Which Is The Best Postpaid Mobile Plan In Malaysia?
It’s pretty obvious that Malaysians love their smartphones. Collectively, we spent a whopping RM6.8 billion on them in 2016.
In fact, it has become an addiction: a 10-country survey found that Malaysians are among the most addicted to their phones, and where according to a Nielsen report, 55% of Malaysians get anxious when their smartphones are not near them.
It’s no surprise then, that there is a high demand for the best deals when it comes to mobile phone plans.
But which postpaid mobile plan really give you the best deal to fuel your love for your smartphones? There’s a lot of talk and preference individually, but here’s the breakdown of what you need to know when choosing the right mobile plan.
1. Internet data
Always running out of data? Or maybe you have too much unused data at the end of every month? It may be time to review your mobile plan. You could be paying more than you need to by subscribing to a plan that doesn’t suit your needs.
On the other hand, if you have fallen for a plan’s cheap advertised price only to discover that you will end up paying much more, then it’s also important for you to compare what you are getting for each gigabyte of data.
How much do you pay for your data?
|Telco||Price range per month||Avg price per GB||Unlimited plan|
|Maxis||RM98 (30GB) – RM188 (60GB)||RM3.13 - RM3.26||-|
|Celcom||RM80 (20GB) – RM188 (100GB)||RM1.88 - RM4||-|
|Digi||RM58 (10GB) – RM190 (100GB)||RM1.90 - RM5.80||From RM100|
|U Mobile||RM28 (3GB) – RM79 (20GB)||RM3.95 - RM9.33||From RM99|
|Yes 4G||Unlimited data: RM46 – RM99||-||From RM46|
For consumers looking for more, Celcom Platinum Plus offers 100GB of data for RM188, which brings the average price per GB to only RM1.88.
But if you’re a data hog who’s not keen on limitations, you have a few unlimited plans to choose from. Starting at RM46, Yes KONFEM Unlimited 49 is the cheapest plan available, albeit with a speed cap of 5Mbps. If you’re not a fan of speed caps, go for Yes KONFEM Unlimited 99 (RM99), U Mobile P99 (RM99) or Digi Postpaid 150 Infinite (RM150).
However, do note that ‘unlimited plans’ may not literally offer you unlimited bandwidth. Your plan will come with a Fair Use Policy, which means that you cannot use your available bandwidth in a way that can be interpreted as abuse of your telco’s services. If you’ve been using an extraordinarily large amount of data (eg, consistently using your data to torrent large files), your telco could suspend your service. This data limit will vary according to your telco, and not every telco will reveal what this limit is.
2. Download speed
What’s the point of having unlimited data if your download speed is reminiscent of dial-up?
Though your telco may advertise a plan as having ‘uncapped speed’, your actual speed will depend on factors such as the network infrastructure your telco is operating on, your distance from the cell tower, concrete walls, and how congested your telco’s network is.
OpenSignal, a source on the coverage and performance of mobile operators worldwide, has compared peak download speeds of the following telcos in Malaysia:
These measures were obtained by taking the average of the fastest 2% of all connections surveyed by OpenSignal. While you’re unlikely to routinely experience these speeds, they do represent the highest potential speeds users can reach with each telco.
3. Calls & texts
Once upon a time, we used our phones to make calls and to send SMSes. Though these may not be the most used functions today, it’s still important to know how much you are being charged.
It’s pretty common for telcos to offer unlimited calls and texts nowadays, but some still don’t. You should take the time to ask about call charges if this is something you find yourself doing often.
Which plan offers unlimited calls?
|Maxis||Celcom||Digi||U Mobile||Yes 4G|
|All Celcom mobile plans||All Digi postpaid plans||All U Mobile P series||None|
Which plan offers unlimited SMS?
|Maxis||Celcom||Digi||U Mobile||Yes 4G|
When it comes to unlimited calls, choices abound: Maxis, Celcom, Digi and U Mobile all offer unlimited voice calls to any network.. One the other hand, Yes only offers unlimited calls if you’re making calls to users on the same network.
Additionally, MaxisOne plans also offer unlimited SMSes.
4. Carry forward unused data
What happens if you don’t use up all the data quota? Typically, your unused data will be forfeited and you start on a clean slate the next month.
But why waste what you have already paid for? Find out which telco allows you to bring forward unused Internet to the following month. What this feature does is carry forward a certain amount of unused data to the following month, so technically, your data won’t be wasted.
Which plan offers carry forward of unused data?
|Maxis||Celcom||Digi||U Mobile||Yes 4G|
|None||None||All postpaid plans||None||None|
5. Share lines
One of the best ways to lower your household mobile phone bills is to opt for mobile share lines. However, to ensure you truly maximise your plan, you will have to do the maths.
