MAXIS Communications Bhd, the first local company to commercially launch its third generation (3G) mobile telecommunications service, is looking to secure between 5,000 and 10,000 users for its Maxis 3G Connect high-speed laptop data card service by the year-end.
Chief operating officer Edward Ying said the data card was Maxis' pioneering product that set in motion the fulfilment of its 3G promise to customers.
“It is significant in our 3G roadmap as it anticipates the arrival of more Maxis 3G applications,” he said at the launch of Maxis' first commercial 3G service in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The Maxis 3G Connect card comes with data transfer speed of up to 384kbps, which is 10 times faster than that for general packet radio services (GPRS) and three times quicker than Enhanced Data rate for GSM Evolution (EDGE).
“Our target customers are corporate users but we believe this is a very attractive application for customers who are looking for a truly mobile solution anywhere in Malaysia,” Ying said.
Maxis 3G Connect offers its users greater speed and mobility with seamless connectivity and convenience.
The Maxis 3G Connect PCMCIA card allows users to connect seamlessly to both 3G and 2.5G networks.
When customers are outside of the 3G network coverage which is currently available in the Klang Valley, Maxis 3G Connect automatically links up with Maxis' nationwide GPRS network to ensure connectivity.
“We have also bundled the data card with free access to our over 160 Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) hotspots and a software solution that ensures that users can roam seamlessly between 3G, WLAN and GPRS networks, always on the highest speed available.
“This means customers with a laptop can work and play practically anywhere without ever having to look for phone lines or WLAN connections again,” Ying said.
Maxis has invested RM200mil to set up 300 sites in the Klang Valley under the first phase of its 3G network programme.
Ying said Maxis was on schedule to introduce its full suite of mobile 3G services including voice and video calls by the second half of the year.
“We will ramp up our 3G network rollout to cover Penang and Johor Baru by the end of the year,” he said.
Ying said the demand for 3G services was growing at a fast pace in Europe and Asia.
“We anticipate demand for 3G services in Malaysia to follow a similar pace,” he said.
Maxis has selected Astro, Ericsson, LogicaCMG and Siemens as strategic partners in the deployment of 3G network and services across the Maxis' coverage area.
The Maxis 3G Connect data card is available at Maxis i-Centres in KLCC, Taipan Subang Jaya, Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Ampang for RM1,599 with monthly access fee at RM149.
Customers who sign up before June 17 will enjoy a monthly access of RM120 until the end of the year.
Maxis head of 3G and wireless broadband Dr Nikolai Dobberstein said 3G technology was more complex compared with the existing 2G technology.
“We want to address all technological issues before we roll out 3G voice services. This is to ensure that our customers will enjoy optimum performance when they use our 3G voice services,” he said.
He said that 71 operators in 33 countries had launched 3G services.
“There are already 25 million users of 3G (in the world) as at the first quarter of this year,” he said.