TM UniFi Broadband Packages For Your Home

TM UniFi Broadband Packages For Your Home

Malaysians often feel that they are short of options when it comes to fast and reliable broadband packages. The reality is that it can be difficult to quantify any one Internet service provider (ISP) as the ultimate best because it all comes down to what your broadband needs are. With several options for fibre broadband Internet in Malaysia, it can sometimes be tough to make a decision.

Telekom Malaysia (TM) UniFi home broadband package is undoubtedly the most subscribed to ISP for broadband, probably due to its low pricing, wide coverage and the fact that they were the first. However, with Maxis and TIME so readily available today, is Unifi still worth the money?

The TM UniFi broadband package offers Internet access to residential consumers in Malaysia through an optical fibre core network via Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) for individual housing units and VDSL2 (copper lines that connect to a fiber hub) for multi-story buildings.

Here’s a snapshot of the TM UniFi broadband packages:

Price for the lowest packagePrice for the fastest packageBest forWhy we like it?What’s the drawback?
RM189.74RM380.54Online gamers, video conferencing users and online movie buffsWide coverage and cheapest price for these specific speedsCompulsory HyppTV package and the low upload speeds for 30 and 50 Mbps

1. Speed and pricing

Currently, TM UniFi home broadband has two speed packages based on the maximum download speed of 30Mbps and 50Mbps. Each package is then further broken down to three individual HyppTV packages – Aneka, Varnam, Ruby and Jumbo.

PackageAdvance 30
HyppTV PackageAnekaVarnamRubyJumbo
Price/monthRM189.74RM189.74RM189.74RM221.54
Channels
3 VOD channels
+
5 Premium channels
+
23 free channels
1 VOD channel
+
6 Premium channels
+
23 free channels
1 VOD
+
11 Premium channels
+
23 free channels
2 VOD channels
+
28 premium channels
+
23 free channels
Download Speed30Mbps
Upload Speed10Mbps
CoverageHigh
QuotaUnlimited
UsageWeb browsing, email, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Skype, YouTube, download, file transfer, video conference & online games
PackageAdvance Plus 50
HyppTV PackageAnekaVarnamRubyJumbo
Price/monthRM242.74RM242.74RM253.34RM274.54
Channels
3 VOD channels
+
5 Premium channels
+
23 free channels
1 VOD channel
+
6 Premium channels
+
23 free channels
1 VOD
+
11 Premium channels
+
23 free channels
2 VOD channels
+
28 premium channels
+
23 free channels
Download Speed50Mbps
Upload Speed20Mbps
CoverageHigh
QuotaUnlimited
UsageWeb browsing, email, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Skype, YouTube, download, file transfer, video conference & online games
PackagePro 100
HyppTV PackageAnekaVarnamRubyJumbo
Price/monthRM242.74RM242.74RM253.34RM274.54
Channels
3 VOD channels
+
5 Premium channels
+
23 free channels
1 VOD channel
+
6 Premium channels
+
23 free channels
1 VOD
+
11 Premium channels
+
23 free channels
2 VOD channels
+
28 premium channels
+
23 free channels
Download Speed100Mbps
Upload Speed50Mbps
CoverageHigh
QuotaUnlimited
UsageWeb browsing, email, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Skype, YouTube, download, file transfer, video conference & online games

TM Unifi Advance 30‘s lowest HyppTV package is the same price as the Maxis ONE Home Lite 30Mbps package. However, UniFi doesn’t offer the same speed boosting facility and its upload speed is only 10Mbps while Maxis has the same upload and download speed at 30Mbps.

Similarly, the new 50Mbps package from Maxis is slightly cheaper than UniFi’s lowest HyppTV package by about RM10.60, but it’s important to note that Maxis broadband plan has the same speed at both upload and download while the TM Unifi Advance 50 Plus has 50Mbps on download but only 20Mbps on upload. At less than half of your download speeds, this can be problematic if you’re a heavy uploader.

The same goes to TM Unifi Pro 100, which costs RM380.54 per month, while Maxis charges RM316.94 per month. That’s a whopping RM63.60 more! The difference is even more jarring when compared to TIME’s 100Mbps package, which costs merely RM157.94 a month. However, TIME’s coverage is pretty limited.

While both Maxis and TIME offer the same upload and download speed, UniFi keeps its upload speed at 50Mbps, while download speed is at 100Mbps.

We can only assume that this was done as TM Unifi expects most of their users to be primarily downloaders. However, with more Internet users putting together websites or blogs and sharing files through the cloud, these upload speeds can become noticeably annoying. This is especially true if you transfer or share big files online – for example photographs or videos.

And the reason why TM UniFi’s packages are more expensive  is that you’re forced to take up the TV packages and it can feel like you’re paying more than you need if you don’t use the TV functionality.

With Maxis’ new pricing, TM UniFi has become less competitive, especially now that Maxis has introduced the new 50Mbps plan.

2. Coverage

Although TIME’s broadband plans are one of the best in the market, the main issue with them is their extremely limited coverage. This is where TM UniFi excels (of course), they have by far the widest reach of any of the players in the market.

With only two fibre broadband packages and the lowest upload speeds in the market, UniFi is still the most popular due to the wider coverage. Both UniFi and Maxis are using HSBB, therefore the coverage is wider, as opposed to TIME. TM UniFi fibre broadband plan is offered more broadly but you’ll still need to check if you’re covered before picking the TM UniFi Wi-Fi package for broadband internet for home as some areas could yet be covered (in the case of new developments).

