As mentioned yesterday, TM has organized a media briefing earlier today regarding their flagship high speed broadband service, UniFi. Described as the “all new” UniFi in the press invite, the company didn’t actually announce any new packages beyond the recently deployed UniFi 30 in today’s briefing though.
However, what TM briefed (or rather hinted) us instead is what the future beholds for UniFi in which will take place within the next few months.
First and foremost, TM has confirmed that it will drop the usage of “VIP” moniker for its UniFi package. This can already be seen when the UniFi 30 package came into the light few months ago but using that very package as an example, the official name for UniFi 30 is actually UniFi Advance.
Here is the interesting part: UniFi Advance is not the only one in the family as TM will launch lower and higher tier packages. But, as pointed out earlier in article, TM is not ready to reveal the details behind these new packages at the moment although we were told that the a higher tier package will be offered at a speed that might match one of its competitors albeit with a better pricing.
At the same time, TM will be entering mobile space soon by harnessing P1’s LTE capability which will become another method for TM to deliver high speed broadband to consumers. The company didn’t reveal the specifics behind its mobile ambitions although consumers can expect to have their UniFi and P1 charges in one single bill sometime in 2016.
During the briefing, TM has also touched on several issues that consumers has raised regarding UniFi in addition to the asymmetrical speed in the new packages that we have covered in previous article. Such issues include the ability to obtain UniFi without HyppTV which is not being ignored by the company but at the moment, TM is still standing firm behind its triple play strategy as it believes that HyppTV is a strong pay TV alternative to Astro and there is only a nominal fee to it as compared to what users need to pay if they choose to bundle Astro IPTV with Maxis Broadband.
TM has also touched regarding UniFi coverage during the briefing and while the company has stated that they are doing their best to expand the reach of UniFi through the nation, it did mention one of the obstacles that TM faced in their effort is how certain housing areas and buildings are not friendly to broadband infrastructure even though some of them are relatively new.
Hence, TM pointed out that developers plays an important role in such situations. At the same time, the demand from consumers need to be there too as TM need to consider whether the demand is good enough for the investment that TM need to put into broadband deployment in the said area.
Not to forget, there’s also the issue regarding what will happen to existing UniFi customers once the “all new” UniFi packages becomes the norm. TM stated that customers can choose to remain with VIP packages but eventually, these VIP packages will meet their end-of-life stage. When that happen (no dates were mentioned though), customers will be informed of their options and TM promises to make the switch as painless as possible.
We also raised the concern of the 24 months contract that consumers need to sign during new registration or when one’s switch from one package to another. TM stated that it is looking into is well but there is no real answer from the company regarding this issue at this moment.
All in all, there might be plenty of changes coming to UniFi as well as TM’s broadband strategy within the next few months. However, many of them are not yet ready to be revealed in today’s briefing which is rather unfortunate. Until these changes are fully revealed and implemented, it is too early to say whether the “all new” UniFi will be able to fulfill the various demands from users.