Malaysian wireless broadband provider YTL’s long-awaited mobile WiMAX service will be launched at 6pm local time today. The operator claims that the new service, branded ‘Yes’, will be the first converged 4G network – voice, mobile internet and mobile broadband – in the world. Yes will not separate mobile data and voice and instead intends to bring everything into one simple plan with no additional charge and no monthly commitment. Yes’s 4G rates were revealed earlier this week; its pre-paid plan will charge MYR0.09 (USD0.03) for 3MB of data, per minute of talk or per SMS. This is equivalent to MYR30 per 1GB, and undercuts its rivals in the broadband access market; currently uneTalk charges MYR0.05 per 1MB on an EDGE connection. The Yes data service is expected to have coverage of up to 65% of Peninsular Malaysia from launch, with the company claiming to have more than 1,000 base stations in place. Yes will be offering four devices during launch including the ‘Yes Buzz’ 4G smartphone developed with Samsung, a USB dongle, a MiFi device and a desktop WiFi router. The service is already looking set to be a hit; pre-registrations for the product have exceeded expectations by three times, said executive chairman Tan Sri Francis Yeoh.
TeleGeography’s 4G research service reports that YTL had said that it would spend MYR2.5 billion to roll out the mobile WiMAX service to reach more than 65% of the country’s population ready for launch. YTL has said it will reach more than 80% by the second quarter of 2011, and has previously said that it intends to offer a quad-play service, with the TV element delivered by the US company Sezmi, by the end of 2011. To this end, also this week, the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with RTM and Media Prima Group’s Primeworks Studio to provide internet television content for its 4G WiMAX services.