Posts Tagged ‘broadband’

Maxis Broadband: RM99 mobile unltimited or RM143 Maxis Broadband?

The fun with Maxis Broadband continues. I last wrote about the real story behind Maxis Broadband, which apparently is quite a favourite amongst Google searches. Today, @hantu asks on Twitter: $99 mobile unlimited or $138 maxis broadband?.

Lets delve into this a little deeper. I have the RM99 mobile unlimited connection, so that my E71 can surf the Internet. It allows me to check and send email on the go, post updates to Twitter, perform quick Google searches, and when I’m waiting for someone, read my Google Reader feeds. I estimate I use about 150MB or so per month, and this will probably grow in size, as I have JoikuSpot installed, and can share it with my iPod Touch. If I had an iPhone (and used it), I can imagine my data usage being a lot higher.

I’ve also had a Maxis Broadband SIM card, that I pay RM143 per month for. No, its not RM138, because they decided to send me a bill, which costs RM5/month. Nothing I do, can stop me from receiving said paper bill (not even threatening to stop their services). Do I use the Mobile Broadband services? Yes I do – I average 2GB per month, sometimes more, depending on where I choose to work for majority of the time.

In my head, I’ve been thinking, with the economy being the way it is: why am I paying RM143 and RM99 for mobile data? I noticed Maxis had a “Multi-SIM” service, in where you pay RM15/month, and you get a second SIM for your number. I thought that this was the way out – get a second SIM for my primary number, pay an extra RM15 and share the 3G connection (the second SIM to be placed in my broadband modem, a Huawei E220).

To my dismay, I visited the Maxis store and was told I couldn’t do this. If I wanted a second SIM, my services don’t extend to it. That means, I have to pay RM15 + RM10 + RM99 for the second SIM. Could I have found two idiots at the Maxis Centre in Klang – quite possibly – I think her name was Lina, and her supervisor was no better.

Maxis has an FAQ that suggests I can get a second SIM card, and just place it in my broadband modem. Imagine, only paying RM99+15 (RM114) rather than RM242.

My only solace? I don’t pay RM143 any longer. I only pay RM118, as I have Mobile Broadband and I am a Maxis postpaid customer. If you listen to the customer service representative, you’ll realise that you’re paying RM124 per month. I however think the customer service rep, is just being a plain idiot, and this can be fixed.

Why don’t I just use JoikuSpot, or tether via Bluetooth, to my Nokia E71? Because of battery life. The last time I tethered to my Nokia E61i, I had about 2 hours of battery life, before the phone got really hot in my pants pocket, and the battery went almost flat. Not having a working phone, is of course, unacceptable, which is why I’ve gone the mobile broadband route.

So, Andy, what’s your best choice? It depends on your usage. If you’re using your phone a lot, get an unlimited data package for RM99. If you don’t need access too much, consider Bluetooth tethering, which will work OK (maybe you have to carry a phone charger around). If you need to sit in cafes a lot, or work away from your desk and proper Internet connection, consider the Mobile Broadband package, at RM143/RM138/RM118 (paper bill/no paper bill/Maxis postpaid Bolt-on program).

If I ever get this multi-SIM bullshit figured out, I’ll be sure to write about it, and let you all save money. If any other provider (Celcom, DiGi, U mobile) offer it, don’t hesitate to leave a comment behind.

The real story behind Maxis Broadband

The whole Maxis Broadband advertising spiel is hitting up again in the Malaysian blogosphere, and I think its time I write about their broadband service a little more.

Point of observation: lots of the blogosphere, probably get paid [not necessarily monetarily] to write reviews, which are generally crap because they never actually use the service. They should disclose this payment/affiliation, but they usually don’t, which is terribly sad. Anyway, ignore the hyperbole – I’ll tell you about Maxis Broadband from the trenches.

I’ve been using the service for what must be about six months now (using a Huawei E220, on a Mac and Linux, but mostly on a Mac – since all I really carry around is my Air). I only hopped on Maxis, because everyone that was a Celcom customer told me that dialup was better than Celcom’s 3G/HSDPA.

The good
It works really well in both my homes, in either Petaling Jaya or Klang. This is of course, not the prime location I would like to use the broadband modem – I have DSL coming through the houses, and its always more reliable than a HSDPA connection.

It works really well in Mont Kiara. The Coffee Bean there, has got fabulous coverage. In fact, so does SOMO.

Where my vet is located in Brickfields, Maxis Broadband shines – 364KB/s. Also, in Cyberjaya, I hopped on WCDMA while I was at MMU… not fast, not slow, but just about usable ;-)

The bad
Uploading to Flickr fails. Anything large (you know, that comes out of even an 8MP digital camera) will fail to upload.

I was at UITM (Shah Alam) not long ago, and the coverage was an epic fail. Nearby the Maxis headquarters (OK, I was at the Sun office in KL), Maxis gave me some amazing ping times – 10761.587 ms! But maybe it was switching cells, far too often?

I was in Cheras (nearby Leisure Mall) not long ago, and was sitting in my car, trying to surf the Internet. Here, you’ll notice that the HSDPA network is weak – it moves to EDGE, most of the time. The Internet is also, virtually unusable.

I took a bus to Singapore a month back. Trying to use it on the North-South Expressway, was not happening. It would disconnect so frequently, it made more sense to sleep. I’ve been told however, that Celcom works a charm on the North-South Expressway. Then again, not exactly a common use case for me.

I have a box sitting in the Jaring IDC. Transfers (ssh -C) top out at about 20KB/s. Ping times are around 80ms, but its just not that fast… Well at least with the WCDMA network in Mont Kiara.

I’m not slagging Maxis off for no reason… I’m trying to make you, the reader, an informed consumer, so that you don’t simply buy a service, that cannot be provided for.

In fact, I wondered how many users could blog from a single location using Maxis Broadband even. Their service coverage is probably not the best, and imagine a bunch of bloggers (Nuffnang-ers) who want to live blog… These are the camwhore crowd, et al. I’m sure they had a massively enjoyable time, wishing they were at home, with Streamyx ;-)

Well, it seems that Vodafone offers $0 Dell Inspiron Mini 9’s on a $70 plan, with 5GB of data transfer in Australia. I won’t be surprised if Maxis has a similar deal with Dell… A simple Google showed that Dell and Maxis are already in cahoots – RM99 x 24 months with “free” Broadband access for 6 months… more details about the promo, which means you’ll end up paying RM2,376… and assuming you like the Maxis Broadband service, you’ll end up having to fork out RM77 for the remainder of the 18 months, totalling a paltry RM1,386. Wait… RM77 is a lot cheaper than the usual RM138 per month (RM118 if you’re a Maxis postpaid subscriber). RM61 savings!?! That’s RM1,098 one can save… ridiculous. I’m tempted to get this “deal” and just ask for an extra SIM card to be tied to my account… I’m sure that can’t cost more than RM5 or RM10.

I even had other issues with them… upon signup, they said they would direct debit my credit card. It took a threat to leave the service for them to do it over the phone, in the fifth month of service. I still seem to be getting paper bills (costing me an additional RM5).

I am of course, posting this via a Maxis Broadband Internet connection :) It has allowed me to not pay Airzed for Wifi, and if it worked a little better, everywhere else, I’d be mostly happy with it.

What are your experiences with Maxis Broadband?