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5 reasons why I won’t upgrade to the new Unifi 30Mbps package

Telekom Malaysia recently unveiled its new Unifi plans with faster download speeds. The Unifi Advance (Unifi 30Mbps) cost RM199 and comes with 30Mbps download speed and 5Mbps upload speed. Users will have to pay more (additional RM50/month) to upgrade from 30Mbps to 50Mbps.

unifi-logo-tm

Here’s 5 reasons why I won’t upgrade to the new Unifi 30 or Unifi 50 packages:

1. Slower upload speed

For me, the main reason why I won’t upgrade to the new Unifi 30Mbps packages is because of its slower 5Mbps upload speed. TM has said that 90% of its users don’t really use much of its upload speed and I agree. Upload speeds tend to be lower because most people do far more downloading than uploading.

However….the Internet world is changing today and upload speed is becoming important too. Take cloud storage for an example, it you have a 100GB of data (notebook’s hard drives are easily 1TB these days), it would likely take 2 days to upload your files to Dropbox/OneDrive/Box with a 5Mbps speed. I am not saying that most of us are going to be uploading big files all the time, but its good to have faster upload speed when you need it. Similarly, not all of us will be using 10Mbps/20Mbps/30Mbps download speed 24/7 unless its high likely for something illegal, for example, Torrenting..:)

Some people, for example photographers, rely on fixed broadband service to upload all their photos, videos and documents because wireless broadband service in Malaysia, generally aren’t suitable for uploading large files. People will have to rely on fixed broadband service for faster upload speeds. That being said, 4G LTE is supposed to offer faster upload and download speeds, similar to fiber connection however coverage and data quota are limited for now.

In my view, Telekom Malaysia should have given more option, so users could choose. A plan with a 20Mbps download speed and 10Mbps upload speed looks good to me.

Update (1 Feb 2016): TM upgraded the upload speed of Unifi Advance 30MBps to 10Mbps from 5Mbps previously.

2. New 24-months contract for Upgrading

Normally, Telcos charge you a penalty for downgrading your plan and, if you are upgrading to a faster/more expensive plan, there’s less hassle generally and no penalty. Telekom Malaysia on the other hand is “rewarding” existing users who upgrade to the new plan with a new service agreement contract, basically locking them down for 24-months again. These customers will be charged a RM500 penalty fee if they terminate the service or migrate to another fibre service provider (example, Maxis Home Fiber) within 24 months.

I think users should be allowed to retain the remaining months of their current contract if they upgrade their VIP plan to Unifi 30Mbps.

3. Asymmetrical speeds

What is Asymmetrical speeds? An asymmetrical Internet connection tend to favor the download speeds. Often in the case of an asymmetrical connection, download speeds will be much faster. Unifi 30Mbps has a download speed of 30Mbps and upload speed is 5Mbps.

Just like Streamyx which offers asymmetrical speeds (another term is called half duplex), its high likely that download speed could impact upload speed on the Unifi 30Mbps plan and vice versa. If someone in your home is downloading a huge file (or torrenting/P2P), this process could use all the available bandwidth. As a result, you could notice extremely slow Internet service especially when you try to upload a file.

In comparison, the current Unifi VIP plan (VIP5/VIP10/VIP20) offers symmetrical speeds. For example, the VIP 10 plan offers 10Mbps download speed and 10Mbps upload speed, concurrently at the same time. With this kind of speed, you could download a 100GB file at 10Mbps and at the same time upload another file at 10Mbps speed.

It is also unclear regarding the Service Level Agreement (SLA) for the new Unifi 30Mbps plan since it is offering asymmetrical speeds. As for the Unifi VIP plan, at least 80% download and upload speed are guaranteed at all time, example the VIP 10 plan will offer at least 8Mbps download/upload speeds all the time.

4. No more HyppTV Mega Pack

For those who took up the double speed upgrade offer in 2013 and subscribed to HyppTV Mega Pack (like me), you won’t be able to enjoy the same number of channels when upgrading to Unifi 30Mbps. HyppTV Mega Pack is now replaced with HyppTV Jumbo Pack which comes at a slightly higher price.

5. Unifi is Expensive

Since Day 1 of launch, many Malaysians were disappointed with the expensive pricing of Unifi. Despite this, service experience are generally positive.

In my opinion, TM should have taken user’s feedback and reduce the pricing of Unifi as the company expands its network globally this should help bring down bandwidth pricing. Perhaps the Unifi packages would cost much cheaper if HyppTV is excluded and offered as an add on for those who require it.

TM’s Unifi fiber network is already capable of delivering 100Mbps download speed (Unifi BIZ), yet it doesn’t want to lower down prices to make it affordable for consumers. Take a look at TIME dotCom’s 100Mbps home fibre plan, available since 2012! Despite the limited areas, TIME offers 100Mbps fibre speed at RM179/month for 100GB data quota. This package is much more affordable compared to Unifi and data quota is more than enough for a regular home broadband user.

There’s no excuse on why TM can’t lower down pricing and offer similar package via Unifi especially when TM owns and have shares in more submarine cable networks compared to TIME. TM Unifi coverage is also much larger than TIME.

Unlike TM and its HyppTV service, TIME did not force its users to take up the Astro packages when it offered it.

In summary:

Advantages of Unifi 30Mbps compared to VIP10/VIP20 plans:

  • Faster download speed at 30Mbps
  • Cheaper than VIP 20Mbps (RM249 vs RM199)
  • Unlimited Data
  • Some premium HyppTV channels

Disadvantages of Unifi 30Mbps:

  • Slower upload speed at 5Mbps
  • Download speed likely to affect upload speeds (Asymmetrical speeds)
  • Unclear Service Level Agreement (SLA) on speeds
  • 24-months contract even if you upgrade from Unifi VIP
  • No more HyppTV Mega Pack
  • No more unlimited free calls to TM fixed line
  • One of the most expensive call rates (20sen per minute to fixed line/mobile)
  • Unifi 50Mbps should be Unifi 60Mbps (Currently each VIP plan has a difference of RM50/month, which doubles the speed)
  • Expensive package
[Link]– More details on the new TM Unifi 30Mbps and Unifi 50Mbps

P.s: For now, I am going to stick with my current VIP Unifi package until my contract ends or would wait for a much better offer, TM Unifi + P1 4G LTE packages, if there is one.

Note: This is an opinion based article and it is the personal view of the writer. It does not necessarily represent the view of MalaysianWireless.

About Kugan

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