Maxis officially launched its 3G services on July 1, 2005 (the 3G datacard service was soft-launched earlier in February 2005). The 3G service is available in selected regions of the country since nationwide coverage does not make economic sense (due to the high CAPEX involved). The main coverage areas include:
* The Klang Valley (including large part of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor) – the initial launch in July 2005
* Penang – Dec 2005
* Johor Bahru – Jan 2006
* Kuantan – Sept 2006
Maxis appears to be adopting a “thick coverage” strategy for 3G. This means 3G service will be rolled out only in areas where data traffic is heavy, or with strategic importance (example, Putrajaya which is the government’s administrative centre). The rest of the country will be served by 2.5G (GPRS; nationwide coverage) which is progressively being upgraded to 2.75G (EDGE or E-GPRS).
The key “shouting points” for Maxis 3G appear to be:
* video call & videomail
* packet-switched video streaming services (including live channels, video-on-demand & video clip downloads)
* Traffic Check (Maxis claims to have 50 video cameras installed around Klang Valley, Penang & Johor Bahru)
* Full-track music download
* 3G datacard
In Sept 2006, Maxis launched 3.5G (HSDPA) as part of the “wireless broadband modem” service which is targeted at “mass market consumer/home” users (instead of business or corporate). Maxis is progressively upgrading its entire 3G network to 3.5G capability. As of Dec 2006, the entire Penang island, and part of Klang Valley/JB/Kuantan are already 3.5G-capable.