Battle of the wireless broadband

Believe it or not, getting an Internet connection at home would be like a dream come true for me. Then again I've given up hope on subscribing to Streamyx because I think it's rather too expensive for my liking. The thing is, I don't think I wanna fix a phone line at my rented house cause I have plans to move out of that place sometime next year. Why bother pay excessive installation and monthly phone bills when I'll be moving out anyway later? That's why lately I've been seriously thinking about subscribing to a wireless Internet provider. Ever since the country's top two telco provider, Maxis and Celcom actively promoting their respecting wireless broadband service, I've been losing sleep pondering about which one to choose.

So naturally I did the next logical thing, Google for them and find out the users response for both services. First I visited Celcom's website which features flashy pages which is really annoying cause I had to wait like forever for the animations to load. Yeah we know your web developer is good with flash but creating the whole website with flash? Whatever for? I just wanna read about the wireless broadband service, flash? So unnecessary. Like have you heard of CSS?

Anyway, the Celcom website is almost useless cause I only get a vague idea of their broadband service, i.e only about the plans only. Instead I got whole lot more info from who posted his experience with Celcom wireless broadband on Project Petaling Street. According to him:

"Celcom broadband uses 3G network to connect to the Internet. If the area does not have 3G network, don’t worry, you are still be able to connect to the Internet but the speed is slower than you are in the 3G area."

"If you subscribe the RM68 package, you will get limited speed which is 384kbps only. But if you have more money to spend for each month, you can subscribe the RM120 package and you will get up to 3.6Mbps speed. But take note, you only will get the speed if you are in the HSDPA area. I’m not sure which area got the HSDPA network because Celcom does not put the covered map on their website. So I don’t have any clue whether my place is in the HSDPA area."

"Just want to let you know, Celcom broadband packages does not come with device/modem. If you subscribe Maxis broadband, you will get free modem even though you subscribe their RM68 package. But I heard many complaints from their customers saying that their service is not good and so do their customer support."

"You can buy the device from Celcom but is expensive. I thought the modem is around RM200-RM400 but I was wrong. You can get a datacard with only RM399 but the datacard is only can be used on laptop. Unfortunately, I’m using desktop so I need to buy the USB modem which I need to pay about RM1100. RM1100 is not easy to get for a student. But thanks to my ex-boss, En Mizan the manager of Mercumaya, a web hosting provider company because he agreed to sell me the USB modem to me with installment and with cheaper price."

"The USB modem can support up to 3.6Mbps but because I subscribe the RM68 package, so I only can get 384kbps, maximum speed. But sometimes the speed is even slower compare with dial-up. Sometimes I get around 50kbps to 80kbps which is a little bit faster than dial-up but I paid RM68 monthly so I must get the top speed as possible. I hope Celcom can improve their services so all Malaysian will use their services."

"ps: If you have 3G handphone, you can use it as modem and connect it to your PC. From that, you can surf the Internet but the speed is slower, around 170kbps."

Well, that's according to Cypherhackz. RM68 per month but no modem? A modem costs 1000 bucks? No way I'm gonna subscribe to them. Dude, I only wanna check my e-mail and update a few blogs, really it's a no brainer.

Maxis's website on the other hand is really user-friendly and informative. No flashy flash animation, just a few pictures and text. Before you subscribe to their wireless broadband make sure: Maxis 3G coverage in your area, high speed modem by Maxis (available at RM18/month rental), sim card for modem and finally a pc (desktop/notebook).

The packages are also simple and easy to understand:

So basically, for starters I only pay RM68 per month, modem included.

But of course I don't just take their words for it. Next I Google for both Celcom and Maxis's wireless broadband users experience and found a whole lot of them too. Some were encouraging but many were mostly negative.

Negative views:

mohzumo Says:
"I’m using maxis broadband 384kbps for 2 months now, and it’s really-really sucks…very slow…i tested it with, download speed only 197kbps, upload 33kbps…download 5mb file take more than 15 min…average speed 3kbps..really suck"

billy Says:
"Maxis broadband really bad, low speed with high price, i just subscribe for 640kbps rm78 but i only get the speed 100++kbps or even lower. I am wondering is maxis dial up or broadband. I am regret with registering maxis, unstable bandwidth. I still have to use this maxis for 18 months, i am going to get crazy with the speed."

seong Says:
"Don use maxis broadband,it’s to slow.
cheat ppl one.
when i subscribed that time they din tell about the 18 months contract. now i wan to terminate they said
i have to pay RM1300+ .
i m cheated
my father is going to sue them." <-- This is funny wan, ha ha! pacu says:
"wtf…!! maxis was very bad..slow like a siput babi..package rm68 but monthly bill rm70+. claim to get high speed up to 2Mbps but only can get below 100kbps. My grandfather using dialup still can beat me in online war games because he’s going faster and faster even with dialup. haaahaaaa….do play play ha…"

