Months ago I received an invitation from AirZed to submit an application if my company was interested in a new broadband service which they would be offering soon. I presumed it would be a wireless broadband service as it’s AirZed’s forte. But I’ve wondered what tech platform they would base their wireless broadband service on.

AirZed has always been part of the WiMAX forum as they display the logo so prominently and proudly on their website. It appears AirZed’s new wireless broadband service is using WiMAX. As far as I know, it should be the first WiMAX service in Malaysia. Wireless broadband is not the same as a wireless hotspot service though, for those who are confused. Wireless broadband like the services offered by Timenet Webbit, Maxis Wireless Broadband and Jaring My015 cover a much much wider range than a wireless hotspot service typically found at coffee outlets and cafes.

WiMAX, or 802.16 allows a much further reach than Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g). Coverage zone is up to a 50km range.

Currently AirZed’s WiMAX service covers Mid Valley, Damansara, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam. Service coverage over the areas of Subang, Puchong, Cheras, Ampang and Kota Damansara is coming soon. I’m actually very suprised to see that Cheras is planned to be covered in the near future and not just “sometime soon, maybe in the next decade” unlike other Wi-Fi providers. I live in Cheras and it is pretty choice-deprived in terms of broadband! The edges of Cheras near the Ampang side have been covered by Jaring though. I also wonder how come Subang isn’t covered immediately… it’s usually one of the first places to be covered.

Will it burn a hole in your pocket? Prices start at RM188 a month for the Home package which offers 1Mbps download and 128kbps upload with a dynamic IP. The SOHO package is RM288 a month and it offers 1Mbps download and 384kbps upload, but with dynamic IP as well. The Business package is RM468 a month offering 1Mbps download and 512kbps upload. It also comes with a fixed IP and 6 free Airzed Wi-fi Hotspot accounts. Currently only the Business package is available as the service is not really that mature yet I guess.

Nasioncom is also planning to offer WiMAX wireless broadband services soon.

I think WiMAX is the better choice than other technologies like SOMAport because it’s an open standard and that will drive the cost of the equipment required to enable WiMAX reception to more affordable levels. I am sure adoption of Jaring, Maxis and Timenet’s proprietary wireless broadband has been affected by the high cost of the hardware and also the inability for wireless devices for one provider to work with the other. With WiMAX however, a person using AirZed’s broadband could change to Nasioncom’s or other provider’s easily.

Let’s see whether AirZed can give hurt TMNet’s broadband monopoly.

Related: Read about my experience with Airzed WiMAX.