A few months back, I had written about the launching of Unifi Air as an alternative for Streamyx user by TM. I also had shared an offer regarding Unifi Air priced at RM79 for all users for a limited time. Since then, I have received a lot of questions about Unifi Air, for example, hows the internet speed, coverage area, types of modem or router that compatible with the plan and many others.
So, few months later, after doing extensive research involving googling, dive-deep into pages of web forum discussions, I proceed to apply the Unifi Air RM79/month plan, along with LTE modem router Huawei B618s-65d plus 24 months contract.
Here is my very detailed review. You can skip to important parts of this Unifi Air Review article using the TOC below. You can read the Malay version of this article here : Unifi Air Review (Einz Dot My).
- Unifi Air Review – Cheapest Wireless Broadband With Unlimited Data in Malaysia, RM79 Per Month
- How to Apply Unifi Air Online
- Unifi Air Review: Advantages
- Unifi Air Review: Disadvantages
- Suggestion for TM Unifi Air
Unifi Air Review – Cheapest Wireless Broadband With Unlimited Data in Malaysia, RM79 Per Month
Unifi Air at the time this article is written is the cheapest wireless broadband with an unlimited data plan in Malaysia. Originally, the starting price for this plan is RM129 per month, but you can get its promotion price, RM79, for a limited time. By subscribing at this price, you can save RM50 a month or RM600 a year.
If there are fibre broadband options such as Unifi, Maxis, Celcom, Time etc. are available in your area, then this plan is not recommended as fibre broadband is far more stable, has faster and reliable speed compares to using 4G LTE wireless broadband.
Unifi Air vs Unifi Mobile
Some of you must already familiar with Unifi Mobile. So, what is the difference between Unifi Air and Unifi Mobile? Both of them are using the same network coverage but with some differences. In a nutshell, if you got high speed when using Unifi Mobile data at your phone, you probably will get the same speed range when using Unifi Air connection. The table below shows the differences between these two.
|Unifi Air||Unifi Mobile|
|4G LTE Band||Band 5, 38, 40 (850MHz, 2600MHz, 2300MHz)||Band 5, 38, 40 (850MHz, 2600MHz, 2300MHz)|
|4G LTE/3G/H+||4G LTE only||4G LTE/3G/H+ (Unifi Mobile roaming 3G and H+ using Celcom network)|
|Supported Devices||Smartphone, 4G modem router, Mifi||Smartphone, 4G modem router, Mifi|
|Hotspot||Unlimited hotspot/tethering||Limited quota (Depends on what Unifi Mobile plan you are subscribing)|
How to Apply Unifi Air Online
Unifi Air right now can be subscribed through online without needing to head out to nearest TM Point. You can choose between Unifi Air + Huawei B618s-65d package or SIM card only package. A deposit payment of RM100 is needed before you can subscribe to this plan.
▶ Click: Register Unifi Air Online Now
Unifi Air Plan – Sim + Router (24 Months Contract) vs SIM only (No Contract)
As of right now, TM is offering Unifi Air subscription plan with 2 packages:
- SIM + Device (Huawei B618s-65d) – RM79 a month, with 24 months contract (deposit RM100)
- SIM Only – RM79 a month, no contract, need to purchase your own LTE modem router or Mifi (deposit RM100)
Important notes in case you are planning to subscribe Unifi Air, you are advised to test network coverage and download speed in your area as well as checking Unifi Air network band first. This is because TM does not provide any sim card or devices for testing purpose before subscribing to Unifi Air. So, you are advised to follow either 2 methods below first before subscribing Unifi Air to prevent future regret.
- Buy Unifi Mobile sim-card and try it in your smartphone. However, the phone must support band 5/38/40 if you want to use the sim-card. Luckily, Samsung and Huawei smartphone users do not need to worry about this since most of their mid-range and flagship smartphone models support all Unifi Mobile network bands. This step cost you RM20 (RM10 for sim-card price and RM10 for shipping cost).
- In case your close contacts are already using Unifi Air or Unifi Mobile, best is to try to borrow their sim-card and modem for a while for testing purpose in your area.
After going back and forth to TM Point, I decided to buy Unifi Mobile SIM-card and check for Unifi Air signal strength and speed test on my own.
Another bad thing that I must mention is that TM Point does not provide or sell Unifi Mobile SIM-card. Out of option, I am forced to order it online at the cost of RM10 with an additional shipping fee of RM10.
Here’s my Unifi Mobile simcard speedtest result. Speedtest Unifi Mobile – phone Samsung Galaxy Note FE.
