(That Thing I Do)

Amazing Things Happen

“I can’t access your website.”

“My user ID isn’t working.”

“Your customer service is not responding.”

“We hate you.”

Okay. Perhaps I made up that last bit, but it would seem that the newly launched “4G” network has been having a few issues since its launch last Friday night. A foul taint on the otherwise successful launch of the service in Malaysia, which is the first of its kind in the world.

I’ve heard whispers (read: angry, malicious tweets) that YES 4G is not truly 4G. Such negativity over a misnomer. It’s hard to blame people, though. They’ve yet to experience the speed of fake 4G.

I’ve seen it first-hand though. All bunkered up in a room on the 6th floor of an office building with only modest reception, we managed a healthy-but-not-overwhelming 3Mbps. Here I am feeling over the moon when I have plaster my modem at a particular angle right next to the window for a quarter of that speed. I’ve even heard tales of other users hitting 12Mbps.

But enough with the numbers. They make me dizzy.

Let me be perfectly honest here. It’s expensive. It’s expensive for me to upload my average of 20 pictures per day. It’s expensive for me to download files. It’s expensive for me to stream videos. How expensive? My calculations point to an average of RM600 per month based on my heavy usage.

It’s expensive, it’s expensive, it’s expensive. That is, if you’re a heavy home user.

Here we are sitting in our comfy chairs in front of the computer thinking YES 4G has missed the mark. Maybe – just maybe – we’re missing the whole point.

It’s cheaper.

It’s cheaper to make local calls. It’s cheaper to make international calls. Don’t like their entry-level phone? Call from your computer. Plug in a regular landline phone to the modem (dubbed the Zoom) and dial just like a regular phone. Want to make a mobile call from a smart phone? Wait for it. YES 4G will be launching an Android-based phone in the near future. That’s right. A full hour of conversation to any standard phone in the world, whether mobile or land line, costs about as much as breakfast at the local coffee shop.

It’s cheaper to text, on average. Relatively even cheaper when texting international.

It’s cheaper for mobile use. I’m a regular and very heavy user of social networking applications like Facebook, Twitter and MSN. With YES 4G, it will cost me about RM6 per month on data charges. No, I didn’t miss a zero. Though granted, the only way to accomplish this is to use the Huddle, which is basically a mobile Wi-fi hotspot which fits into your pocket; or wait for the release Android-based phone.

It’s cheaper for light usage of up to 3.5GB per month. How much is that? Much less than what I use, but helluva lot more than what rural folk and old-fashioned parents use. With their currently 65% nationwide coverage and rapid expansion plans to cover the country in its entirety, we can all rest well knowing we’ll not be out of touch when visiting our rural home towns during the holidays.


While it’s all exciting on paper, let me tell you why this really excites me.

I now have the perfect gift to give my parents for Christmas.

They can access the Internet on the cheap, since they hardly use it at all. I estimate they use about 10Mb per month, amounting to RM0.30 per month in charges with YES 4g.

They can video call my sister and her husband in Seattle for 9 sen per minute.

They no longer have to feel isolated just because they chose to make Malacca their home.

Cheap? Expensive? Priceless.

Amazing thingsMiracles happen when you say YES.