If complicated pricing plans, limited coverage and sluggish speeds grind your gears, then you might be in for some relief because YTL Communications have finally launched their long anticipated YES 4G service to the public.
Touting speeds of up to five times more than what 3G providers are currently offering, YES 4G claims to not only be the fastest mobile data network provider out there, but also to be the cheapest.
Going against the norm, YES 4G will not come with any unlimited service plans, but will instead utilize a pay-as-you-use prepaid system that starts at 9 sen for 3MB.
|by Wern Shen|
|Friday, 19 November 2010 08:00 PM|
According to the YES 4G brochure, the first 2.5GB used will cost 3 sen per MB (9 sen / 3MB). After the 2.5GB threshold, users will be charged 2.64 sen per MB (7.92 sen / 3MB), and users who pass the 3GB mark will pay 2.25 sen per MB (6.75 sen / 3MB). Power users who clock 4GB or more will be charged 2.10 sen per MB (6.30 sen / 3MB).
Do keep in mind though that since YES 4G is essentially a prepaid service, your usage will only be limited by the amount of credits that you have in your account.
Besides offering lightning fast internet connectivity, YES 4G will also be offering voice services over their data networks (9 sen / minute), SMS services (9 sen / message), and a unified communications application called Yes Life that allows you to make voice and video calls with your YES ID.
At launch, YTL Communications claims to already have 65% coverage throughout Peninsular Malaysia, a feat which they have achieved by using just 1500 of their 2500 available base stations, and promises that it will only be a matter of time before they achieve nationwide coverage. Going by that figure, the remaining 1000 base stations should be enough hardware to ensure that YTL Communications fulfills their promise.
If YTL Communications can live up to their bold claim of providing up to 5 times over 3G existing speeds, then we’re really going to be happy campers. TM’s HSBB has already given us a taste of the joy that lightning fast internet speeds can provide, and if YES 4G can do the same for the mobile realm, then we’re sold.
In terms of pricing, all we can really say is that we kinda saw this one coming. Sure, a pay-as-you-use system doesn’t sound anywhere near as enticing as the “unlimited” offerings out there, but if YES 4G can provide constant and reliable service, we don’t really see this a being much of a problem.
As for the usage of the term 4G in YES’ branding, well that’s a whole different story altogether. “We started work on YES 4G two years ago, but ITU only released their memo last month. In America, no one cares what ITU says, and I find it fascinating that so many people are so fixated on the terminology here. We can’t possibly change our entire business plan to accommodate ITU’s schedule,” responded Mr. Wing K Lee, CEO, YTL Communications.
He goes on to add, “We want to focus on giving the users a better user experience, not on creating more terms to describe our service and subsequently confuse people even more. Fundamentally, OFDMA is different from TDMA and that should be the only thing that matters. The man on the street doesn’t care about what ITU says, he only cares about a page loading 3 to 5 times faster.”
It’s very easy to assume that this is just a very creative way of admitting “no, YES 4G isn’t 4G”, but ultimately it’s the sudden emergence of ITU’s definition that has caused all this confusion.
Simply put though, YES 4G isn’t a 4G service in accordance to ITU’s recently released definition. Regardless of the technology behind it, this is simply because “3 to 5 times over 3G speeds” doesn’t hit ITU’s 100Mbps mark by a long shot.
Although this doesn’t in any way justify YTL Communication’s continual use of the term 4G, we have to reluctantly agree that a majority of users will be more concerned about the speed delivered rather than the terminology used.
What does worry us is how YES 4G’s continual dilution of the 4G terminology will affect future players when true 4G technology does eventually arrive on our shores. Will they take the easy route out and call it 5G? Assuming they do, won’t that lead to a never-ending cycle of misinformation?
As I write this, Lucas is busily trying to get connected to the YES 4G network. I can tell from his initial reaction that he isn’t too impressed since we can barely get a signal from the 13th floor, and his departure to the ground floor in hopes of locking down a better signal reminds me of P1 WiMAX’s fatal flaw – the inability to get online on a higher floor in an office block / condominium.
This is worrying because YTL Communications are banking on YES 4G’s voice over data service as a unique selling point, and if you can’t get online on the 13th floor, then there’s a fat chance of you receiving or making a call on your YES 4G phone here.
Do keep in mind though, that this is just an early observation, and could probably be caused by a number of other reasons. And for YES 4G’s sake, we sure hope so.
For more information on YES 4G, visit the official website at http://www.yes.my.