Which Is The Best Mobile Plan In Malaysia? [Updated]

Which Is The Best Mobile Plan In Malaysia? [Updated]

It’s pretty obvious that Malaysians love their smartphones when they are willing to spend RM6.8 billion on the gadget!

In fact, it has become almost an addiction, where according to a Nielsen report, 55% of Malaysians get anxious when their smartphones are not near them. The need to have a mobile device that keeps us connected all the time has pervaded the Malaysian lifestyle enough that it comes to no surprise that there is a high demand for the best deals in terms of calls and data plans.

But which 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.

Advertisement

1. Internet data

Most mobile plans nowadays come with a certain amount of data, but if you are short of data, or you have way too much unused data at the end of every month, it’s time to review your plan. You could be paying more than you need to by subscribing to a plan that is not suitable for your usage.

If you have fallen for a cheap advertised price of a mobile plan only to discover that you will end up paying much more, then it’s important for you to really compare what you are getting for each gigabyte of data.

According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in their Handphone Users Survey 2014, 71.4% of handphone users admitted they are obsessed with their phone.

One in two Malaysians are smartphone users now,  making mobile data increasingly important to mobile users in the country.

If you have fallen for a cheap advertised price of a mobile plan only to discover that you will end up paying much more, then it’s important for you to really compare what you are getting for each gigabyte of data.

How much is the average price per GB?

Maxis
Celcom
Digi
U Mobile
RM4.22
RM5.05
RM4.47
Unlimited

Maxis continues to win when it comes to the best value on average price per GB, being from one of the most expensive telcos before to now having the most affordable plan when it comes to data. But if you’re looking at average price per GB for specific plans, Celcom First Platinum offers up to 30GB on weekdays and another 30GB on weekends. That’s 60GB per month and RM2.50 average price per GB! This is perfect if you are always on your phone, streaming your favourite shows or gaming all day long.

But there’s an obvious winner here…

The winner

Upon unveiling the Unlimited Hero P78 plan, U Mobile wins in this category as they offer unlimited data, so you don’t have to worry about not having enough data! However, if you are thinking of using your smartphone as a hotspot for other devices, there is a caveat. You’re only allowed up to 10GB as a hotspot for free.

2. Calls & texts

Once upon a time, we use our phones to make calls and to send SMSes. Though these may not be the most used functions today, it is still important to ensure that they won’t drive your phone bill up.

It’s pretty common for telcos to offer unlimited calls and text nowadays, but some still don’t. If you like to talk on the phone for hours, then you have to pay attention. The thing with telcos is, they will never include their weak spots on those promotional leaflets and banners, and hence, it is up to us to weed out the details.

Which plan offers unlimited calls?

Maxis
Celcom
Digi
U Mobile
All MaxisONE
plans
FIRST Gold, Gold
Plus & Platinum plans
Digi Postpaid 80,
Digi Postpaid 110
All U Mobile P series

Which plan offers unlimited SMS?

Maxis
Celcom
Digi
U Mobile
All MaxisONE
plans
FIRST Platinum plan
None
None

For this one, only Maxis and Celcom have plans that offer unlimited calls and texts. But for Celcom, the First Platinum Plan is the only one to offer both unlimited calls and text, whereas all of Maxis ONE plans come with unlimited calls and texts.

Other plans from Celcom do offer unlimited WhatsApp and WeChat data, two popular texting apps that utilise data which can be a better alternative. There’s also U Mobile offering unlimited data with the P78 which makes it possible to text more via their unlimited data. But if you need that unlimited text option due to work or other reasons, then Maxis has got your back no matter what.

 

The winner

Maxis ONE plans win this category as ALL their plans have unlimited calls and text. The only thing that will change your package price is the data you need. But if unlimited calls and texts isn’t what you’re looking for, then you can opt for cheaper plans with more data.

3. Carry forward unused data

What happens if you don’t use up all the data quota? Previously, the unused data was forfeited and you start on a clean slate the next month.

But, why waste what you have already paid for? Two telcos allow 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
None
FIRST Blue plan
All postpaid
plans
None

Digi’s plans come with a rollover cap data that ranges between 500MB to 9GB, depending on the plan. It may not be a lot if you have a lot of unused data, but it’s better than having all of your unused data forfeited every month. For the First Blue Plan by Celcom, they only offer up to 1GB for the rollover.

These are cool features to have especially if your data usage varies month to month. Maxis and U Mobile do not offer these at the moment.

The winner

Digi wins in this category as all their plans come with a rollover feature, though the amount of data varies per plan. Plans like Digi Postpaid 68 and above have a rollover quota of 2GB and above, which is a lot more than the First Blue Plan by Celcom with only 1GB.

Get Infographics, Articles and More Direct to your Inbox!

Thanks

4. 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?

