U Mobile revamps, opens flagship store

  • TECH
  • Friday, 25 Mar 2011

Dr Kaizad Heerjeeonline

KUALA LUMPUR: Cellular service provider U Mobile Sdn Bhd has opened a 1,720sq ft flagship store at the Berjaya Times Square shopping centre here.

It is a one-stop centre for all of U Mobile’s customers, where they can perform service activations, buy devices, pay their bills, top up their accounts and have access to other customer services.

U Mobile also has eight other stores in the country and these will be getting facelifts, and the number of stores will be increased as U Mobile expands its coverage.

Its cellular phone service is already available nationwide, so the company is now working on enabling a 42Mbps (megabits per second) wireless broadband service in Penang, the Klang Valley and Johor.

The moves are part of U Mobile’s upgrading exercise to give itself a boost in the local telecommunications marketplace.

Chief executive officer Dr Kaizad Heerjee said U Mobile will now be faster and more flexible, and will offer more affordable and better focused services to consumers and its enterprise customers.

“Our customers will enjoy improved products and services from us,” he said at the opening of the flagship store.

U Mobile has partnered with ZTE, a China-based telecommunications equipment and network solutions provider, for its wireless broadband network in Malaysia.

The service will launch in Johor Baru next month. It will be available in Penang and the Klang Valley by year end.

“Customers will begin to see more (network) capabilities as we roll out our service to the 4,000 (planned) sites in Malaysia,” Heerjee said.

Also, U Mobile is re-introducing its RM0-phone promotion, which Heerjee claims no other cellular service provider offers. This promotion was launched and expired earlier this year.

Under the scheme, customers can get a free phone when they sign up for a U Plus or U Premium plan for a period of 18 or 24 months. For more information, go to u.com.my.

Another partner

Earlier this month, U Mobile entered into a deal with Alcatel Lucent, a networking equipment provider, to pilot femtocell technology which will be launched commercially later on.

Femtocells are low-power wireless access points that operate in a licensed spectrum to connect standard mobile devices to a mobile operator’s network via broadband.

The technology enhances network quality, expands the coverage and delivers a better user-experience overall, said U Mobile.

Femtocells can be deployed specifically to solve some of the challenges that a 3G (third generation) cellular network faces, such as poor coverage in indoor areas, interferences from the neighbouring base-stations and general radio-frequency signal pollution.

U Mobile said there are many appealing applications that can be deployed, based on this technology. Consumers can bring this small intelligent base-station home to enhance their voice calls and wireless data usage, for example.

For enterprises, besides boosting network quality inside the office area and building, femtocells can reduce some of the telecommunications costs in a typical office environment.

One of the key applications is called “small cell group” which allows users in a defined group to make calls to each other for free.

The calls can be made in the office on a mobile phone instead of the common DECT phone, which enables the business to have a single “enterprise” general phone number, common directory and abbreviated three or four-digit dialling within the group.

Commercial Alert is one of the popular femtocell applications, said U Mobile, that can be deployed in a typical commercial environment, such as shopping centres, malls and public places.

It enables shop and building managements to deliver specific alerts when people enter their femtocell zone. Outlets and boutiques, for example, can deliver discounts and promotions alerts to the mobile phones of passers-by.

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