Last Friday , TM invited me to a blogger and Twitteratti briefing and feedback session by TM where a selected people who TM considers influencers in the social media space were invited to share their feedback and to get our thoughts as well on certain issues , which I’ll be discussing in segments , so if it does not interest you , just skip the to the part which interests you.
more after the jump and bear in mind its a very long post !
The Event – The Attendees and the Food
Well to my surprise , top-level management people came to the event. This includes Dato Sri Zam ISA , the CEO of TM , executives like Chief Strategy Office Ahmad Azhar Yahya and Chief Marketing Officer Rozalila Abdul Rahman along with EVP of New Media Jeremy Kung and VP of Group Corp Communications Izlyn Ramli. I did not expect to see this. To see a CEO attending an event of such , it shows that TM is very serious on getting thoughts from customers.
Now you may ask , what about the food in the title. Well , the thing is I’m a vegetarian and I’ve requested to TM to prepare a vegeterian food for me – just for me. When they did this , I truly knew that they are willing to listen on what we have to say. A lot of people should learn from this , especially when catering to vegetarians !
There were other people which I do know from lowyat/twitterati/blogopshere or whatever its called now.
Interesting Facts on Streamyx and UniFi
These are some of the interesting facts that I would like to highlight first before discussing them in detail. Here are something that you would like to know regarding TM , Streamyx and UniFi in general. These information were obtained from TM’s presentation slides and written down in ol’ traditional way
- Streamyx pricing have been dropped by 50% since 2007
- An average Streamyx user uses about 11.7GB of bandwidth in a month and as for an average UniFi user , he/she uses about ~67GB a month
- The extreme case for UniFi would be a whooping 4TB a month of bandwidth being consumed and about 1TB for Streamyx User
- TM charges RM 2/GB for UniFi as opposed to RM 21/GB by YES 4G (which proves that UniFi is far more cheaper then Yes 4G) – again take note of that
- 90% of traffic goes to out of the country
There were other facts as well , I couldn’t get them all of them written down in my tiny iPhone 4. But I don’t think most of us would be concerned anyway , we just want to look at worst case and and as well as average case situation. Of course there were people who consumed less then 5GB a month as well
Yes , we do know that every time you call that number , the person over there doesn’t get what are you trying to say and most of the time you have to yell at them back as most likely they would ask questions like “sir , please do a ping test” , when clearly you did not even able o connect to the Internet . For this TM admits that they have still much more room for improvement and they are doing their best to improve the service. TM is doing this by adding in more support personnel , so that every of us get served (hopefully) instead of waiting for a long time. Plus they were talking about having dedicated call center numbers for different issues regarding the service
Anyway TM did say that changes do take time. TM is also looking through social media and other means to reach its customers to provide updates when there is a service disruption. This includes things such as SMS alerts which I think is a great idea.
On top of that , Dato Sri Zam Isa was expressing his concern on this issue. He said that the best products , need best tech support. Clearly shows that TM Top Level Management is serious about this.
Throttling , Slow Streamyx , I can’t play World of Warcraft , <insert some other issues with Streamyx/Unifi here>
TM did address this issue on why its being slow. As I’ve mentioned earlier on Interesting Facts on Streamyx , UniFi. Its simply because of heavy downloaders who are clogging up lines. As we know that its a shared service meaning resource is being shared , the problem with download hoggers is that they download 24/7. It wasn’t a problem back in the days , as ISPs could easily allocate resources , now its becoming more and more harder. TM has revealed they did upgrade their International gateway and yet the problem was not solved because the number of downloaders continued to grow.
To combat this TM introduced p2p throttling back in 2007 , so thats the reason why your <insert your p2p client here> is slow when downloading <insert your favourite copyrighted material here or porn> . Of course as TM pointed out (and we have evolved) , we have grown smarter by having encryption in our clients , using VPN to bypass ,and by other means. This makes it harder for TM to manage its services as its finite. There is no such thing as infinite bandwidth when it comes to networking. As of today , its irrelevant , that is why TM is going to move on with new fair usage policy for streamyx, which basically works on Connection Ratio policy or Quota or mixture of both. To put it simpler words , you may be given 60GB of quota a month , once you’ve reached your limit you may have to pay for every GB that you’ve transferred or let your connection be throttled to a slower speed. To get more about this and if you like to post your thoughts , I would suggest you to go here and post your thoughts (Lowyat).
UniFi & HyppTV
Basically TM is saying that HyppTV will be further expanded to have more programmes especially for kids. There are going to add more content and working with content providers to provide more content. The reason why the prices are bit to steep is because content itself is expensive. TM is looking into providing more channels , variety to users and at the same time. So hopefully HyppTV becomes of what ASTRO is of today. As we further aim for being a high-income nation , we should have more choices.
Another thing to add , I was carried away with HyppTV – it was rapid to watch videos on demand. Purchase the movie and bam , you watch it. Plus you get to skip , scan , pause – its all fast and real time. Just think of how YouTube works. It looks pretty good .
On the other hand , UniFi coverage is expanding steadily. Plus I’ve heard that quota is going to be implemented for UniFi somewhere next year. So , that history does not repeat itself. One more thing is that they are looking into fixing WiFi issue with the supplied router that comes with UniFi . Yes people TM is fully aware of whats going on !
CDN (YouTube , etc)
TM has a local Windows Update server which they worked with Microsoft , and as well as a local caching YouTube server. TM is working hard to get companies like Microsoft and Google (Who have their co-servers located in Malaysia) to host in Malaysia so that Malaysian users can get to download faster.
Currently , the youTube cache server caches most viewed video by Malaysians. This is why sometimes youTube buffering is very fast. TM is not throttling YouTube , basically I was told that it was Google itself , as they have set aside on the quota.
Well , certainly we would not be enjoying unlimited Internet anymore , thats a good thing in a way as we should able to get decent speeds. Things are looking pretty good for TM , especially having the CEO and higher level team there to address the problems of TM and what they are doing or have done in order to resolve these issues and to get our own opinion regarding this.
I would like to thank TM for inviting me for this event. Now some of you may think that i’ve been brainwashed or turned into a TM propaganda machine. But trust me , when I saw top-level people were so serious in resolving the issue , then I knew that things are going to be for the better. But anyway , lets just hope that as Malaysians , we want a decent Internet Service and hopefully in the years ahead , we get to have them.
What are your thoughts on this ? Feel free to share and I’ll collect them and send it to TM so that our voices are heard !