Posts Tagged ‘maxis’

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What is so great about BlackBerry service anyway?

March 17, 2009

blackberry_logo__black

Posting a question like this is basically asking for trouble. Before you prepare to start shooting me with comments. Please allow me elaborate further. I started off using Palm OS many years back and have since migrated over to Windows Mobile. The migration is a whole new story by itself fit for another post, another time. Along the years, I have also tried using Apple OS, Symbian OS, Android OS and even the Linux OS on the Motorola PDA phones.

One thing missing for the list above was the BlackBerry OS.

For some strange reasons, I was never attracted to BlackBerry phones. Although in my line of work, I usually get to test many different kind of phones but BlackBerry was never one of them. Maybe this is because in Malaysia, you can’t just go and buy a BlackBerry phone from a retail shop (nowadays you can, just like Apple iPhone). You have to buy it from our local telco Maxis or Celcom which comes with all kinds of different data packages and commitment. I just had to try it out myself. I need to know why are there 14 Million users worldwide using this device. Is their push email really that great?

So I went and gotten myself a BlackBerry Bold.

First Impression of BlackBerry OS

The OS version is 4.6.0.126 and setting up the BlackBerry for the first time was pretty easy. Then when I wanted to setup my regular IMAP/POP3 work account and was SHOCK to find that BlackBerry do not even offer the choice of POP3 or IMAP (OK, I really didn’t know this!). My feeling at that moment was like, buying a car and later found out that I have to use NGV gas as fuel instead of regular RON91 or RON95 petrol. How stupid of me to think that all PDA are created equal.

Without much choice, I called up Maxis and inquire about their BlackBerry packages. I was offered the below WITHOUT any contract commitment.

Entry Standard Unlimited
Monthly Commitment RM45 RM55 RM120
Data Usage 5MB 10MB Unlimited

I chose the RM120 plan because I already had the RM99 data unlimited plan. I just have to add RM21 to get the BlackBerry service up and running  in 2 hours! I was given a website address (BlackBerry Internet Service) to create my email account and also to link my BlackBerry Bold to the service.

http://maxis.blackberry.com

Inside the BIS page, I have to key-in the PIN and IMEI number of my device. Once that is done, I received the below message in my BlackBerry Bold.

“Your handheld has been registered with the wireless network”

Then I proceed to create the couple of email accounts and in 2 hours as promised, emails started pouring in. Easy!

The good stuff!

Setting up of the BlackBerry after keying in the details in BIS is SIMPLE! My BlackBerry Bold is automatically pre-loaded with a few software after the service is activated. Mind you, all these are automatic without me doing anything. Maxis installed the following.

  • Windows Live Messenger
  • Yahoo! Search
  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • Google Talk
  • BlackBerry Help!
  • Facebook
  • Weather Setup
  • myMaxis Mobile Portal
  • Created individual icon for each Email account

If I ever have any problem, I just need to login to BIS and click on the “Send Service Books”, restart my BlackBerry and everything goes back to normal. Troubleshooting a BlackBerry is so much simpler.

Battery Life

Battery life is amazingly long on the BlackBerry Bold (More review will be done on the individual BlackBerry devices).

Push Email

The core of BlackBerry is the Push Email and without a doubt, it does it job very well. I like the fact that I can setup different POP account inside the BIS to push all my emails. Unfortunately, this also pushed lots of Junk email to my phone as well. However, I can choose to delete the emails from my server and mobile, therefore when I download the email on my laptop, the unwanted email will be deleted already.

Responsiveness

Using the BlackBerry reminds me of the good ol’ Palm days. Everything is quick and simple. Menu is plain and very much text based. Getting things done requires just a few clicks unlike Windows Mobile. Hopefully this will change in Windows Mobile 6.5.

The Nagging Problems.

After couple of days using it, I realized that I had to use the “Send Service Books” button more often than I thought. It will work on perfectly the whole day and the next day, email just stop coming in. Although a simple resend of Service Book fixed the problem, it was still pretty frustrating.

Browser

I use the browser almost daily for work and leisure. I realize that BlackBerry’s browser is slow and quite inaccurate in rendering webpages. There are webpage which I visit daily failed to show up properly in the BlackBerry Browser. The Opera version of the BlackBerry Bold is not available yet so I cannot test it.

Freeze

For some strange reason, the BlackBerry hung twice in the 7 days of usage. This didn’t happen when I was using my HTC Touch Pro.

Email Sync

Although BlackBerry offer push email, it doesn’t offer email synchronization. Meaning, if I sent an email from my BlackBerry, it will not appear in the sent folder on my laptop.