First of all, consider how much data you and your family need, and then look for the cheapest plan for the amount of data you need. Some plans do not allow sharing of principal’s data. This will make getting a principal line with high data plan pretty useless.
Here’s a comparison of data sharing among all the telcos:
How much does line sharing cost?
|Data sharing with principal line||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes*|
|Additional data per share line||10GB (shareable) and 10GB (non-shareable)||5GB||-||-|
|Max number of supplementary lines||4||5||3||3|
|Cost per line with 1 supplementary line||MaxisONE Plan 98 (RM98 + RM48)/2|
|Celcom Mobile Gold (RM80 + RM48)/2|
|Digi Postpaid 80 (RM80 +RM38)/2|
|U Mobile Hero P99 (RM99 + RM20)/2
Yes does not offer supplementary lines, so we’ve omitted it from comparison in this category.
Among the telcos that do offer them, U Mobile offers the cheapest price (RM20) per supplementary line. However, each supplementary line uses the data available in the principal line’s mobile hotspot quota.
If you need more data for each supplementary line, Maxis and Celcom will give you a better run for your money, but you pay more (RM48) for each new line.
6. Data roaming
With cheaper airfares, it’s not surprising to find yourself travelling to another country every other month. Though airfare may be affordable, if you are not careful, your mobile bill can kill you with frightening roaming charges.
Data roaming has become increasingly common, however, and most telcos understand the need to offer affordable and easy to use plans.
How much do you pay for data roaming?
|Price per day||Number of countries||Data quota|
|Maxis ONE Plan||RM38||115||Up to 500MB|
|Celcom 1-Day Internet Pass||RM38||160||500MB|
|Digi Roaming Pass||RM5 / RM10 / RM15||50||50MB / 500MB|
|U Mobile Roam Onz / U Data Roam||Roam Onz: Free|
U Data Roam: RM10 / RM36
|Roam Onz: 12|
U Data Roam: 50
|Roam Onz: Depends on postpaid plan (500MB - 8GB)
U Data Roam: Unlimited
Alternatively, the Digi Roaming Pass starts as little as RM5, but offers only 50MB of data.
But if you’re looking in terms of widest coverage, Celcom beats all the other telcos.
7. Additional nice-to-have features
There are many things you can do on your smartphone – stream movies, listen to music, GPS and many more. These things consume data, and to help you save data, so you can use it for other more important things (like upload your 500th photo to Instagram), telcos come up with some pretty interesting add-ons.
Here are some of the interesting add-ons that can make your telco so much sweeter to you:
What are the add-ons?
|Maxis||● Get a range of smartphones for just RM1 when you sign a 24-month contract with MaxisONE Plan
● One free month of unlimited access to iflix, Viu, Eros Now, dimsum, and Netflix
|Celcom||● Free 30GB – 100GB for Video Walla (allows you to stream video on platforms such as YouTube, iflix, Netflix, Viu, etc.)
● Unlimited WhatsApp and WeChat
|Digi||● Infinite tethering (For Digi Postpaid 150)|
|U Mobile*||● 3GB or unlimited data for Video Onz (allows you to stream videos on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, iflix, Viu, etc.)
● Unlimited data for social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger)
● Unlimited data for Waze
● Unlimited music streaming on platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and JOOX
|Yes 4G||● No value-added service add-ons|
If you’re looking for a new phone and you’re not keen on forking out a fortune, Maxis RM1 smartphone deals will appeal to you. However…
8. Quality of service
This has always been quite subjective among the mobile users, as some are pretty happy with what’s being offered by telcos, while others express regret and disappointment as they port out of one telco to another.
However, numbers don’t lie.
According to OpenSignal, Celcom leads the way in 4G coverage. In a three-month test period run by OpenSignal, Celcom users were able to connect to its LTE network 86.8% of the time.
Maxis trails closely behind Celcom, scoring 83.2%.
In Kuala Lumpur and Seberang Perai/Penang, however, Yes 4G had exceptional scores of over 95%.
U Mobile lagged far behind the other telcos, scoring only 64.5%.
And the winner is…
Based on the comparison above, we think that U Mobile offers the best value for money. Its cheaper plans may not offer the lowest price per gigabyte of data, but they come bundled with unlimited data for popular apps such as Facebook and Instagram.
It’s also the only telco that offers free roaming with their Roam Onz package, making it the perfect provider for frequent travelers (as long as your destination is within the 12 countries listed).
However, if you live outside of central areas, you may want to stay away from U Mobile’s poor 4G coverage.
Ultimately though, the best telco for you depends on your usage and budget. If you need more data but want to stretch your budget, Yes offers an unlimited plan starting at RM46, but you’ll need to contend with speed caps. Digi offers a reasonably priced unlimited plan starting from RM100, although this seems to be a limited-time offer. On the other hand, be prepared to fork out more for Maxis and Celcom – but in return you get better quality of service.