlimited cap but trust me it will be a moot point as you probably can’t even reach the home user package cap due to the IP sharing and port forwarding restriction .

If you thinking about getting it for your office please make sure not to choose Office Basic RM138 package as it most probably will not meet your office needs or future needs. Choose at least Bizlite package as it has fixed IP Address but of course you have to spend more.

If you are streamyx user and already satisfied with the current service, this Redtone Wimax is not for you.

I think the most ideal user for Redtone Wimax would be someone who is casual downloader who doesn’t mind to pay more to get better speed than other telco and doesn’t bother to download from one-click-hosting site like rapidshare and megaupload or even torrents.

That sums up my experience at the moment.

Thanks a lot for reading and I hope you could share this view in you blog.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy
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