Dato Lee
Chong Wei
Lost Again :(

 

If you know where it's going
it's not worth doing !

08

JAN

2011

3G review 2011, Maxis vs Celcom vs Digi vs U Mobile

When high-speed internet becomes a necessity, choosing the right broadband is not becoming any simpler.

Unless you go for fixed line, then is “end of the story”, only one choice out there, some prefers to say “no choice”.

Things get complicated if you need the mobility, or broadband on the go. With Maxis, Celcom, Digi, U Mobile, P1, YES, and more to come; comparing prices, usage limit and sifting out hidden clauses in T&C turns out to be a daunting tasks.

This is a simple, yet comprehensive review on 3G broadband. P1 and YES are excluded since both are tagged as 4G.

Maxis broadband


Speed Test Results for Maxis broadband

We start off with the big brother – Maxis broadband.

Paying RM100 upfront (registration fee according to Maxis, in fact is the modem cost) for 1.5GB plan with modem and no contract.

Speed wise, over 1Mbps is a norm, downloading from fast site will boost speed up to 2Mbps, occasionally drop below 1Mbps but recovers quickly.

This plan is for users with super lite usage: reading news, blogging, forum, online banking, downloading small files and maybe short video clips.

If you download movies, this plan is not for you. Nowadays a single HD movie could easily exceed 1.5GB. Go get yourself a Streamyx.

Strictly not for heavy downloader or P2P freak.

Digi broadband


Speed Test Results for Digi broadband

“The Yellow man” is the only 3G broadband that offers plan without modem. I signup the Discover Day Plan that comes with 3GB usage, paying RM30 advanced payment, I came home with a SIM card.

The SIM card can be used with any 3G modem that is unlocked, means not locked to a specified operator. I got a U Mobile modem for that purpose. After some simple configurations, I’m connected to Digi.

Download speed is average compared to Maxis, but it’s more consistent, with smaller degree of variations, speed is well maintained in the range of 800Kbps to 1.2Mbps most of the time.

Consistently high upload speed. If you do a lot of uploading, you could not go wrong with Digi, most of its peers are scoring 3 – 10 kbps in the upload category, with Digi, you can constantly achieve up to 30kbps.

At RM38, Digi Discover Day Plan is RM10 cheaper than Maxis’s entry level plan. Signup auto billing can save additional RM5 so only RM33 per month, a whopping 31% discount over Maxis.

The caveat about Discover Day Plan is the speed cap from 7pm. to 7.am, during which download speed drops to 128kbps. For most people, 128kbps is next to unusable. Flash sites will take ages to load, Youtube progress bar will stall forever. What else you can do with a 128kbps connection? Probably checking email, messenger, and some lite surfing if you got the extra patience…

But that is the whole selling point of Digi, if you got a fixed internet connection at home, this USB stick is meant for carrying around, for your day time surfing when you are not at home. At 3GB, it doubles the usage limit of the RM48 plan from Maxis. Guess Digi is targeting working executives with limited access to internet in the office, or with high mobility at work, travelling frequently to client sites for examples.

U Mobile broadband


Speed Test Results for U Mobile broadband

U Mobile is a special breed among 3G broadband providers. It has an unlimited package.

Rest assured there’s no free lunch in the world, it actually comes with 5GB usage limit, for RM68 per month, fair enough.

Paying RM168 upfront (RM100 modem, RM68 advanced payment), I’m happy to find out that U Mobile has a terrific download speed. Okay, I mean comparing to other 3G broadbands in Malaysia.

2Mbps is a norm, sometimes creeping up to 2.5Mbps when downloading from file sharing site like Filesonic.

I’ve been using it for 1 month and very happy with the performance and stability, never drop a connection so far.

Umobile has a rebate scheme for modem, RM20 rebates for first 5 months, so you only pay RM48 per month. What a deal!!! For the same price, you only get 1.5GB from Maxis.

Read the full review on U Mobile broadband.

Celcom broadband

Celcom has very poor reception at my house, I even have difficulties to get it connected so a full review is impossible.

Using Celcom broadband at my workplace, deep in the center of a building, a room enclosed with plywood partitions, with poor ventilation and no direct access to windows. Celcom displayed 1 bar of signal but surprisingly able to connect although getting snails like speed (slower than EDGE, webpage will never finish loading)

At the same location, Maxis displays excellent connectivity and speed (impressive full bars of signals). This is followed by Digi and Umobile. The weird things about U Mobile, it’s displaying only 1 signal bar, but I can get it connected with little (if any) slowdown on speed.

Generally the signal strength of Celcom is weaker than others, but if you got decent signal, Celcom is pretty fast, hovering between 1 – 1.5Mbps, though no way as fast as U Mobile and Maxis.

Verdict

Maxis possess very strong signal strength and the best signal penetration among all 3G broadband. Speed is almost as fast as Umobile, but its price tag of RM48 and smaller usage cap of 1.5GB make it less attractive than Umobile and Digi.