Using Network Cell Info Lite application, I found that Unifi Mobile in my area only support band 5 network. When I disable band 5 in my phone, No Service comes out to indicate that no network is available even though my phone support band 38 and 40.
Speedtest result shows connection speed at an average of 15-25 Mbps. No buffering is encountered when watching 1080p Youtube and Netflix. The speed is considered as okay and not too far from advertised speed, which is around 20 Mbps. The real downside is its speed dropped too low (around 4-8 Mbps) at night time.
By factoring in band network coverage and signal strength, average speed and cost that you need to subscribe Unifi Air, I believe that choosing Unifi + Device package is better because you only have to pay RM100 deposit. You don’t have to spend more cash to buy 4G modem if you choose this package as the Huawei B618s-65d is very expensive to start with.
If you are not a hardcore internet user (those heavy downloading, torrent, streaming 24/7 type), you can select SIM-card only package that has no contract obligation and buy D-Link DWR-920V modem, Tenda or TP-Link as I recommended below.
You also can use the SIM-card in your phone 2nd SIM-card slot and set-up as a personal hotspot.
Unifi Air Speedtest / Download Speed / Upload Speed
Huawei B618s-65d modem shows Unifi Air connected to Band 5 network (192.168.8.1 > Advanced > Device Information.)
Unifi Air average speed around 10-20 Mbps. Though, I have seen a lot of Unifi Air users that got higher average speed, even exceeding 50 Mbps when the network is connected to Band 38 or Band 40.
The screenshot above shows the average speed during night time, around 8 PM – 4 AM as well as during the weekend using Unifi Air. Average speed is 3-8 Mbps which is pretty bad for some, or still usable for most people, depending on perspectives.
For online gamers, playing online gaming like Dota 2 when connected to Unifi Air is smooth without any problem and hiccup in ideal time but not during night time and weekend where the ping and latency fluctuates. This could be a dealbreaker for some.
Best 4G LTE Modem Router for Unifi Air
If you are planning to subscribe Unifi Air plan that comes with SIM-card only without any modem and contract, here are a few good 4G modem that you can choose to insert the SIM-card. Not all 4G routers and 4G mifi are compatible with Unifi Air Band 5/Band 38/Band 40. Here are some of the best options you can purchase in the MY market.
4G LTE band support: Band 1/3/5/7/8/20/28/32/38/40/41/42/43
B818 is currently my #1 pick as the best 4G router that you can buy in Malaysia in terms of price and performance. This 4G router will give you the best signal strength without the need of an external antenna or signal booster. Plus, you usually can get Huawei B818 at a cheaper price than the rare unicorn Huawei B618S-65d.
Huawei B818 supports all sim cards from all telco in Malaysia: Unifi Air/Unifi Mobile/Celcom/Yoodo/Maxis/Hotlink/Digi/Umobile/Yes/Tune Talk/RedONE, XOX.
Buy online modem router Huawei B818.
Or if you want future proof, get the Huawei H112 5G router that supports 5G and 4G.
Huawei B818 supports LTE band mode locking (manual lock band) easily without the need of custom firmware or third party apps. This feature is built-in and you can access the option in 192.168.1.1 > Network Settings > Mobile Network Searching.
For Unifi Air users, you can choose between Band 5, 38 or 40. Whichever gives you the fastest speed and more stable connection.
4G LTE band support: Band 1/3/5/7/8/28/40
B618s-65d is currently the best choice to be paired with Unifi Air. Supports band 5 dan band 40. Gives out a strong signal and stable internet speed, able to support up to 64 users at the same time and tonnes of high-end features. Has 3rd party support to lock band to band 5/40.
Note: Huawei B618s-22d is only compatible with Celcom/Maxis/Digi SIM-card only. Choose 65d model for Unifi Air.
Buy online modem router Huawei B618s-65d.
4G modem router Tenda 4G680 V2 supports all Malaysia telco SIM-card. No settings are available to manually lock band to band 5/38/40. Best for up to 12 users at the same time.
Buy online modem router Tenda 4G680 V2.
4G: FDD-LTE: B1/B3/B5/B7/B8/B20/B28 (2100/1800/850/2600/900/800/700 MHz)
TDD-LTE: B38/B40/B41 (2600/2300/2500 MHz)
Support band 5, 38 and 40. This 4G+ modem supports all telco in Malaysia dan have a good TP-Link mobile app. Speed it can achieve is usually better than Tenda modem. Suitable up to 64 users at the same time.
