Maxis and Celcom launched their 4G LTE in the first half of the year 2013. Both of them offered at two frequency spectrums i.e. 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz. Earlier, when they offered at 2600 MHz, there is a big disappointment since there is lack of support on current smartphones. Even the iPhone 5 supports 1800 MHz.
When both operators managed to get approval from the Regulatory, MCMC, to operate at 1800 MHz, many applauded including the public because now more LTE-enabled smartphones will be available. Maxis made easier for their customers to use LTE - without changing their SIM Cards. Only an update of their Carrier software settings. However, Celcom need to get the new SIM cards and furthermore if some of the users have upgraded their iOS firmware to iOS 7 Beta, they somehow need to download some carrier tweaks to enable the Celcom LTE.
Malaysia’s 3G SIM card penetration is low at 52%, while nationwide smartphone penetration is only at about 30%. It took 3G more than 8 years to get to this stage (Celcom launched 3G service in May 2005), thus, what makes us think 4G LTE can do the same or better?
Personally, I am very positive with the growth of LTE in Malaysia. What we did things 5 years ago are not the same today. Let's take a look what's the difference:-
Awareness - Users today hunger for speed and they are aware that 3G is able to satisfy their needs but they still want more. They are now well educated regarding the evolution of mobile standards from 1G to 2G to 3G and they are expecting a better experience with 4G.
Social Media - The phenomenal growth of social media when Facebook was introduced. It became more personalised when smartphones introduced Facebook clients on their mobile. Since then, most mobile social media applications are such an easy to use. Popular apps like Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Instagram are now built-in to the mobile/portable devices OS such as Android, iOS and Mac OS X. Sharing has now become so simple - thus the era of user generated contents has finally arrived
Generation Y - We considered Gen-X to be tech savvy and Gen-Y to be user savvy. The current Gen-Y grew up with the technology and coincidently at the right time when the wireless technology is matured enough to have a better experience. Gen-Y and the next upcoming Gen-Z will have higher expectations since these mobile applications and gadgets have become part of their daily life.
Smartphones & Tablets - The phones has evolve into more than just a phone. The increased power of CPU, bigger memory, hi-res display (retina, Full HD), integrated functions such as music, games, video, GPS coupled with high speed network have transformed the way we traditionally look and carry the gadgets. Tablets gave a new browsing experience in browsing Internet with its instant boot-up time and mobility.
This upcoming post describes the success factor of LTE.