Wei Quan Says:
"I am using Maxis Broadband…Maxis Broadband is no very fast also…when connect to outside website ,et : china website,it will become very slow..only connect to Malaysia Website or Singapura Website and Asia Website will be fast…and the speed will awalys change …sometimes is HSDPA (3G +)..but sometimes change to UTMS (3G) speed only…i don’t know why this happen…and quiet hard to connect to MSN Message..only just good thing is…downloading in Asia Server is fast .. Thanks very much.."

maxisux Says:
"definitely stay far2 away,dont even think about maxis supa f’king slow, n now i’ve to wait for 18 months give the fking modem back, if not there will be a penalty charge rm800, damn like ah long la maxis"

van Says:
"i’d advise you not to change.

i am currently using maxis wireless broadband. have been tried using it in Subang and also in Penang. da connection at both areas suck a lot.

1st thing - very extremely slow. sometimes its better to use dial up.
2nd thing - i hav no idea why does my modem often “hang”….or maybe da connection itself hangs. it happens like few times a day and i’ll hafta power cycle the adapter and da modem.
3rd - juz like what the others said, it always dc.
4th - i cant even log in to my own msn acc when using maxis broadband and was forced to switch new acc.

complain about streamyx? what about maxis?
trust me, u wil love streamyx if you were to experience this."

Dave Says:
"Anyones know how to complain to maxis broadband?i was 4 days cant online already…
i find the whole maxis website to also cant find the phone numbers.i dun know why i cant to online, really burn!!!the problems was keep on appears, say the DNS cant to run.I was try to restart my laptop n the suck moderm many times already. but still cant to online.
so i hope can get a help from here. thx."

Positive views:

tcs Says:
"Celcom’s broadband is indeed fast, 3.6Mbps is possible. BUT, do bear in mind that when you pay RM120 a month for fast broadband, whereby you can only surf the net and not access P2P services, i do not see the investment justified."

Steve G Jr Says:
"Maxis Broadband is really good NOW!! I was one of the unfortunate ones in the early mths of launch. However, I decided to give them a 2nd chance during the recent PC Fair Aug. I got to admit it was a whole world of difference from start till now.
First I paid RM100 for activation and got the modem on the spot and the line was activated the same day! I’ve since been browsing at speed more than 1.0Mbps on my DU Meter very frequently. Plus I heard they expanded their network to about 700plus stations on HSDPA within a year. Recently at their center in KLCC, I was shown their new mobile broadband modem. It was small, sleek and sexy. Plus it was really cheap but only available sometime next week..:(

Personally, kudos to Maxis for turning around so fast"

Mawi says:
"I stay at BB Bangi also; seksyen 2. Till now, i got no problem with Maxis BB. i already use it in Kota Kinabalu without any problem and also in my office-42nd floor at Pudu area. For info, i only subscribe 3G package which is cost RM68 a month. Surprisingly, for the first statement they charge me only RM52.65!"

To be honest I was quite discouraged by the number of negative views and experiences with Maxis wireless broadband. That is until I found this gem of a comment from DR Telecommunication who posted his thoughts on many of the negative comments on the forum pages.

DR Telecommunication Says:

REPLY graychia

Stop talking non-sense !

think in your mind before wrote these thing out. They will be charge you for court because of so many un-true inside your opinion!

No connection in these world is perfect, you get 70% above consider good!
I’m using Maxis broadband now. I’m satisfied with the result. SO… My place is Selayang Baru, I also tried other place. Such as Kepong Prima ( weak signal), Sri Petaling Hotel (HSPDA), AND Warisan Building( Near Traffic Police, KL)—(UTMS)!

Do you learn English, graychia? What is the meaning “up to”????

Is the limit, not the promise !

You think these type of complain(comments) can make people to believe you?

=On a health insurance policy,
Maxis: This Max Is Cacat Plan is really great. They promised to compensate UP TO RM100,000 for a disability. I’ve lost a hand and a leg and they gave me RM100. Perfect!=

This is not true!

All the insurance policy is an agreement.
this way of speaking only at advertisement! again. insurance mean pay you full in term of cash or cheque.

IF YOU REALLY FIND OUT THE INSURANCE POLICY WROTE LIKE THIS, I WILL PAY YOU RM 500 INSTANTLY! “compensate UP TO RM100,000 for a disability. I’ve lost a hand and a leg and they gave me RM100.” WHICH IS IN VALID DOCUMENTATION!

If you STILL not statisfied, just complain to the related parties.

