P1 launches MF230 MiFi device exclusive with Harvey Norman

Update (1800hrs 23122010): P1 has updated the information on their website to include the newly launched MF230 MiFi device. Find out more after the jump.

A while ago, P1’s CEO, Micheal Lai teased everyone with the prospect of P1 coming out with a 4G MiFi. This was two months ago and he claims that the P1 MiFi “works wonderfully well while others fail“.

We like MiFis and it’s nice to know that there will soon be another type to choose from. Though it’s rather ironic that P1 was amongst one of the first (if not the first) operator to have hinted that they were going to market a MiFi device but are now the last of come into the market with one but as the saying goes, better late than never.

So here it is, the MF230 MiFi device from P1 and currently you can only get it from Harvey Norman.

Reliable sources reveal that in terms of pricing, the device itself cost RM250 but you’ll have to purchase it with a plan. The plan that comes with the 10GB data usage a month with download speeds up to 1.5Mbps at RM89/month. As an introductory offer, P1 is giving first month subscription free and you only pay RM44/month for the 2nd and 3rd month. Essentially the plan is the same as the one offered with the P1 W1GGY.

In terms of device performance, you can connect five devices simultaneously to the the MF230 and Green Packet claims that the battery lasts up to four hours “active-usage“. In terms of range, the FAQ states that you get 20 meter connectivity range indoor and 35 meters outdoors.

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The P1 MF230 is produced by its parent company Green Packet, you can check out the specifications here. Unlike P1 devices previously the MF230 is branded Green Packet rather than P1 which can confuse some customer we think.

No details available on P1’s website yet but we’ll keep you posted if there’s any. P1’s website is updated with info on the MF230 and we’ve poured through the FAQ to understand the plan, head on over to after the jump to see what we’ve discovered.

First up, not only is the MF230 only available at Harvey Norman, only six outlets available throughout Malaysia, you can only purchase the device if you purchase an iPad at Harvey Norman. The FAQ didn’t say if the iPad and the MF230 must be purchased at the same time or if you are still eligible to purchase the MF230 even when you’ve purchased the iPad on a separate date.

5. I am an existing US-230/UM-230/UH-235 customer. I like the MF-230. Can I change my US-230/UM-230/UH-235 Portable Modem to the MF-230 Portable Modem?
The MF-230 is exclusively for customers who purchased an iPad at one of the 6 Harvey Norman stores throughout Malaysia.

We don’t understand why the sales channel is limited to only six outlets across Malaysia. It’s even more perplexing to find out that a customer will have to purchase an iPad first before they can purchase the MF230. This means the entry cost for the MF230 is the highest in the market — you have to buy and iPad to be able to buy the MF230.

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We’re not sure what is the logic behind this. It seems that the product team at P1 is with the understanding that only iPad users need MiFi. Obviously this is not the case. The appeal of a MiFi is in its flexibility and as consumers it is up to us to what devices we want to connect our MiFI to, we don’t like that P1 is forcing users to purchase an iPad to be able to purchase the MF230. In that case, we might as well just get a multitude of other MiFi devices that available for outright purchase without the need to purchase an additional and not to mention expensive device.

For security purposes, the first thing you’d want to do with wireless routers is to change the SSID or the network name and the password required to log on to the wireless network. You do this so that only you know the password and you reduce the chances of people riding on your network without you knowing. Usually you can do this fairly easily by accessing the device configuration page using a web browser.

With the MF230, this is not the case. If you want to change the SSID and the security password on the MF230 you have to take it to an authorised P1 centre to have it changed. This is too much of a hassle in our opinion.

13. Q: How can I change my SSID and WEP Key?
A: You will need to walk in to our P1 [email protected] or PitStop (JB & Penang) with your MF230 device. Our friendly customer consultant will change the SSID and WEP Key for you.

This means you’re stuck with the default SSID and password right out of the box and if this password is compromised you won’t know how many people might be riding on your network. More importantly, there is nothing you can do to stop it, unless of course if you’re willing to take the time to go to an authorised P1 centre to get it changed and depending on where you are, that could mean taking an hour off work or a day. Either way, not good.

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