A night spent wardriving

Damansara Utama

Okay, maybe wardriving is the wrong definition, but it did bring back memories of doing exactly this back in the early 2000’s when WiFi hotspots were hard to come by. You’ll be surprised at just how many unsecured WiFi Aps there were back then. Back to the point, I have armed myself with an iPhone 6 with a U Mobile SIM card and the Open Signal app to see how the network performs.


I was quite surprised when I started up the new iPhone 6 and saw the coverage was just limited to 3G at my home.


(I later found out that this was untrue)


Not to be deterred, I started my adventure by going to Damansara Utama and was puzzled to see it was *still* in 3G in an area I know has 4G coverage.

U Mobile 3G

A quick check with Open Signal showed that the download speed was 9 Mbps. That’s more than most HSPA+ speeds and it’s the fastest of ALL 4 major telcos! I was flummoxed for a very long time until I got this message:

LTE Active

Mystery solved! It turns out that it takes a couple of hours before 4G LTE is enabled when you first use the SIM card.


I went to TTDI to check the entertainment outlets near boatHouse and found out that the Taman Tun Dr Ismail area is covered by 4G as well with a very commendable 12.92 Mbps upload.

U Mobile Speed Test

I swung back and went to Mutiara Damansara and monitored the coverage map along the way.

Mutiara Damansara

Yes, there are gaps in 4G LTE coverage, with 3G only areas in between, but for the most part, the densely populated and built up areas are all 4G.


The Sunway Giza area in Kota Damansara is also covered by U Mobile’s 4G coverage so I thought it was strange that my place (which is just opposite the mall) is not.

U Mobile LTE Kota Damansara

It turns out that my home is also covered by 4G – not that I’ll need it much as I have WiFi at home. My primary Internet connection is quite fast as Open Signal shows:

Home Fiber Speed

This sounds right according to the U Mobile #datastrongnetwork media briefing I went to.

Umobile Data Strong Network

U Mobile has completed the first phase of their 4G LTE network ahead of schedule with 1,000 new 4G sites. The coverage is not just limited to Klang Valley, but also Putrajaya, Seremban, Port Dickson and Johor Bahru. I’ve heard the top brass there share their philosophy on the 4G rollouts and it’s quite solid.

Umobile Event

They plan to implement 5,000 new 4G LTE sites over the next 5 years, with a concentration on urban areas. I thought that was a good plan as people would want to have high speeds at places where they’re most often at during work and play and that means high density coverage in high density areas.

U Mobile 4G LTE Speeds

I’ve also been loaned an iPhone 6 with a U Mobile prepaid SIM card to test it out for myself and the results of the tests are very promising. The areas I’ve driven too has faster Internet speeds than most people have at home (discounting myself, I’m on a very expensive high speed fiber line). I see areas around me having up to 17.60 Mbps speeds (!!!) and that’s A LOT faster than 90% (maybe even 99%) of most home broadband solutions.

iPhone Hotspot

It even rivals my 30 Mbps home fiber line!

Personal Hotspot

I even tried using it as a Personal Hotspot in Mutiara Damansara (coz at the time I didn’t know my home had 4G LTE) and it loaded everything on my notebook fine. It’s perfect for data-on-the-go – U Mobile has truly solved their teething problems and become the only data-centric telco in Malaysia.

U Mobile 4G

It was quite an enlightening experience. I learned that there are lots of places with 4G LTE coverage around me. I know the U Mobile 4G coverage is good in KL but it was nice to find out that the 4G areas extend to the outskirts of Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam.

U Mobile 3G 4G Coverage

I verified it for myself during the late night real world testing – the data was fast and reliable with low latency.

Personal thoughts:

When I started out, I didn’t expect much from the U Mobile network. I have heard some negative things about it (these were all a couple of years ago) so I took it with a grain of salt when they said all the overload issues in the past has been resolved. I am pleased to report that this is actually true – the U Mobile 4G LTE is extremely fast and consistently comes in as the top performer of all four major telcos (as shown in Open Signal).

I have since used it for close to a month and have been very happy with my experience with the U Mobile data network. I tend to use a lot of data from gaming (play a lot of Hearthstone) so I want a fast and reliable data service when I’m not on my premium connection at home. To be honest I thought I didn’t need a fast and reliable network when I’m out and about but it turns out that expectation (or lack thereof) is a learned behavior.

