I had the chance to use the Maxis wireless broadband service recently. My sister has subscribed to it and since I was the IT support at home, I took the liberty of setting it up for them and testing it out. I had also been planning on signing up and dumping my Streamyx service if it worked out.
I had to test a couple of things: whether the modem works with Linux and if the service quality was any good.
Firstly, the modem definitely works with Linux. It has been plug-and-play in Linux for a long time. However, I didn’t know this until I tried it out. Setting it up was a breeze as I did not even have to do much except click ‘next’. So, that is a non-issue. The Huawei E220 modem is a standard modem used worldwide by a number of service providers, including the ones in Malaysia.
However, the second issue of service quality is seriously questionable. When I first tried to download a 7Mb file, it started with speeds of about 700kbps for a couple of minutes, before immediately throttling down to about 50kbps and staying there. Furthermore, it seems that packets go missing quite often as I have to periodically refresh web pages as they fail to load completely.
Personally, while I will appreciate the freedom that the Maxis wireless broadband brings (it covers much of KL city and the outlying areas), the quality of the connection is still no match for the terrible Streamyx broadband service. However, depending on my professional needs, I may still subscribe to the Maxis broadband for use while on the road.