Additional Software

Unlike Windows Mobile devices, there isn’t really many software to try and download for a BlackBerry phone.

Conclusion

Push Email works great on BlackBerry but it is nothing new to me. I have used Microsoft Exchanged and Google Mail’s IMAP services which works great if not better. Maybe there are tons of hidden potential which I am ignorant about.

Maybe you can share with me?

If you are not already using BlackBerry, will you switch over because of Push Email or because Victoria Beckham, Mary-Kate Olsen, Madonna and Anna Kournikova is using?

Anyway, a quick and simple summary of different Email services.

Functions BlackBerry Windows Exchange Google Sync
Push Email Yes Yes Yes (via IMAP)
Number of email which can be configured to push Push up to 10 different email 1 Email per Exchange 1 E-mail per Google Sync
Synchronize Email No Yes Yes
Synchronize Contacts No Yes Yes
Synchronize Appointments No Yes Yes
Cost of setting up and using it Low High FREE

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Random: Common Craft Show

March 17, 2009

 
Now I know where Maxis Advertisement ideas for Maxis Web portal that I always see in Cinema and TV came from.

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News: Apple iPhone Now Available in Malaysia by Maxis

March 11, 2009

Apple Logo        maxis_logo

 

Today is a very exciting day for fellow Malaysians. Apple iPhone 3G is finally officially available in Malaysia. So what are the rate plans and contracts?

12 Months rate plan & Contract

Maxis ivalue-plan-12mths

24 Months rate plan & Contract

Maxis ivalue-plan-24mths

6 Months rate plan & Contract

Maxis value-plus-plan-6mths

Summary

The price range of the Apple iPhone under the Maxis Plans varies from:

iPhone 3G (8GB/16GB) is FREE/RM260 – with monthly commitment of RM375 for 24 months

TO

iPhone 3G (8GB/16GB) is RM2,540/RM2,960 – with monthly commitment of RM80 for 6 months

Booking starts today (11th March 2009) until 17th March 2009 (11.59pm).

There is also a long list of terms and condition and FAQs to read before you commit to any rate plans or contracts.

A quick check in Lelong shows that Apple iPhone 3G 8GB (Unlock version) is selling for RM2,300 to RM2,500. With a difference of about RM200 only, will you purchase an iPhone from Maxis? 

More information can be found here.

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News: Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

October 16, 2008

Today is the official nation wide launch of Mobile Number Portability in Malaysia. Open up Star newspaper and you will see full page advertisement from Maxis, Celcom and U Mobile on MNP. Prior to this, many people are talking about this and some are eagerly awaiting for this day to come.

What is Mobile Number Portability?

Simply put, it means that your front 3 digit DO NOT represent your telco anymore. Even if you are using 012-XXXXXXX, you might be subscribe to Celcom or Digi network. Consumers are free to choose any Telco they like while keeping the original numbers.

Who is entitled for MNP?

Any customers of any mobile service provider who is governed by MNP regulations are entitled to apply for MNP. Postpaid or prepaid consumers and also corporate or company registration are also entitled to MNP.

What are the criteria to port over?

Prepaid Customer

  • Ensure that the prepaid number is registered under your name.
  • The prepaid number is still active (meaning you still can receive calls)
  • All unused credit will be forfeited when the MNP request is successful

Postpaid Customer

  • No outstanding/due payment in your account
  • No outstanding contract/tie in obligations
  • All supplementary line/numbers need to be ported over together
  • All value added service subscription under the SAME account must be migrated together/terminated.
  • If a supplementary line does not migrate, he/she will need to detach itself from principal line and register as new independent account.

Will there be interruption in the MNP process and how long does it take?

MNP process usually takes about 5 to 8 working days and there is no service interruption in between. Customer can continue using the previous telco until the point where the new telco takes over.

How much does it cost to port over?

The maximum fees chargeable by any telco is RM25. However, looking at the current situation, most of the telco will be waiving the fee to encourage customers to port over to their respective service.

U Mobile is currently giving away RM10 credit for every successful prepaid or postpaid subscription. U mobile is also giving away 018 prepaid starter pack for every rejected MNP cases with RM10 air time!

What are the porting process?

Step 1: Visit any MNP centres

Step 2: Fill up the registration forms & photocopy your IC/Passport/army/police ID/ Business registration

Step 3: Pay for any porting fees (FREE for U Mobile)

Step 4: Collect the SIM Card

Step 5: Continue using your old network until you receive a SMS notification

How often can I do a MNP transfer?