Ever since I’ve been on the 4G LTE network of U Mobile, I have raised my standards and expect my data to be fast even when I’m out. I want the smooth YouTube streaming I’ve been getting for the past month, the seamless loading of Facebook, the fast Instagram refreshes and all that. I’ve learned not to expect it with my previous telco but now that I’ve been exposed to real speed, I am expecting it now and that’s why I’m using U Mobile as my primary line.

Lok Lok

I also found out that lok lok trucks are still around at 3 am in the morning. I was hungry after all that driving and ran up a RM 16 bill here. Seriously though, it was a good strategy for U Mobile to loan the phones and SIM cards for testing, personally I’m impressed with the network and will switch over to the Hero P70 package to save myself from the current prices I’m paying with another telco.

Lok lok

lok lok nasi lemak

I’m not sure where the etymology of the word “lok lok” comes from,
but it’s basically stuff skewed onto a stick (like a satay or kebab)
which you can pick and choose from the large selection on offer. There
are two different styles of lok lok – it’s either boiled (more common
here) or deep fried. This is Ming Corner in Kuching, it has become a
staple where me and my friends go for lok-lok and nasi lemak. It’s
along Jalan Padungan and you can’t miss the neon sign.

Here are photos of the many varieties of selectable items that can be found in places specializing in loklok:

loklok offerings
These are the more common offerings. There’s fishballs and meatballs of
all sorts and shapes and mystery meat made in the likeness of shapes
like fishes, barrels etc.

sausages cuttlefish
You’ll also notice that some of the lok lok sticks comes interspaced
with different items e.g. one sausage followed by half a meatball till
the stick is filled. There’s also more esoteric items like the mussel
(with shell intact) topped with a fish ball you can see beside the
sausages. The far end of the picture shows the items that are less in
demand like chicken stomachs.

crabclaws mussels
Here’s a picture of tofu, cuttlefish, shrimp and crab claw lok loks.

sotong vegies
There’s also vegetables strung onto a stick and sotong interspaced with vegetables.

quail eggs preserved
Now this is something I won’t miss out on every time we go for lok lok
– quail eggs! =D I love these things. The white ones are normal boiled
quail eggs and the dark ones are century quail eggs!
I’m surprised that century eggs comes in the quail egg size in addition
to the chicken egg size. I love them all! Quail eggs! Quail eggs! Quail

clams lok lok
Last, but not least, is the staple of lok lok – clams. These are the
small clams you can find in Penang style char kueh tiaw. There are also
unshelled clams and whole fishes in addition to stingrays and whole

Anyway, what you do is grab a plate from the stack and pick up the
sticks of lok lok you want. I had two plates, this is the first one:

jellyfish crabstick
It contains jellyfish, clams, squid, a crab claw and meatball combo, and a prawn ball and half fish ball combo.

loklok cooking

You pass your plate to the attendant when you’re done choosing from
the selection and she cooks it by dipping it into the small boiling pot
of broth. The time it takes for each item is different e.g. vegetables
are just dipped in for a second while squid will be simmering in the
pot for a while. Thus, each batch is cooked separately.

loklok sauces

In the meantime, you can take another plate and fill it up with the
sauce(s) of your choice. Personally, I mix all four together in
different ratios. My personal preference is – two portions of satay
sauce (peanut based sweet sauce), 2 portions of oyster sauce, one
portion of chili sauce (it dilutes the sauce mix and I like mine to
have a thick consistency) and one portion of this unknown salty tasting
sauce which is not soy sauce (just to make it salty).

serving prawns

Here’s a photo of the cooked plate, served to your table. This is
Plate #2 – it contains vegetables (yes, I do eat
veggies…occasionally), quail eggs, century (preserved) quail eggs
spaced with cuttlefish, prawns and clams.


Ming Corner (or just “the lok lok place”, as we call it due to the
prominent neon sign) serves a mean plate of nasi lemak as well – the
dish that makes the meal, since lok lok isn’t filling per se. Yes, I
realize how cheesy the adjective “mean” sounds when used in this
context. πŸ˜‰

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