Unifi Yay/Nay?

So I heard an interview over at BFM about the new Telekom Malaysia UNIFI service. A number of things occured to me:

Method of delivery; the guys over at Telekom Malaysia decided to lay brand new fibre to deliver the new UNIFI service. Why? Sure, fibre is more future proof compared to copper but it’s also a helluva lot more expensive. Reason why I’m asking this is… TM can’t even deliver anywhere close to what copper is able to carry (which is 24Mbps UP and 8Mbps DOWN AFAIK). Why spend multiple times more on fibre optics to deliver speeds that could easily be delivered via copper at a fraction of the cost (even taking into consideration relaying copper)? In a country where ISPs are clambering to deliver state of the art infrastructure like South Korea or Japan, sure, I’d believe that they want the most future proof infrastructure available… but in Malaysia? I’m going to guess that a bunch of people are going to “find” keys to new Mercedes S500’s in their mailboxes… and I sure as fuck ain’t one of them. Do YOU really think that Telekom Malaysia has YOU as a consumer in mind? Well sure, if you consider them wondering how they can milk EVERY LAST CENT out of the Malaysian public as keeping you in mind.

Rollout is slow; Hey bud… the roll out is slow because it’s Telekom Malaysia not because it’s fibre optics 🙂

Knowledgeable Telekom Malaysia Operator; Even Freda was laughing at this oxymoron… not entirely sure if she really was… but it seemed awfully convenient 🙂

Packages; Again, tying in to delivery method… 5/10/20Mbps… all easily deliverable via copper at a fraction of the cost. You can tell yourself that it’s for future expansion of packages beyond the limits of copper/ADSL2, but then again we all know how “fast” Telekom Malaysia expands all these things right? Heck, Malaysia jumped on the Internet bandwagon before South Korea… look at us stomping all over them now!!! Wait… no… we’re stuck in the Jurassic thanks to Telekom Malaysia.

Underpromise/Overdeliver; Hmm… gotta say it has a tendency of being the other way around with Telekom Malaysia 🙂

Fair price; Sure… it might be fair now, but give it a couple of months until they enforce a data cap and I’m pretty sure you’ll be rethinking that statement all the while frowning at the contract you signed 🙂

Economy of Scale; Err… pretty sure that doesn’t work when Telekom Malaysia has a huge monopoly and we’re still in the dark ages when it comes to Internet. Kindly refer to past 20 years or so, thanks.

Usage caps; If you buy a 20Mbps connection you should GET a 20Mbps connection IMHO. The data cap is already there, it’s limited by the 20Mbps… enforcing a SECONDARY cap is RIDICULOUS and just another way for Telekom Malaysia to get away with ridiculous contention ratios not to mention archaic infrastructure. What this means is basically that Telekom Malaysia is attempting to milk every last cent out of your pocket despite the fact that the vast majority of Internet users in this Internet-God forsaken country ALREADY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO BUY FROM THEM. If a buy a Ferrari (20Mbps connection) tomorrow and am told that I can only drive it for 120 hours a month (rhetorical 120GB a month) or my car would turn into a Lemon – I would sure as hell go to Ferrari and insert my brand new keys up the managers ass. As to whether they will impose the cap or not… guess what? Commercial suicide or no, as I said earlier, the majority of the Internet using populace in Malaysia doesn’t have any REAL choice. Besides, what would you do if they did… cancel your contract and pay the penalty before moving to a subpar wireless provider?

Apologies for the long ranty post, but as should be apparent, this is one of the topics that never fails to get my blood boiling. Maybe some day in the future that will change – note I never mentioned how far in the future.


ISPs and Contracts in a country with monopolies aplenty

I’m slightly unclear on the logic behind binding people to long (or any) contracts at all; especially when, the majority of the time, the customer has absolutely no (other) choice if he/she chooses to terminate the contract. Malaysia seems to be full of these people who seem to be unclear on what the main purpose of the contract is (beyond the obvious). In countries with an open last-mile (and as such, numerous competing ISPs in the same area), contracts tie down customers to a certain ISP for a certain amount of time… giving the ISP time to bleed make some profit from said customer over the contract period without having to worry about the customer scurrying off when another ISP offers better value. Now, over here in Malaysia… Let’s just say that Ah Kao is staying in landed property, this leaves Ah Kao with only 1 real choice (which makes it NOT a choice I guess?); Telekom Malaysia StreamyX. Now, why do I say 1 real choice? *Random shouts of P1, Amax, Maxis, DiGi* All of the aforementioned ISPs delivery method is wireless… meaning:

(a) they tend to be as reliable as Astro in Malaysia (which is basically a pile of shit but Malaysians don’t have a choice) – completely unreliable
(b) have completely retarded data caps

Any remotely heavy user (if you are heavier than a starving African child then you are a remotely heavy user) will most likely not be suited to any of the wireless ISPs… leaving StreamyX. So, Ah Kao signs up with StreamyX, but notices that there are some minor perks to signing a 2 year contract (like a free mug or something that costs the ISP almost nothing). Why lock down Ah Kao to a 2 year contract (everybody hates contracts) when it’s pretty obvious that Ah Kao has absolutely nowhere else to turn to? It’s not like Ah Kao can ring up TeliaSonera or BredBandsBolaget and get the service of an ISP that isn’t completely full of shit (like 99% of ISPs in Malaysia).

But hey, keep going ISPs in Malaysia… continue to extort money from customers in return for your subpar and overpriced services. Yes, I said subpar and overpriced… stop comparing Malaysia to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Vanuatu, Sudan, and other war torn countries and pick on any one of your direct neighbours. The half-assed opening of the last-mile will solve and improve nothing… just like 2 year contracts when no other real option exists.


Mobile (WAP) Sites and You

So I was grabbing a bite at a random place where people eat… while doing a little surfing on my soon-to-be-sold N97 when I noticed that “mobile sites” are getting heavier and heavier. Gone are the days when a WAP site meant plain text with a simple logo at the top eh? Sure the mobile Internet has come a long way since the early days of surfing on a black/white mobile phone… but it sure hasn’t come far enough to warrant the whole she-bang on a WAP site.

The local Malaysian newspaper The Star decided that the mobile Internet in Malaysia is on par with Japan and decided to dump everything under the sun on their mobile WAP site. They may be forgiven if it was just everything under the sun that was related to news in general; but no, they included about 9000 different mobile ring tones and 9000 Buy It Now buttons.

So, here’s a little note for my friends at The Star Malaysia:

The Internet in Malaysia as it stands is absolutely horrible and makes people from even third world countries that are worse off than ourselves gag/vomit/puke/throw-up/etc. What in the world would give you the idea that our mobile Internet is any better? A quick (and I mean 10 second search on Google kind of quick) search would tell you that pretty much any Tom, Dick, Ramasamy, Ahmad, Lee, Choo, would agree with me. So please, don’t bog us down with unnecessary crap that we really don’t need.