Latest Updates from TM on UniFi

First of all, UniFi is HSBB (High Speed Broadband) project; an initiative lauded by the government of Malaysia to improve the broadband coverage in Malaysia.

It is happening now, it is UniFi.

'UniFi' is using Fibre and the core is totally IP(Internet Protocol) based, therefore, it is a very complex system.

It will be a 10 years project started since 2008.

Total cost = RM 11.3 billion over 10 years. (Shared between TM and government).

It involves 2.500 contractors and approximately 19,000 TM staffs.

Currently, the service is available to a few locations namely Klang valley, some industrial areas in Johor and Penang.

Beta stage has already passed, it is considered to be live now.

According to TM, 90% of traffics go international, this makes the bottleneck at the international gateway which has limited bandwidth.

1% of the users are using 25% of the traffics.

In lieu of this, TM recognizes the need to implement traffic management based on Fair Usage Policy (FUP).

This problem is not new to TM actually, based on their experience from Streamyx where 90% of traffics go international and 1% of users are using 25% of the traffics. However, the challenge is that they want to make things better now, make things right.

Users are getting more sophisticated, most of them are downloading Blu-Ray movies, making use of VPN tunneling and MKV container. This scenario puts network engineers into sleepless night.

TM reckons that an understanding needs to be achieved between TM and consumers.

The reason is that most UniFi users are hard core users, while Streamyx users are soft-core who may only use up to the average of 512 Mb, it is a different scenario now.

Since its launch (Mar 2010), TM has tried to implement several FUP methods such as contention ratio (CR) which some believe that it could have been responsible for the recent outage, according to TM, they are still finalizing on the actual causes of the outage. According to the technical team, it was due to routing issues which could have been resolved instantly, nevertheless, it took them 36 hours to make sure that everything is well checked; a risk mitigation procedure.

According to CEO Dato' Sri Zamzamzairani, FUP in the form of volume based pricing will most likely be introduced by 2011. The exact date is unknown, however, consumers will be informed earlier.

Other strategies include getting favourite contents to be hosted locally; a move which Google (YouTube) and Microsoft have implemented. This means that if you are using TM's broadband service, access to YouTube and Microsoft's Updates will be faster than when using other providers.

TM stresses for the need to have more local contents which to me is very encouraging to local ICT entrepreneurs.

TM is geared up to work with the social media, particularly on popular forums like

And on customer service, TM reckons that there are rooms for improvement. As the matter of fact, TM would like the social media to help out with such area.

Finally, on competing with YTL Yes, CEO Dato' Sri Zamzam thinks that TM is strong on the fixed line business while mobile Internet will always have certain limitations such as signal's strenght and availability. TM is looking forward to setup more hotspots to supply consumers with more coverage of broadband services.

The conclusion for now is:

Contention Ratio (CR) is based on speed. 2M package is slower than 4M package. Volume based (VB) pricing means that for the same speed, charges are according to the total bytes downloaded or uploaded.

By default, CR should be the way of broadband. But there is actually no standard for UniFi unlike ADSL; UniFi is the creation of TM.

Therefore, there is no right and wrong on the solution towards the limitation of international bandwidth per se.

Using CR, slower package users will donate bandwidth to faster package users. While using VB pricing, hard core users donate bandwidth to soft core users.

The culprit is international bandwidth because if this country is USA, then everybody can have fast access to Google, YouTube, Facebook, Microsoft and etc; as fast as the core.