Digi is a balance between download and upload, suitable for users that upload photos to facebook , video to youtube, and for webmaster transferring files (FTP) to remote servers. Digi is also the cheapest, 3GB for RM33 with auto billing or RM38 without.

Umobile is a download powerhouse, speed over 2Mbps backed by 5GB usage limit. It caters to the needs of heavy downloader looking for mobility. RM20x5 rebates translated into RM48 per month and RM68 after 5 months.

Celcom might be a good choice if your area is near to the base station/transmitter and there is no obstacle that jeopardise the signal.

Download speed: Umobile (>2Mbps), Maxis (>2Mbps), Celcom (1.2Mbps), Digi (1Mbps)

Fast download and value for money : UMobile

Fast upload and value for money : Digi

Best signal strength / penetration power : Maxis

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14

CMMT

newbie
02 Oct 2012 / 17:14

Thanks for the review!! Looking to get a USB stick. Came across ur review, keep it up!! Very helpful :D

Docjools
28 May 2012 / 11:11

Here is a summary of the test results:

Yes@Pelangi (4.07-5.41MB download from NY 0.49-1.78MB upload from NY)
Unifi@Pelangi (1.26-7.61MB download from NY 3.37-7.25upload from NY)

Yes@Polo Park, Iskandar (0.23-5.69MB download from NY 0.03-2.56MB upload from NY)
1MB Streamyx@Polo Park, Iskandar (0.3-1.07MB download from NY 0.32-0.39upload from NY)

I saw Unifi contractors installing cable on the Polo Park apartment premises. I understand that the Unifi internet cable service might be available from June 2012, which means I get to ditch the awful 1MB Streamyx service which I am paying for RM110 per month! The Yes dongle prepaid internet service is too expensive and does not provide the (poor) benefits in terms of the high cost (I was clocking RM8 per day for light internet news browsing and radio).

Docjools
17 May 2012 / 11:37

I have speedtest results (Unifi & Streamyx vs Yes in the Johor Pelangi & Johor Taman Iskandar area.

How can I upload the PDF result?

MasterLock
20 Apr 2012 / 18:27

Maxis is the fastest, most reliable so of coz it comes with a higher price tag which I am more than willing to pay.

Living in an apartment 22nd floor, speed test 5.2 average...WO HOOOO!

castello
14 Apr 2012 / 15:43

F**k celcom! Im living at wangsa maju and the signal bar show HSDPA+. But the speed is like kura-kura.very SLOW.it takes around 5minutes to open google page.what the hell?now im looking either maxis or digi. Bye2 celcom.. U are the big fat liar.

sunnygirl
04 Apr 2012 / 00:16

I just complained to Celcom about their super slow broadband speed. It really pissed me off because the average download speed is less than 20kbps although the signal bar is at its fullest. I'm considering Umobile and came across this site. Thanks for the info.

draustindre
22 Feb 2012 / 16:19

Boys and Girls,
You should not make a conclusion based on test(s) performed on a single site. I assure you that Maxis will come out the fastest is most areas.

UMobile is fast now due to their low number of customers. I can guarantee you that this wont be true once the figures grow.

I am a strong believer that you get what you pay.

I am a huge fan of Maxis for just one reason.. My GF has recently switched to DIGI (apparently the contract is cheaper for an IPHONE). Until recently, most of my calls are NOT CLEAR and sometimes cant even get through!!!
Now that she has "hopped over" to the Green side, we no longer face the problem...
To convince her to switch back, off and on I will challenge her to load a video on youtube and compare whose device loads faster and I kidd you not, she has never won!

17 Oct 2011 / 21:06

***correction on the "high rise building usage, it is a DISADVANTAGE to almost all 3G devices"

17 Oct 2011 / 21:03

I have been using my Celcom Broadband 3G for nearly 4 years w/out a problem. I've used it almost anywhere in Malaysia except for certain states like Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu. I live on a hill in Gombak area. The reception is very satisfying. I get HSDPA almost everytime i used it. But gets Edge and GPRS when i'm at 12 floor and above in an apartment or high rise condo. Using it in a high rise building is the advantage to almost 3G devices (to my perspective).

Celcom's coverage is really wide (they're advertisement say so, and i believed it 100%) the sea shore is the limit, not the sky.

28 Jul 2011 / 10:55

Hi Hafizi, I got no idea about Tanjong Malim.

Go get one and try it yourself, most of the 3G broadband out there comes with 7 days cooling off period :)

Muhammad Hafizi
19 Jul 2011 / 21:32

hey, nice review, can I ask an important question, I need the answer a.s.a.p, please, thanks in advance, the question would be,

I'll be moving to Tanjong Malim , Perak in a few days, I'll be staying there for approximately 5 month, what's the best broadband service for me?

mantoyya
13 Jun 2011 / 17:03

celcom get better now. with mbasic. 1GB cap. can get 3mbps

anas
06 Jun 2011 / 14:24

u mobile good i get 3.2 mbps speed download.

AM
25 May 2011 / 15:30

wht abt P1 w1ggy ?