UniFi has a contention ratio of 1:25 which means your broadband bandwidth is shared with 25 other subscriber at a time, similar to Maxis as they both share the same HSBB line. However, Maxis also runs on New Generation Broadband (NGBB) infrastructure, and the areas on the NGBB infrastructure would have a lower contention ratio. The lower the ratio, the more consistent your speed will be as there will be fewer people sharing the line. However, this only presents a problem if you’re sharing the line with very heavy users and it’s unlikely that you’ll notice it yet.

3. Add-ons

Each TM UniFI customer is given a dynamic IP address, a Wi-Fi modem router, HyppTV subscription which includes linear broadcast channels (Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD)), Set-Top-Box (STB), Broadband Termination Unit (BTU), one e-mail account with a 2GB mailbox and a cordless phone.

The biggest drawback of UniFi is the HyppTV compulsory HyppTV bundled with broadband and you will be charged for it whether you choose to use it or not. Perhaps the TM UniFi high-speed Internet plans would cost much cheaper by RM30 or RM60, if HyppTV was excluded and offered as an add-on for those who require it like how Astro IPTV is optionally bundled with Maxis broadband. Maxis only recommends it as an add-on for additional charges at a discounted price.

You also get HyppTV Everywhere app for free. Similar to Astro on the Go app, the HyppTV Everywhere app allows you to stream the HyppTV channels simultaneously on any two devices.

An interesting offering is that if you’re on a UniFi connection you’ll be able to access iFlix for free for the next year (RM96 value). This is a great plus even if you’re subscribed to Netflix as iFlix offers more Asian content.

On top of that, a UniFi subscription also comes with 500MB per day for TM Wi-Fi, which you can use to to go online wherever you go with access to a TM Wi-Fi hotspot. You also have the option of adding another RM29 a month for a P1 ToGo Plan (Post-paid), offering speed of 1Mbps with a 5GB quota. The P1 Dongle comes with FREE registration and activation, and inclusive of a modem.

For voice, UniFi is one of the most expensive at RM0.21 per minute to all TM fixed lines and mobiles nationwide. However, if voice is important to you, adding on RM20 a month will give you the voice pack that comes with 600 free minutes and a flat rate of RM0.10 a minute to all mobile and other fixed lines nationwide.

On the other hand, TIME offers local call rates at RM0.10 a minute and you can upgrade to TIME Voice Home 10 Plan (RM10/month) for 600 FREE minutes .

Maxis home fibre internet offers very good calls deals, with its lowest plan of 10Mbps being charged RM0.09 per minute to all fixed and mobile networks, while any plans from 30Mbps and above will get unlimited free calls to both mobile and land lines. So, if a voice plan is important for you and your family, then Maxis is definitely a better choice cheaper broadband plan and cheaper or free voice calls. However, with Maxis, you will not be provided with a cordless phone – unlike TIME and UniFi.

On the voice end, UniFi is generally weaker than its competitors.

Finally, Unifi does offer a good warranty programme for the equipment they provide you. For one year any faulty or malfunctioning equipment can be replaced for free. This includes the cordless phone, set top box and the Wi-Fi router.

4. Installation and cancellation fees

Fees & Charges
Installation feeFree
Activation feeFree
Early contract termination penalty
(under 24 months contract for UniFi)

RM500
Early contract termination penalty
(under 12 months contract for HyppTV)
Subscription fees of remaining months
Deferment/cancellation penalty within 24 hours of confirmed appointmentRM200
Package downgrade feeRM212
Package upgrade/downgrade request that requires a visit by TM personnelRM212
Onsite support visit by TM personnel after installationRM53

Compared with the additional fees or charges with other ISPs, UniFi is the most expensive. Though other ISPs penalises you for early contract termination penalty, UniFi penalises you for even cancelling confirmed installation appointment or if you opt for a package downgrade. They also charge for an upgrade but that’s limited to an upgrade that requires a visit from their staff. If you’re moving from a 30 mbps to a 50 mbps that doesn’t happen.

These customers will be charged a RM500 penalty fee if they terminate the service or migrate to another fibre service provider within 24 months. Unlike Maxis and TIME who allows termination within the first month of subscription, there is no such waiver for UniFi. If you decide to go for UniFi, you need to be really sure that you are going to stick around for 24 months to avoid the expensive and cumbersome penalty fee.

The verdict?

With the reduction in pricing by Maxis, UniFi seems to have lost its competitive edge, except for its wider coverage. This is made worse with the compulsory TV packages customers are forced to pay for.

The biggest downside to UniFi is the upload speeds but to be fair, and with Maxis and TIME offering the same speed, UniFi may need to consider offering symmetrical upload and download speeds or reduce its pricing further to attract more customers. To that end, it’s likely only a problem for the most serious uploaders.

For those who want to use UniFi but already have Streamyx, you don’t need to terminate your account – you just need to upgrade it to UniFi. However, the upgrade will come with a fresh 24-month contract. This can be quite a disadvantage if you find yourself unable to commit to a two-year contract.

While the add-ons are nice we would like to see the option of just getting the internet package at a lower price. That could put UniFi ahead of anyone else in terms of pricing. Right now, it’s a good option for regular Internet users. If you can get TIME Fibre, we’d recommend that over UniFi.

First published on March 15, 2016.

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