Telekom Malaysia has outlined its plans for increasing broadband speeds in line with the government’s 2017 budget announcement. While there are no concrete details for what TM has in store for us, the internet provider is going to have an interesting 2017.
In the short term, TM is planning to double the connection speed for Unifi subscribers. This upgrade will begin in January 2017, and will affect all eligible customers. The upgrade will not be instantaneous, and TM will instead be carrying out the work in stages.
Interestingly, some customers may see their subscriptions instead changed to the next lowest plan. Executive Vice President of Consumer & SME, Imri Mokhtar explained that those on VIP10 subscriptions may instead see themselves on the Advance Plan 30 instead. At the moment, it looks like TM is trying to move people to the next closest subscription plan if it is possible.
Non-Unifi customers can look forward to new plans next year. There’s little to be said yet, but it sounds like the 1Mbps and 4Mbps plans are being altered. That being said, it doesn’t look like Streamyx subscribers will receive the free upgrade and may have to change their broadband plans.
TM CEO Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa said that TM has prepared for the Prime Minister’s announcement during the budget; and that the company has already been steadily working towards the goal. According him, TM was already moving towards increasing speeds for consumers; it was just that the Prime Minister’s announcement has caused those plans to be accelerated.
Imri pointed out that the price per Mbps has been dropping since the launch of Unifi. The entry packages have gone from 5Mbps for RM149 to 30Mbps for RM199. This represents a decrease of 78-percent in the overall price per megabit.
Zamzamzairani also touched on the possibility of changing the subscription model for broadband in Malaysia. This could possibly mean that Malaysians will be instead charged based on usage, instead of a simple flat rate.
The change is not based on the budget announcement, but instead about the way that the ISP industry in evolving. According to TM’s statistics, the average Malaysian household uses 150GB per month. This is only set to increase as the company sees more people move back to fixed lines due to video streaming services.
There’s no confirmation on whether TM is actually moving to the pricing model just yet, but Zamzamzairani believes that TM will begin looking into it within the next two or three years.