There’s never enough data or phone battery to go around if you have to use your phone’s data at home as well! As a consumer, your choices for the perfect Internet network provider for your home is growing. Telcos, such as Maxis, and independent Internet providers, such as TIME, have increased their influence in Malaysia over recent years – and that’s good for you, but which one should you choose, and how?
There are several Internet providers in the market today, and the newer ones are delving into the realm of faster fibre broadband. The more recent players are Celcom, Maxis and UniFi. TIME and especially Streamyx has been around for a longer time, even if the former had limited market penetration until recently. Certainly, we have come a long way since the days of good old Jaring.
Fibre or DSL?
Some consumers are blessed with wider choices if fibre broadband connections are possible. Most new building developments today come with at least one type of fibre broadband ready for connection, but those who live in older housing areas may have to wait and hope for fibre broadband to arrive. Once a fibre Internet provider, such as Celcom, Maxis, UniFi, or TIME, has the fibre broadband cable up to your doorstep, you stand a chance to either enjoy it, or stick to your DSL broadband-based Streamyx. For those who have yet to see fibre broadband coverage, do stick with DSL broadband for a while longer!
As aforementioned, fibre broadband is a relatively new introduction to the Malaysian Internet market, but DSL has been around for over 20 years. Therefore, it may come as no surprise to you that Streamyx has the highest coverage among Internet providers in Malaysia – but fibre broadband Internet providers are catching up. UniFi, for example, is the superior fibre broadband sibling of DSL-based Streamyx, with the same giant Telekom Malaysia funding its financial and coverage efforts. On the other hand, Maxis is an established telco, and its MaxisONE Home Fibre is fast gaining traction. TIME tends to focus on high-rise buildings such as apartments and condominiums, so if you’re staying in a landed property, you’re out of luck with TIME. In short, all these fibre broadbands cover different areas, so check your coverage properly before signing that contract!
The fastest speed for fibre broadband Internet today goes to TIME, with its fastest package clocking in at an incredible 500Mbps. Again, though, if coverage is an issue, both Maxis and UniFi have maximum Internet speeds of 100Mbps. Newcomer Celcom is starting off modestly with a 10Mbps package. Streamyx, as a DSL broadband, caps its speed at 8Mbps.
Anyone who compares these Internet providers’ top packages for price-per-GB will quickly enough realise that TIME wins hands-down when it comes to the best bang for your buck with just RM1.67 per GB for its 500Mbps package. (However, this is where the issue of coverage comes in, since TIME focuses on high-rises and urban areas.) At the time of writing, MaxisONE Home Fibre will cost you RM3.30 per GB for its 100Mbps package; UniFi comes in a near second at RM2.99 per GB for its 100Mbps package; and Celcom at RM14.50 per GB for its 10Mbps package.
Best Minimum Contract Period
The last thing you want to do is to be stuck in a contract you don’t want for a long time just because you’re otherwise stuck with a termination penalty. You never know when a better deal rolls around, right? In this instance, Streamyx is the winner with only a 12-month contract, as opposed to Maxis and UniFi who both require you to sign 24-month contracts.
Want more than just Internet? Then Maxis has its Maxperts at your technical beck and call. Or if you thrive on entertainment, why not go for the Astro IPTV bundle that comes with Internet Protocol Television and either Maxis or TIME fibre broadband? Now that’s the best of both worlds!
All Internet providers have their pros and cons, so it is up to you – and the coverage of the fibre infrastructure, of course – to see which Internet provider can give you the Internet package you require.