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YTL WiMAX Not 4G, Not Nationwide, Not Cheapest

Coming this November 18, 2010, YTL will be launching the “4G” WiMAX service that it has been shouting about for the past 1 year.

Looking back at history, YTL acquired the first commercial WiMAX operator in Malaysia, Airzed Broadband Sdn Bhd in 2007. In simple words, YTL had the cash, expertise and strength to roll the WiMAX network way before P1 made history. But then as of December 2008, not a single base station was commercially deployed and they were fined RM1.9 million by the Government for not meeting the deadline.

In November 2009, the WiMAX operator said that it will deploy a “nationwide” network in Malaysia. The fact is, YTL doesn’t have the spectrum/permission to roll out WiMAX in East Malaysia. What does this company mean by a “Nationwide Network” ?

As for coverage, YTL has deployed some 1,000 base station or what it claims as 65% coverage in human populated areas which will be available commercially starting November 18, 2010. These base stations were deployed in a short time period(months), which I believe was done in support of the Prime Minister and the Government.

YTL also ordered some 2,000 picocells, for in-building network coverage. Probably none of them have been deployed. So YTL WiMAX signal reception is going to be weak in places like shopping malls, and you need walk out from that building to make a call on your WiMAX mobile phone. Is this what they call mobility?

As for pricing, YTL said that its customers will be paying for what they have used. In simple word, its going to be a pay-per-use model(probably with Tiers) and its going be expensive if you consume a lot of data. An average P1 customer uses 10GB a month, how much 10Gb will cost on YTL WiMAX YES network?

And finally, it is really embarrassing to see YTL using 4G as a technical term when the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has said NOYES!. Even a recent article on Gizmodo.com also supports the fact that WiMAX is not 4G.

By the way, YTL has another claim- It promises true mobile internet experience to customers.

Let’s wait and see, WE are watching…

In the mean time, check out http://www.yes.my/

P.s: More updates as YTL rolls out their service.

About Kugan

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