Yes 4G in Sabah in Q3, Deploying On Express Coaches in Peninsular

By Charles F Moreira

YTL Communications’ Yes 4G WiMAX wireless broadband Internet service in Sabah from the third quarter of 2013, its executive director Dato’ Yeoh Seok Hong said while also announcing its partnership with inter-city express coach operator Konsortium Transnasional Berhad (KTB) at the YTL Network Operations Centre in Kuala Lumpur on 14 March.

NICE Imperial coach with Yes 4G

Launched in November 2010, YTL Communications over 4,000 base stations now cover 70% of populated areas in Peninsular Malaysia and has over 200,000 direct subscribers. Yes 4G also serves  about 70% of Malaysia’s over 10,000 schools, and also covers users within 3km radius of them.

Yes 4G on-board WiMAX – WiFi wireless router

In its partnership with KTB, YTL Communications will install WiMAX – WiFi wireless routers on 700 of KTB’s NICE, Plusliner and Transnasional inter-city express coaches, so passengers can access the Internet from their WiFi-enabled notebooks, netbooks, tablets or smartphones during their journey. The coaches are fitted with electrical power points.

These routers have also been installed on KTB’s latest NICE Imperial Perdana-class (premier-class) coaches – super-luxury coaches fitted with airline-type seats with in-built Ogawa massage modules, in-journey entertainment touch-panels and on-board stewardess service and in-journey meals and refreshments. Perdana-class coaches recently got government approval.

Airline-style luxury

“With over 200 express bus companies serving a relatively small country like Malaysia, our albeit tightly regulated industry is fiercely competitive,” said KTB chairman and managing director Dato’ Sri Nadzim Mohd. Salleh.

Each passenger can try out Yes 4G free-of-charge for up to 30MB – enough to stream about 30 songs, download about 30 photos or read about 400 e-mail messages. For more they can purchase a temporary Yes 4G ID on board or from KTB ticket counters for RM5, which provides them 500MB access and they can continue to us their remaining balance after they leave the coach.

For example, they can make YesLife voice calls or send SMS worldwide for 9sen per minute or per SMS through any Web browser, from their Windows or Apple MAC PCs, Android or Apple tablets and smartphones.

Existing Yes4G subscribers can also log in with their existing ID on these coaches without having to purchase a temporary Yes4G ID.

Staying fully connected

The routers on the coaches basically share Yes 4G’s wide-area WiMAX connection with passengers via WiFi locally. Deployment is in stages by route, starting with coaches on the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore route, followed by coaches plying the Kuala Lumpur – Penang route and others later. KTB tests each route to ensure continued connectivity throughout the journey.

According to KTB executive director & chief operating officer Tengku Hasmadi Tengku Hashim, the service has already been deployed on 50 NICE executive coaches, followed by more later. KTB’s NICE, Plusliner and Transnasional express coaches, as well as its Cityliner stage buses ply over 250 routes nationwide.

Meanwhile according to YTL Communications chief executive officer Wing K. Lee, the company will deploy TD-LTE, the successor technology to WiMAX, once it is more mature.

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