Having used almost every telco services in Malaysia, Maxis is still undeniably the most reliable service I’ve used despite of its rather expensive postpaid plans. While most telcos have already started offering unlimited data on their postpaid services, Maxis is the only telco that has decided to stay out of the party, but as they always say, no one wants to be left out of the party forever, hence the company has unveiled a service called Ookyo, an unlimited prepaid service that is 100% digital, which means everything you do with it, such as purchasing a SIM pack, reloading prepaid credit and purchasing services are all done online, even asking for help on the service is done within its app. It is a new yet untested service model, which is why I’ve got my hands on the ookyo SIM pack for RM30 and have used almost a month, is this Maxis’ best effort at offering an unlimited data plan? We find out.
Signing up for the service is really simple if you are familiar with online shopping, you get to choose between the social or entertainment unlimited pack, and at the time of registration, I have to admit that I was enticed by the great selection of numbers to purchase the service. After entering your registration details, you will be asked for a delivery time as the company requires you to be in person to receive the SIM card and validate your details. My experience with the sign up process is a great one, the customer service rep called me up a day before to confirm the delivery time, and my ookyo SIM card was delivered to me at the exact time frame.
I opted for the Entertainment Pack, which I find it to be more worthwhile as it has unlimited chat apps data usage while being able to stream Spotify. Although it is a great package, it is still lacking of certain streaming services, such as Apple Music, iFlix and Netflix, which I hope ookyo will eventually include them in the near future. On the other hand, the Social Pack will appeal to social media addicts who uploads photos and videos, and it is a great deal if you frequently stream videos or perform live streaming, you can switch between the unlimited packs if you think the current one doesn’t suit you. Fundamentally, any apps that aren’t listed in ookyo’s unlimited pack will utilize the 3GB monthly quota, you can tether your data with the quota without incurring additional costs, but do note that you can’t enjoy the unlimited data even if you are using a supported app on the tethered device.
Ookyo is only supported on Android devices for one and very specific reason, it functions mainly as a VPN for the unlimited service, it requires no additional registration and detects your SIM card for access, and you need to use it in order to enjoy your selected unlimited package, and it can can only be downloaded through Google Play at this point of time. Of course, you will still be able to use the SIM on your iOS device, but in this case you will be using the monthly 3GB data, Maxis says that the iOS version of the app is still in the works and no timeline has been given for that.
The key takeaway of using this approach is that it helps to load balance the bandwidth within the network by allowing the company to allocate data and connection speed on its end for a certain service, which eventually helps ease network congestion should the number of subscribers increase over time, hence it won’t affect other Maxis users not on the ookyo service. However, I find the VPN to disconnect itself after a while, and it doesn’t automatically reconnect if I restart my phone, which can be inconvenient at times.
The app has a bright and colorful user interface, and you can clearly see that ookyo is reaching out to the younger audience judging by the use of words and style of messages in the app, you can do the usual things like a typical account management app, such as checking your data quota, top up your account balance, and get help from Fuzzy, a bot which helps answer over a thousand frequently asked questions, you can also submit your feedback about the service through Fuzzy.
Apart from offering unlimited data services, the ookyo service also offers 10% of Google Play credit back when you use ookyo billing on Google Play, and by inviting friends to the service, you will also get up to RM100 of Google Play credits. As a bonus for early birds, ookyo offers RM15 of Google Play credits, which I have happily used for purchasing apps in my wishlist. What ookyo has done in the rewards part is a very commendable move, and I certainly look forward to more rewards from the service in the near future.
That’s all for the cool part of ookyo, and here comes the not so cool part – the Unlimited Passes and unsurprisingly, the app itself.
I totally get the point of the unlimited passes, and it is pretty useful if you frequently use an app that requires a lot of data, however the price of the unlimited passes just doesn’t make sense. For instance, the YouTube unlimited pass will cost you RM8 for unlimited streaming of 3 hours, there’s no way that you can pause that timer. Asphalt 8: Airborne, which probably doesn’t use up any data apart from the initial setup, costs RM8 for an unlimited pass, and I definitely won’t purchase a RM3 unlimited pass for Candy Crush Soda. All of these unlimited pass suck because they aren’t the most useful passes as compared to what other telcos have done out there, in fact I was expecting discounts on app purchases when ookyo was first advertised, and probably ookyo should focus more on providing more options of unlimited passes for streaming apps, I would gladly pay up if there is an unlimited pass for Netflix.
Also, the cool ookyo app is also rather buggy, in some cases the VPN connection tends to get disconnected after a while, which I only noticed when the VPN key icon goes missing on the notifications bar, and there are a couple of times where I need to reinstall the app as I encountered an unresolvable error when logging into the app. This can be a very frustrating experience, especially to those who aren’t literate in resolving issues like this, worse of all there isn’t a proper customer service center or hotline to enquire if such issues occur. I certainly believe that the ookyo app will be updated over time to resolve these issues, but on the other hand I wished I don’t need to use an app to be able to use my unlimited data.
Should you subscribe to ookyo?
For RM30/month, 3GB of base data is definitely not attractive, and the unlimited pack ookyo offers isn’t something new in the market, but what you get is an extremely fast and reliable service that other unlimited mobile plans aren’t able to offer. This is a brand new product from Maxis, it isn’t going to replace its Hotlink prepaid service, and it is not going to be a postpaid service either. With Maxis’ top priority of ensuring a reliable data service, ookyo has the potential of becoming a great unlimited data plan, and it really needs to have more attractive unlimited passes to beat the competition.
- Fast and reliable network
- Affordable unlimited data plan
The Not so Good
- ookyo VPN disconnects without notice
- Unlimited services not supported on iOS devices at the moment
- Unattractive unlimited passes
- Everything has to be done online, no dedicated customer service hotline