Yes 4G broadband launch marred by phantom menace (including latest YTL explanations)

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Barely a week ago, YTL launched its Yes 4G mobile broadband service in Malaysia. Yes, it has been a wobbly start. First, their early subscribers were informed the range of 018 numbers may not be able to make or receive calls from numbers on other networks due to not being able to interconnect with these other networks. Then, they faced serious issues with their website which was not up and running properly for more than 15 hours after its launch. These teething problems had resulted in a backlash from Yes early subscribers who were frustrated by their inability to access Yes’ website.

GreyReview has obtained some explanations (published below, in verbatim) from YTL Communications, via its PR agency, on issues surrounding the Yes launch:

Attack on Yes.my

The threat was detected an hour after the launch. We started noticing that a large number of requests sent to www.yes.my could not be made by human users due to the nature of IP addresses and their sheer volume.

It took about 24 hours to resolve the problem. Anyone who has ever been flooded with illegitimate requests to the website, would understand the complicated nature of dealing with it. It’s like trying to spot a thief in a stream of people on the street. We had to weed the hostile from genuine requests coming in at the same time to our portal.

The issue with malicious traffic to our portal has been fully resolved.

GreyReview’s insert: According to this news report, Yes website was allegedly targeted by malicious hackers and received “as many as 300,000 hits a second”. According to YTL’s CEO Wing K. Lee: “On top of legitimate customer traffic, we also experienced a series of hostile attacks. As a result, we had to take tedious steps of filtering individual blocks of IP addresses to stop the malicious attacks.”

On why some subscribers can’t access Yes 4G broadband service last weekend:

A very significant number of customers have pre-registered for our service and the loading of a small percentage of their Yes ID’s into the portal was inadvertently slowed down by the portal issue. Without completing their registration on www.yes.my, customers could not use their devices.

However a large number of customers – more than 15,000 of them, have gone to our Yes stores at Lot 10 and KL Sentral and to our partner IT retailers over the weekend and are using our service with a great delight, reporting good speeds and reliable service.

Just to reiterate, all issues we had, were restricted only to the portal. Our Yes 4G network remains unaffected and is working smoothly.

On the use of the term ‘4G’ for its broadband service:

ITU decided which technologies are to be officially designated as 4G, only recently. We, on the other hand, started this project 2 years ago, at the time when there was no official definition for 4G. While 3G is primarily voice centric and was later on adapted to handle data, WiMAX is an all-IP technology, built from the ground up for data transfer and to support the new type of high speed, bandwidth-hungry Internet applications. Therefore, to call it a new generation technology, or 4G, was apt.

GreyReview’s insert: On October 21 2010, WirelessMAN-Advanced (next generation of WiMax) and LTE-Advanced, “being accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced, qualifying them as true 4G technologies,” by International Telecommunication Union (ITU). On November 23 2010, ITU Member States formally ratified these wireless technologies as 4G. So, it will probably take another year or so for the development of in-depth technical standards for these technologies. And one of the ITU-recommended features for IMT-Advanced (4G) is “enhanced peak data rates to support advanced services and applications (100 Mbit/s for high and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility..)

However, our brand is Yes. Whatever you call the technology that currently supports our Yes service we are all about making positive change in this country and helping our customers do amazing things with a reliable and fast mobile broadband. I believe those are the only things most of our customers really care for.

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It remains to be seen if Yes can overcome these early stumbling blocks and deliver its full potential to its subscribers. However, in the past few days, positive signs are trickling in. We’re seeing some positive feedbacks from Yes users, particularly on its speed.


Yesterday, CEO Wing Lee announced complimentary data services, up to 10GB free for every Yes subscribers, until December 19th 2010. And the deadline for pre-registered customers to activate their accounts has been extended to December 12th 2010.

Need for Speed

No doubt, we need more bold and innovative broadband offerings in this country. In terms of broadband speed, Malaysia still languishes in the bottom-half of this latest global ranking (rank 38 out of 50 countries – see table below) – with countries like Thailand, Ukraine, Chile, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Columbia ahead of Malaysia.

Backed by a giant Malaysian conglomerate YTL Corporation Berhad, Yes is indeed a force to be reckon with and its mobile broadband service is a welcome addition to the industry. Yes’ entrant can invigorate the broadband ecosystem in this country and further catalyze the emergence of even more innovative offerings. Competition prevails, consumers eventually win.

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