As many times as you wish to, but you cannot do multiple MNP request within the same time to different operators

What number pre-fix cannot be ported?

The following cannot be ported:

  • Fixed Telekom landlines such as 03, 04, 06 etc.
  • Fixed free toll number such as 1 800, 1300 etc.
  • Foreign country numbers.

Can I port from Prepaid to Postpaid?

Yes, you can choose to port from postpaid to prepaid and vice versa.

Will I be receiving 2 set of phone bills?

In the first month after your successful MNP request, you may be receiving two bills:

  • First usage bill to the mobile service operator you ported to
  • Final bill from your previous mobile service operator, on usages that were incurred but not charged

Will the Value Added Service (VAS) be ported together?

No, MNP only ports out the number, not services. VAS from previous service provider will not be transferred and you have to subscribe for the VAS again from the new network operator. Some of the common VAS are as below.

  • Internet Data services
  • Push E-mail Services
  • Email assigned to the previous number
  • Friends and Family Plan
  • Caller Ring tone
  • Enhanced SIM Services
  • Fax Number

Can I port my free airtime usage from my previous network operator?

Nope, all free airtime, voicemail messages, etc will be lost.

How can I identify whether the number I am calling is on the same network?

You will not be able to identify if your call is on-net or off-net.

I have a company cell phone, can I port my number?

Yes, you can with the following:

  • A copy of consent from the Human resource department to use the account for the personal use
  • Complete the initial MNP request conditions with successful confirmation
  • Upon successful confirmation, choose either the prepaid or postpaid account that appeals to him/her and follow the abovementioned procedures

For more information on MNP, please call the respective network operator.

U Mobile – +6018 388 1318

Maxis – 1800 82 1123

Celcom – 1300 111 000

Digi – +6016 221 1800

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Reviews: U Mobile Postpaid Voice Plans (U38/U68/U98)

October 3, 2008

U Mobile revealed their new range of voice plan package on the 1st of July 2008. Since then, lots of TV, radio and newspaper advertisement were seen throughout Malaysia mainstream media.

Despite their relatively new presence in the crowded telco market, U Mobile has successfully created some buzz among the consumers with their new range of prepaid and postpaid plan. The most interesting one being the “1 second block charges”. Lots of customer asked us what this is and how will it benefit them.

What exactly is “1 second block charges”?

Normal telco like Maxis, Celcom and Digi charges customer a FULL 30 seconds block. Meaning, if you were to talk on the phone for just 5 seconds saying “Hi, I am on the way now”. You will still be charged a full 30 seconds. Same thing goes if you talk for 31 seconds, you will be charged 60 seconds (2 blocks).

If you still don’t understand, let me try to put it into even simpler example.

  • Imagine paying for 23 minutes of parking instead of the flat 1 hourly charges.
  • Imagine paying for 1 song instead of the entire album (e.g. iTunes store music download).
You can also watch some of the TV ads here.
How will I save with “1 second block charges”?
Simple! Unless all your calls are exactly 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds… Each and every call you make will save you money. Unlike other telco who encourage the consumer to call a certain threshold before discounts are given, with U Mobile, you just maintain your call pattern and you will definitely save some money. This will come handy with raising living cost and inflation.
What are the call charges? How much can I save?
How much you save really depends on your call durations, number of calls/SMS and which network do you normally call/SMS. We have painstakingly compiled a chart showing all the different packages offered by different telcos. Please note that this is NOT conclusive and you should still check with your telco provider for further details on packages and call rates.
Download – U Mobile Call Charges Comparison Chart (PDF File)
Key Points
  • 1 second billing
  • One of the lowest Voice Call Rate – 12 sen / min (U68)
  • Lowest Video Call rate – 12 sen / min (U68)
  • One of the lowest SMS rate – 5 sen (Own network)
  • Lowest MMS rate – 18 sen (Own network)
  • No contract (except for U98)
  • Must use a 3G enabled phone
We have also did a simple calculation on how much one can save up to 40% on the U Mobile’s U68 voice plan.
Assumptions:
  1. Calculation based on normal telco package and NOT those special package.
  2. Calls made to same network and other network are the same
  3. SMS made to same network and other network are the same.
You can download the call simulation chart here
Pros:
  1. 1 second billing
  2. Cheap video calls and MMS charges
  3. No contract (except for U98)
  4. Very straight forward and easy to understand call rates
  5. Comes with lots of VAS like; CLIP, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, Call Conferencing, Miss Call notification.
  6. Domestic roaming with Celcom when there is no U Mobile network
Cons:
  1. Must use 3G phone (for postpaid only).
  2. U Mobile coverage limited

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