Packet 1 Networks (P1) Malaysia, together with Intel launched the country’s first WiMax-Ready 4G laptops today.
While P1 has been in the WiMax service in Malaysia for about 2 years now, this is the first time they introduced 4G-ready laptops.
Several laptop manufacturers were there to introduce their own WiMaX-enabled laptops and netbooks.
Present were Asus, Acer, Dell, Lenovo, MSI and Toshiba and all the laptops had Intel’s embedded WiMax + WiFi chip (Centrino Advanced-N + WiLax 6250).
The embedded chips can do both WiFi and WiMax but only works one at a time (WiMax on while WiFi off or the other way around but not both).
Did a quick speed test here with one of the units. Bandwidth tops at 2Mbps with ping times ranging from 160ms to 300ms.
Entry plan is RM89 a month (~Php1,335) and capped at 15GB (you can top up bandwidth after that, or your speed gets throttled down). WiMax speeds can go up to 10Mbps.
The laptops we saw ranged from Core i3s, to ULVs and netbooks — Lenovo IdeaPad V360, MSI Wind 135, Acer Aspire One 533, Asus K42F, Dell Inspiron Mini 10, among others.
They also took us to a ride around the city on-board a bus where we tested out the WiMax connection on the road using the new laptops. The WiMax connection is enabled using a small software utility installed in the laptops and the provider authenticates each user using MAC address and a unique serial embedded into the chip.
It looks like bandwidth capping and throttling is common here in Malaysia. The partnership between P1, Intel and the laptop brands allow for a more affordable pricing plan for the WiMax service as well as the devices.
It is very likely that these WiMax laptops will also work in the Philippines but it will really depend on the providers. It’s up to Smart, Globe or Wi-Tribe if they’ll offer nomadic WiMax service but it’s something too look forward to.