‘Invisible’ fibre to boost Internet at homes

PETALING JAYA, 19 Oct 2023:

Despite home Internet speeds having reached 2Gbps, urban service firm Time dotCom continues to receive customer complaints of poor connectivity in rooms and areas far from the main router – due to signal degradation or complete loss behind walls and other physical barriers.

Noting that wireless solutions like repeaters and mesh routers are still unable to fully address this connectivity problem, Time has partnered with Huawei to offer the latter’s ‘Fibre-to-the-room’ solution. This solution is now on display at the IPC Shopping Centre till Sunday for patrons to get a first-hand view of this solution.

This solution essentially involves using fibre cabling from the main router to all the rooms and areas where good Internet connectivity is needed. Despite the physical cabling to be installed, Time retail business chief executive officer Ignatius Lee said there won’t be ugly wiring or casing along walls in the home.

The aesthetics are handled by using a 1.2mm-diameter translucent fibre cabling. This is strung along borders where two walls meet or where the wall meets the ceiling, effectively blending into the surroundings. This results in the fibre tone looking to be just a darker shade of the underlying wall seam colour.

Such hiding in plain sight would be useless if the fibre doesn’t stay in place where it is supposed to be. That’s where an innovative trick is deployed – the fibre has a glue coating. Installing the fibre along wall seams is akin to using a glue gun because the glue coating is melted at around 180°C using a special heating device (see below).

Such fibre installation in a typical apartment takes about four hours – because the Time Internet service is currently available mainly at apartment and condominium units, not landed properties.

Once this fibre solution is installed, Lee said connectivity in each upgraded room should reach or be close to 1Gbps or lower, depending on the subscriber’s monthly package.

Being marketed as ‘Gig Speed Home’ packages, Time customers can also opt for 24-month instalments rather than upfront payments. The three packages on offer are:

  • 1 parent + 1 child node = RM1,320 upfront (RM55 monthly),
  • 1 parent + 2 child nodes = RM1,800 upfront (RM75 monthly),
  • 1 parent + 3 child nodes = RM2,160 upfront (RM90 monthly).

All packages use the Huawei F30 series devices with WiFi6 standard.