General

Happy Internet to launch WiMax service in 2008

happy_internet.gif

it seems like everybody is launching their own WiMax network. Abe mentioned Globe launching one in 2008, but assuming this is true, they are going to have a hard time justifying the price as HSDPA currently costs P3,000.00 a month. What more for a 4G WiMax dongle + service fees? You can’t just implement a WiMax network and expect peoples’ laptops to be compatible.

WiFi runs on a 2.4GHz frequency but WiMax runs on something completely different. Another dongle for us consumers to purchase then – or buy a new laptop in 2008 with Intel’s new certified WiMax doodie built in. Consumers who are currently paying P3,000.00 for Globe Visibility may want to rethink their options if Globe is really going to go WiMax in 2008.

Anyway.

Met with the Happy Internet marketing head, Marvin Cruz (he’s Microsoft PH engineer #001) over coffee. Happy Internet has been around for the past five years, albeit in a different form. Marvin and the rest of the 40 strong individuals of Happy Communications are supposedly here to make a difference. But yeah, we’ve heard that before. So let’s see what exactly Happy Internet has to offer.

Happy Communications’ core business has more to do with REAL 4G technology. They offer wireless broadband for corporations (and soon consumers) starting at 2MB (Marvin tells me that this is the real deal 2MB connection), real wireless anywhere in the Philippines by 2008, allows you to certify 3 of your wireless devices via MAC address (your WiFi smartphone, your wireless router, and your laptop for instance). Consumers will avail of a 1MB connection. The 2MB connection is for corporate use.

Let me say something about the MAC address certification. Marvin promises registration of up to three wireless devices. You would, in an ideal set up, want to have your home wireless router certified so that all the other devices at home can connect to the “Happy” network. You will also want your mobile phone and your laptop certified so that you can use just one account for your home and mobile wanderings. And yeah, the 2MB minimum connection was always stressed.

Another service that Happy Communications aims to provide is the mobile VoIP service on your cellphone or laptop as well as, get this, mobile cable IPTV of over 80++ channels (currently only for Windows users – the Mac application will allegedly be available by mid December). Now, your laptop is also a television. So here they are going up against SMART and Globe’s mobile TV service. As the “Happy” guys have had dealings with the people of Joost and Skype, they claim that the service is fantastic. The IPTV service is currently free of charge because our local MTRCB has no policies on these things yet.

Regarding the VoIP service, Happy Communications registers a new VoIP number on your phone. Since the service does not use a SIM card, you can make use of your single phone with two numbers – your GSM number and your VoIP number and choose which you want to use for calling. Data plans for Happy Communications are FLAT RATE, meaning you don’t get charged per kilobyte or per hour.

Currently, Happy Communications does not want to over-promise in expectations. They are currently testing their Makati wireless (WiFi, not WiMax) service and build it up to a WiMax mesh in 2008. From what I understand, this gives consumers an easier time in transitioning from WiFi to pure WiMax.

As for pricing, I am not allowed to disclose specific information, but the rates for ALL the services are very competitive to the current offering of Globe Visibility that runs on 3.5G / HSDPA. Note that everything I wrote here is based on the initial conversations with Marvin, and I cannot speak of the service as I have not yet tried it. They are currently servicing corporate accounts and will be doing the consumer launch soon.

Happy Internet’s services, though still on paper as far as this blog post goes, will for sure become competition to the current offerings of Globe Visibility, PLDT WeRoam, and Airborne Access. At the end of the day this can only bring good news to consumers as all the wireless services will have to innovate and innovate and innovate.

What’s to look forward to: Marvin saying that my car can have a built in wireless router. Now that’s wardriving!

About the author

Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

12 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.