REPLY sharonpw:

the speed show 100mbps (mega-bit-per second) is equal 12.5MB/s(12.5 Mega Bytes) speed between your maxis broadband modem to your pc network adapter! and the speed you can test the on line speed live by using bandwidthmonitor pro. Search it in google!

It is good to ask some people who really understand IT-field before posting your comments. Besure you know the unit before making complain. Thanks.

REPLY Edwin:

NO! It is not true. Not every communication system in wireless mode faces service disturb EVERY TIME while raining! I try before, the speed maintain constant and stable during raining day. But only some risk, thunder strike and electric supply lost during transmission. P2P software are partially block only! Try not to use the software u mention… Swith to Xun Lei if you know chinese, Every night (11pm-8am) I successfully download average 1.8 GigaByte and above from XL and BitComet ! I using 384 kbps(max speed=48 KB/s but it can run till 150KB/s according to BWMP!)

try to create one Maybank, you will enjoy a lot of benefits! REALLY. “Paybills” mean every bills! Including saman from MPS…DBKL… CIMB paybill may give you charging and sometime no work! Try , is the best after i owed the 5th account–public (security good), cimb (some time not even running the script while online, worry transaction), hlb (this is the worse nightmare), maybank (nice and good! working perfect with IE 7 NOT firefox)

try to switch on and off for your modem. You cannot hook the connection more then 12 hours continuously! Must give other people change to enjoy the service.

REPLY skyland:
Positive attitude! See your location, coverage and the place you stay (for some high building, connection maybe blocked!) You can also request your friend bring de modem to your palce and test it. See the SIGNAL connection whether is HSPDA(3.5G), UTMS(3G), EDGE(2.75G), GPRS(2.5G) by pressing after connected to your network card.

REPLY loong87
YES, tmn paramount is a new place for maxis broadband, try to do the same thing… test before subscribe.

It is real, WIRED broadband is stable than a wireless connection! If you wanna download from p2p network, forgot about wireless, including celcom 3g also will band p2p download to make sure fair-policy usage! Soonly, Streamyx also will disallow user to download from ANY p2p, started already in AMPANG Chinese area!

Question: Can your streamyx follow(portable and freely move to the place that are no fixed telephone line!) to you to anyway? What for you use un-needed things? Choose the type of broadband that suite your living style!

PEOPLE TELLING YOU TRUE, YOU FEEL STUPID. Then no need telephone la~!

REPLY qoqo:
Hey! Stop it. I will call the forum maker to disband your comments.
Read the news, information provided by the official web site before typing some silly words at here!

Also take note, if you're thinking of signing up for Maxis' new wireless broadband service, take note of these terms and condition:

"4.8 Maxis may, at its sole discretion, automatically disconnect the customer's internet session after a period of inactivity, which may vary from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. This automatic disconnection is to allow maximum network performance."

"5.3.1 Each customer's total usage per month shall NOT exceed 3GB of data volume transmitted (total upload and download usage). This is to ensure that no individual hogs the bandwidth at all times."

So regular users of P2P applications such as Bit Torrent, eDonkey, Gnutella, forget about Maxis boradband, any wireless broadband for that matter.

Nevertheless I think I'll probably subscribe to Maxis wireless broadband than Celcom come the end of the month. Still have a little reservation on the 18 months contract thingy though so I think I'm gonna ask the sales representative very thoroughly before signing the contract.


  1. Thanks Afif for compiling all the feedbacks for Maxis and Celcom..this would be useful for anybody who are going to use them. It seems the Celcom's performance far outweigh the Maxis'.

  2. That's true, but since their modem's price is so expensive people gonna think 10 times before the subscribe to Celcom.

  3. You don't have to consider the modem to suscribe the package. Just get it at low yatt or get 3G phone for cheaper option. The Maxis or Celcom modem package is for anybody who have no idea about tweaking it or lazy to find it on their own.

  4. Ah well, I subscribed to Maxis anyway and been enjoying my free modem ever since. The wireless quality here is quite excellent too, I rarely got disconnected or anything.

  5. thanks for the good post..Just now i'm looking for the best price for 3g datacard..


  6. i'm maxis wireless usb modem about 1month ago..the connection was so teribble,dhla pay mahal,every 30min d connection terminated and kena connect blk, teruk btullllllllll...anyone can fix the prob?or kena use external antenna???

  7. if u want to check 3g area or hsdpa area, try using hp which support hsdpa( nokia 6120c), try browsing on certain area with Opera for example. on top of the hp screen, it will showing 3.5g for hsdpa area.

  8. I've just started using celcom 3g, on slow days it can peak to 170kbps and better days slightly around 500kbps. I'm on the rm68 package.
    Its a dissapointment if you think it can replace streamyx, its line is very unstable even though i am getting 4/5 bar of signal here.
    However i suggest u tweak the tcp/ip if you want to get a faster 3g connection :)