As of the latest version update, you can now manually lock band to band 5/38/40. I’d suggest TP-Link MR600 V2 as the cheaper alternative to Huawei B818 or Huawei B618s-65d.
Buy TP-Link Archer MR600 V2 modem.
4G LTE Band: Band 1/3/5/7/8/20/38/40
Support band 5, 38 and 40. This 4G+ supports all telco in Malaysia including Unifi Air.
The best choice, cheapest and cost-friendly is when you choose Unifi Air SIM-card only package and this DWR-920V modem.
No settings to manually lock the band to band 5/38/40.
Buy D-Link DWR-920V modem.
TP-Link M7450 V2 | ~RM399
TP-Link M7450 V2 supports all sim card from telco Celcom, Umobile, Digi, Maxis, Unifi Air, Yes. This is currently my top recommended mifi for unifi air and also another unlimited data plan.
This mifi has 3000 mAh battery and the battery life is actually very good, it lasts up to 15-20 hours of usage. Mifi TP-Link M7450 V2 also support 4G+ and the signal performance and wifi speed is excellent. Another good point is, the battery is removable and user-replaceable.
Huawei B618s-65d Setting Unifi Air
Preferred network mode : 4G Only (Auto) because Unifi Air does not support 3G/H+.
Unifi Air APN : unifi / unifi
I always set 2.4 GHz Wifi channel to 11 / 5 GHz Wifi channel to 64 on any modem.
2.4 Ghz wifi used for browsing while 5 Ghz is used to stream Netflix and for online gaming. Security password must be set to WPA2-PSK for stronger protection.
Huawei Hmanager tool untuk lock band. Download B618s Hmanager.
Unifi Air Review: Advantages
- Cheapest unlimited data broadband wireless plan in Malaysia right now – RM79/month
- The 4G modem router is included if you choose SIM-card + router package – Router included, Huawei B618s-65d is a high-end 4G LTE modem with very good specifications
- The average speed at 15-30 Mbps during the on-peak hour – enough for streaming 1080p video without buffering, downloading, browsing and many more – far better in download/ upload speed than Streamyx (Unifi Lite)
- Unlimited data wherever you are – just insert Unifi Air SIM-card in your smartphone or bring the B618s-65d modem along when travelling to get unlimited internet data (as long as you have 4G signal in that area)
- Good for small business – lowering monthly cost spent on old-school wired telephone + internet plan, which can be very expensive when if the user opts for the business plan. Streamyx Biz and Unifi Biz is considerably more expensive compares to home plan, for example.
Unifi Air Review: Disadvantages
- Unifi Air data speed is still much slower than other telco competitions – you can see the speedtest result above where Digi and Celcom handsomely getting faster speed
- Unifi Air network signal coverage area is very small and limited – for example, my area has only Band 5 connection, no Band 38/40 available
- Data speed is not stable and can drop very low especially during peak hour, night time (8PM – 4AM) and weekend
- Online gaming will face very high ping and latency during peak hour – not suitable for hardcore e-sport gamers
- Band 5/38/40 used by Unifi Air does not compatible with most portable wifi/MIFI/ 4G LTE modem router models sold in Malaysia market – user has limited choice when choosing suitable modem router/MIFI to be used with Unifi Air
- Does not support 3G/H+ roaming to Celcom network like Unifi Mobile – which is crucial to prevent line congestion or when you are in an area that has no 4G LTE signal
Suggestion for TM Unifi Air
In my opinion, TM should expand their Unifi Air coverage so that more user will get to enjoy wireless broadband at cheap price.
TM should also add more tower to prevent line congestion when a high amount of users are connected to these band 5/38/40 network. Just imagine how congested the line will be when 1 tower needs to be shared by 1000 users at the same time in an area. By adding more towers, they can prevent the network speed from dropping to very low during night time and weekend.
Providing trial SIM-card and tester devices for potential customers – Like mentioned above, it was hard to test whether Unifi Air coverage is available in your area or not. Method 1 is a bit troublesome because I need to spend RM20 for a SIM-card and wait for one week before I can test coverage and speedtest in my area. It is not very good if you are looking for internet service in such a short time. So, this bad practice can turn off a lot of potential customers.
Some people have decided to take the risk by subscribing to Unifi Air plan without doing any proper test in their area by only hoping that the Unifi Air will have good coverage and high speed. If their gamble succeeds, then it will worth the risk. If not, then they will just burn and waste RM100 deposit cost.
Any question regarding this Unifi Air review, please leave some comments in the comment section below.