Maxis
Celcom
Digi
U Mobile
Price per
share line
RM48
RM30
RM10
RM20
Data sharing
with principal
line
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Additional data
per share line
10GB
(5GB weekdays
& 5GB
weekends)
2GB
10GB
None
Restrictions
Only for Maxis
ONE plans
FIRST Blue,
Gold & Platinum
plans
Only for Digi
Postpaid 80 plan.
Other plans vary
for the price and
additional data.
Only for
P70 and P98
plans
Maximum number
of supplementary
lines
5
5
6
3
Cost per line
with 1 supplementary
line
Maxis ONE 128
(RM128 + RM48)/2
= RM176/2
= RM88
FIRST Gold RM80
(RM80 + RM30)/2
= RM55
Digi Postpaid 80
(RM80 + RM10)/2
= RM45
U Mobile P70
(RM50 + RM20)/2
= RM45
* Depends on the principal plan. The lower plans have lower maximum supplementary lines number.
**Digi is currently running a promotion where for a limited time users can select three supplementary-line options.

 

Both Digi Postpaid 80 and U Mobile P70 offer the lowest cost per line for two shared lines, but which is the real winner?

The winner

Digi wins this category because they allow up to six supplementary lines. So if you need more than three share lines, Digi would save you more. While U Mobile has an affordable price as well, they don’t offer extra data unless you pay RM50, where you’re given an extra 3GB per line. This will then make it less affordable and there’s no extra data to enjoy in the long run.

5. Data roaming

With cheaper airfares, it’s not surprising to find yourself travelling to another country every other month, if not week. 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 and most telcos understand the needs to offer affordable and easy to use data roaming plan.

How much is data roaming?

Maxis
MaxisONE World
Celcom 1 Day Internet Pass
Digi
Roam10
U Mobile Roam Onz
Price per day
RM38
RM38
RM10*
FREE
Number of
countries
8
Worldwide
41
12
Data quota
Available data in
DataPool
500MB to
Unlimited*
50MB
5GB or 8GB**
* Data quota depend on the country of roaming.

*It can go as low as RM5 depending on the country.

** Vary according to the plan that you get

The winner

U Mobile definitely stands out as there are no additional costs when you’re in 12 of the countries listed for the data roaming plan. For countries not listed, U Mobile charges RM10 to RM36 per day, depending on the country. Either way, they’re still the cheapest compared to other telcos, making them the clear winner in terms of affordability.
But if you’re looking in terms of widest coverage, Celcom wins as they offer worldwide coverage, though the amount of data offered isn’t much.

6. 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 on Instagram), telcos come up with some pretty interesting add-ons.

Here are some of the interesting add-ons that make your telco so much sweeter to you:

What are the add-ons?

Maxis
Celcom
Digi
U Mobile
3 months of unlimited access to iflix and more
Unlimited data for social apps
Free 100GB photos & videos storage on Capture (without data)
Unlimited use of WAZE
1 year premium subscription to iflix for just RM1
30-day complimentary trial for Viu, Hopster, HeroTalkies and Eros Now
FREE subscription to Yonder Music and/or iflix for 12 months
Free iflix for 60 days
Unlimited streaming of music for 21 partners
60-day complimentary trial for tonton and Lebara
1-month free trial to Netflix
Unlimited data for social networks Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
RM1 deals where you can choose from 2 4G devices and 2 months
FREE Share Line, 1 year of unlimited entertainment, or a new smartphone.
# Required to be registered via Maxis.
#* Applicable for U Mobile Hero P70, i90 and i130 plans
**Promotion extended till December 31, 2017.

 

Maxis has plenty to offer with many options and add-ons that are either free trials of services for 30 days or up to 3 months or are RM1 deals, none of which are free or last long during your subscription. Celcom offers unlimited data for social apps, which can be useful. But…

The winner

But the real winner goes to U Mobile for offering unlimited usage for many apps commonly used by Malaysians, which includes Waze, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and more, especially for the P98 plan.

7. 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 expressed regret and disappointment when they ported out of a telco to another.

However, numbers don’t lie.

According to OpenSignal, a source on coverage and performance of mobile operators worldwide, Maxis leads the way in 4G coverage. In a three-month test period run by OpenSignal, Maxis 4G users were able to connect to its LTE network 70% of the time.

This is much better than its competitors in the country, but also gives it an edge over majority of the operators worldwide.

The winner

However, when it comes to speed, it’s a draw for Maxis, Digi and U Mobile with average LTE download speeds between 12 and 14 Mbps. According to the findings, Celcom comes up last in speed, coverage and latency, though it performs much better in the Klang Valley.

To help you determine if the telco will perform well at your home or work area, you can always use OpenSignal to test. This can be done before you decide to terminate and switch to another telco to avoid disappointment.

And the winner is…

Based on the detailed comparison above, the winner that offers the cheapest per gigabyte rate, with other perks is U Mobile. It is the only provider that offers free roaming with their Roam Onz package, making it the perfect provider for frequent travelers. However, do check if your destination is within the 12 countries listed.

Choosing the right mobile plan should be more than just the price. If you are living or working in area that has weak signals for that particular mobile provider, having the cheapest plan with the highest data will not do you any good as well.

If you really need a lot of data, then U Mobile is the clear winner, however, it does not come with the additional add-ons such as Internet rollover of unused data.

Even though Maxis upgraded its plan significantly, it is still expensive compared to its peer. Perhaps, if you really believe Maxis offers the best coverage and speed where you are, paying a premium for quality is worth it.

With a lot of more competition and attractive options available, Malaysian mobile users can truly compare and make good choices when it comes to mobile plan subscription.

Image from tnooz.com

*Originally published on April 22, 2016. 

Leave your comment