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 package
|Price for the fastest package
|Why we like it?
|What’s the drawback?
|Online games, video conferencing users and video streaming
|Wide coverage and cheapest price for these specific speeds
|Asymmetrical upload speeds
1. Speed and pricing
Currently, TM UniFi home broadband has six packages ranging from 10Mbps to 100Mbps. This is scheduled to change to the between 30Mbps and 800Mbps under the UniFi Turbo promotion.
|Max Download Speed
|Max Upload Speed
|30Mbps (60GB quota)
|UniFi Pro 100
Despite this, UniFi is scheduled to maintain its asymmetrical upload and download speeds. While the UniFi Turbo upload speeds have not exactly been announced, we expect them to be not more than half of the download speed.
TM doesn’t believe that this arrangement will have any adverse effect on its customers. Although this may have an impact on the increasing number of users who are uploading videos to Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
As a comparison with their nearest competition, UniFi is currently offering a 100Mbps connection for RM129, which is comparable to MaxisOne Home 100Mbps. Time Fibre is actually slightly more expensive in this aspect, offering the same download speed for RM149; although this package also comes with a symmetrical 100Mbps upload speed.
Budget home users can also look to the UniFi Basic promotion, which was originally intended for the B40 population segment. It offers 30Mbps for RM89 per month with a 5Mbps upload speed. Unfortunately, this plan also includes a 60GB monthly data quota. TM has recently opened the UniFi Basic plan to all Malaysians, allowing everyone access to low cost HSBB.
The next two points of comparison are for 300Mbps and 500Mbps lines. At the moment, UniFi hasn’t fully rolled out its packages for these two speeds. UniFi users on 30Mbps and 50Mbps connections are scheduled to receive upgrades that will bring them up to this standard, but the work will only be completed in 2019.
Once completed, UniFi users will be paying RM179 and RM199 for 300Mbps and 500Mbps respectively. Time Fibre offers comparable plans at RM189 and RM299 respectively.
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.
Each TM UniFI customer is given a Wi-Fi modem router, Unifi TV subscription, Set-Top-Box (STB), Broadband Termination Unit (BTU), and one e-mail account with a 2GB mailbox and a cordless phone.
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.
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
|Early contract termination penalty
(under 24 months contract for UniFi)
|Early contract termination penalty
(under 12 months contract for HyppTV)
|Subscription fees of remaining months
|Subscription downgrade fee
|Equal to one month payment for current contract
UniFi cancellation fees are based on the number of months left on the initial 2 year contract. Which could be substantial if you’re unhappy with the service and want to switch ISPs after a couple months. This is very different from the flat RM500 cancellation fee charged by Maxis.
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 biggest downside to UniFi are the upload speeds but to be fair, it’s likely only a problem for 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.
Right now, UniFi is a good option for regular Internet users. If you can get TIME Fibre or MaxisOne Home, we’d recommend those over UniFi for the near future. At least until TM finishes rolling out its UniFi Turbo upgrade. If not, there isn’t much to complain about. The provider now has several plans that are competitively priced.
First published on March 15, 2016. Updated September 12, 2018.[sc:leadformTM-UNIFI]