Of Prepaid Registrations and ISPs

This writeup from The Star focuses on two issues (ok, actually it focuses on Dr Lim Keng Yaik talking about these two issues, but what the heck):

Basically Dr Lim is miffed that the process of voluntary registration for prepaid mobile services has largely been ignored by the public. This is not strange as people usually want incentives to do something that they’re never used to doing. This is especially true when it comes to registering the prepaid line.

One of the main reasons why people opt to use prepaid mobile services is that it is hassle free. Free from the hassle of receiving and paying bills. And of course, free from the bureaucratic hassle of registration. So, is it strange for people not to give a hoot when asked to register their prepaid lines?

In addition, the reason stated by the government on why it decided to pursue this policy; “to check abuse such as spreading slanderous remarks via SMS”. Doesn’t the government, specifically the Energy,Water & Communication ministry have better things to do other than monitor SMS gossips? Anyone with half a brain knows that this is more a political issue rather than an operational or security one.

As for the faster Internet access issue, I’m in support of this wholeheartedly. What I’m very disappointed with is the fact that the government implements policies that retards the penetration of high quality broadband throughout Malaysia.

For example, giving TM almost total monopoly in the ISP industry is definitely not in line with any serious broadband penetration strategy. Like I’ve mentioned numerous time before, monopolies breed incompetency. To get serious performance you need serious competition. How can we expect TM to perform when its competitors are pseudo-ISPs like Jaring and TIME? Heck, these companies are not even in the same league as TM.

The government should show some degree of credibility in this area by opening up the ISP industry to more proven players, especially from outside of Malaysia. Quit playing the same old tiring ultra-nationalistic “Malaysian interest” card which is getting lame and shows just how out of touch the Malaysian government is with real world economic realities.

Wake up. The world is progressing regardless of how ready “companies which are our national pride” are to face them.

2 responses to “Of Prepaid Registrations and ISPs”.

  1. Lainie Says:

    “to check abuse”
    so, how private ARE the smses we send? i never did know.

  2. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    Lainie, it’s not merely a question of privacy. There’s a far more “hurtful” reason why the telcos themselves a reluctant to implement this registration process.

    In fact, the registration process is the least of the problem. It’s merely a once off process. From a technical standpoint maintaining a log of SMSs is a very resource intensive process. It’s going to be very costly.

    Imagine the list of resources you have to prepare to implement this process:
    People: Technicians and clerks to do data maintenance and archiving.
    Hardware: Servers and storage media needs would be very high.
    System Design: How to actually do this in a systematic way.

    I think you’ll start to get the drift.

    All this (theoretically) because some politician got a few hate SMSs. What a crybaby.