TM to start charging for UniFi installations

TM announced today that come 1 October 2010 TM will begin charging for UniFi installations.

From 1 October onwards TM will charge RM200 per installation for any UniFi package however the equiptment that comes with the UniFi package — the fiber modem, wireless router, IPTV set-top box, DECT cordless phone and additional outdoor terminals — will still be provided for free.

TM’s executive VP for consumer products, Imri Mokthar said in the announcement that although there will be an installation charge, those who has registered for UniFi before the changeover date will not have to pay for installation.

We think RM200 is a fair charge considering the amount of work required at the various equipment that you get for free. The fibre-optic cable that is laid in your house alone will cost more than RM200. So it’s a decent charge. What’s more the RM200 installation charge will be spread across five months at RM40/month, so you don’t actually feel the pinch right away and that’s ok too.

What we don’t like is how TM makes is sound that you’re actually getting an additional RM200 off if you sign-up for UniFi from now until 30 September. Technically you’re not, TM’s just going to start charging for installation after 30 September.

It’s really confusing for customers and very underhanded for TM. Shame on you TM for using such a tactic.

If you’re not up for paying the RM200, then sign-up ASAP. Though what is not being mentioned is what happens if an interested customer wants to sign-up for UniFi but stays in an area that is not yet covered.

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Does the customer get to sign-up and have the RM200 installation charge waived when the UniFi service eventually becomes available in their area or will they have to wait for the service to be available and then sign-up?

On a side-note, there’s currently 9,000 UniFi subscribers and another 12,000 who have already signed-up waiting for the service to be installed. In July 2010, there was about 3,200 UniFi subscribers. No bad in a span of just a month.

You can read the full TM announcement after the jump.

30 August 2010
Kuala Lumpur

TM to begin charging for installation from 1 October 2010, so hurry, sign-up for your UniFi service soonest possible

The introductory promotional period for Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM)’s UniFi high speed broadband service will end on 30 September 2010.

Starting from 1st October 2010 TM will begin charging a one-time fee of RM200 for UniFi installation. This installation charge is across the board; covering the UniFi VIP5, VIP10 and VIP 20 triple-play consumer packages as well as the BIZ5, BIZ10 and BIZ20 business packages. For convenience, the UniFi installation charge will be spread in installments over a period of 5-months at RM40 per month and will be reflected in the customer’s monthly bills.

However, all of the related UniFi customer premise equipment and peripherals including router/access point, the broadband termination unit (modem) DECT phone and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) set top box — estimated to be worth RM800 — will continue to be provided by TM free-of-charge.

Imri Mokhtar, Executive Vice-President for Consumer, TM, further emphasised that despite the upcoming installation charges for UniFi from 1 October 2010, consumers who sign up before the date will not be levied with the fee even if their installation takes place after the date.

“As our promotional period for UniFi will end on 30 September 2010, interested customers are encouraged to sign up for their selected UniFi packages soonest possible before the end of September to continue enjoying the current waiver of the installation charges. So grab the chance to become pioneers and enjoy the immense experience change in communications, lifestyle and entertainment brought about by high-speed broadband.”

Imri then elaborated on the tedious and complex installation process required for UniFi: “UniFi installation is very different compared to normal telephony and broadband installation due to the sensitive nature of the technology involved which requires a high degree of accuracy. UniFi is a service provisioned via direct fibre connectivity to the home where the installation process is more complicated and requires a high degree of technical competency. The UniFi installation process involves many elements – a site survey, drilling, ducting, piping, electrical work and equipment reconfiguration. Our specialist installers will be dealing with delicate and fine fibre optic cables, which require a very different handling methodology compared to normal copper cables. Hence, UniFi installation at a particular premise will usually take between 3 – 8 hours.”

UniFi was launched in March this year in selected areas around the Klang Valley. TM’s UniFi service is currently available in 23 areas including Shah Alam, Damansara, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Bangsar, Wangsa Maju, Sungai Buloh, Puchong and Cyberjaya, as well as Putrajaya and Damansara; and 5 areas outside the Klang Valley, located in industrial zones such as Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah, Bayan Baru in Penang, Senai and Permas in Johor. UniFi service rollout has exceeded 500,000 premises passed nationwide. UniFi is being progressively rolled out to cover 48 exchange areas reaching 750,000 premises passed by the end of 2010, and 1.3mil premises passed by the end of 2012.

There are over 9,000 UniFi customers currently and approximately 12,000 applicants have registered their interest in the service.

UniFi is currently being offered via three residential and three business packages. The Residential triple-play packages are VIP5 at RM149 a month, VIP10 at RM199 a month and VIP20 at RM249 a month. Each package comes with voice, high speed Internet and either a basic or premium HyppTV subscription. The businesses packages are BIZ5 at RM199 a month, BIZ10 at RM599 a month and BIZ20 at RM899 a month. Each business package comes with an attractive call plan, high speed Internet and a host of complimentary value added services.