Thursday, June 1, 2023

Celcom WiFi service at selected kopitiams nationwide

Celcom Axiata Berhad today launched its WiFi service at Chinese coffee shops throughout Malaysia – or “kopitiams” as they are popularly known – as an added service. The Celcom WiFi service will be available at 250 hotels, restaurants and cafes including kopitiams nationwide, with plans to increase the number of WiFi hotspots to 500 by end of the year.

(L-R) Dato Sri’ Shazalli Ramly Chief Executive Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad, Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Health and Deputy President of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and Dato’ Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, Chairman of Celcom Axiata Berhad and President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Axiata Group Berhad enjoying coffee during the ‘Launch of Celcom’s WiFi service at kopitiams’]

This service will be powered by PortaWiFi – a portable USB-WiFi which Celcom launched last month– allowing users to share and enjoy seamless and instant Internet through Celcom’s nationwide mobile network.

PortaWiFi plugs into any wall power outlet or 12V car socket, transforming the immediate vicinity into a WiFi hotspot with data speeds of up to 21Mbps at selected Celcom coverage areas. With the introduction of this new service, customers of participating kopitiams around Malaysia will be able to enjoy Celcom’s mobile broadband for free by logging on to the WiFi hotspot generated by the shop’s PortaWiFi.

The WiFi service however will be free only for the 1st 3-months with no details on how Celcom intends to charge customers or the outlet owners for the Celcom WiFi service.

Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad told MalaysianWireless that the operator is still working on the business model and may offer services such as over-the-top(OTT) content but did not say if the WiFi service will remain free.

[Celcom employee showcasing the PortaWiFi at the launch]

The PortaWiFi is only capable of supporting 4-5 users at any one time, in response to that, Shazalli said that a typical kopitiam shop usually get about 1-2 Internet users, thus the PortaWiFi is capable of delivering its service.

The launch today was attended by Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Health and Deputy President of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) who intends to deploy the WiFi service at selected Hospitals starting next year.

The launch also coincides with Celcom’s nationwide promotions for the Mid-Autumn Festival, a popular annual event that all Malaysians can enjoy. Celcom will be presenting the grand MidAutumn FestoRama celebrations in Penang on 30 September, followed by similar promotions, giveaways and activities in Ipoh, Johor Bahru, Melaka, and Kuching.

“We hope that the launch of our WiFi services in kopitiams will remind and encourage Malaysians to reconnect and reunite among each other in line with the spirit of 1Malaysia and Celcom’s Mid-Autumn Festival celebration theme for this year, ‘Hui Jia Tuan Yuan/Reunion at Home’. Celcom invites all Malaysians to come home to the advantages of Celcom Territory and start reconnecting,” Dato’ Sri Shazalli concluded.

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

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