Which Is The Best Postpaid Mobile Plan In Malaysia?

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.

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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?

TelcoPrice range per monthAvg price per GBUnlimited plan
MaxisRM98 (30GB) – RM188 (60GB)RM3.13 - RM3.26-
CelcomRM80 (20GB) – RM188 (100GB)RM1.88 - RM4-
DigiRM58 (10GB) – RM190 (100GB)RM1.90 - RM5.80From RM100
U MobileRM28 (3GB) – RM79 (20GB)RM3.95 - RM9.33From RM99
Yes 4GUnlimited 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.

The winner
If you don’t mind speed caps, Yes KONFEM Unlimited 49 (RM46) offers the best value for money for unlimited data. If you prefer browsing at the best speeds available, go for Yes KONFEM Unlimited 99 (RM99) or U Mobile P99 (RM99).

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:

Source: OpenSignal

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.

The winner
Maxis comes out top with the highest peak speed of 73.34Mbps.

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?

MaxisCelcomDigiU MobileYes 4G
All MaxisONE
plans
All Celcom mobile plansAll Digi postpaid plansAll U Mobile P seriesNone

Which plan offers unlimited SMS?

MaxisCelcomDigiU MobileYes 4G
All MaxisONE
plans
NoneNoneNoneNone

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.

The winner
Maxis wins this category, as all their plans have unlimited calls and text. However, Maxis plans are generally pricier. If you need unlimited calls but can do without unlimited texts (a high likelihood, considering the popularity of internet messaging apps), then consider Celcom, Digi or U Mobile instead.

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?

MaxisCelcomDigiU MobileYes 4G
NoneNoneAll postpaid plansNoneNone
The winner
Digi is the default winner in this category, as it is the only telco that allows postpaid users to carry forward unused data to the next month.

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? 

 MaxisCelcomDigiU Mobile
Price per
shared line
RM48RM48RM38RM20
Data sharing with principal lineYesYesYesYes*
Additional data per share line10GB (shareable) and 10GB (non-shareable)5GB--
Max number of supplementary lines4533
Cost per line with 1 supplementary lineMaxisONE Plan 98 (RM98 + RM48)/2

= RM73
Celcom Mobile Gold (RM80 + RM48)/2

= RM64
Digi Postpaid 80 (RM80 +RM38)/2

= RM59
U Mobile Hero P99 (RM99 + RM20)/2

= RM59.50
*U Mobile supplementary lines use data from principal line’s mobile hotspot quota

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.

The winner
This one really depends on your data needs. For the most cost-effective plan, go for U Mobile. If your supplementary line needs more data, consider Maxis or Celcom.

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 dayNumber of countriesData quota
Maxis ONE PlanRM38115Up to 500MB
Celcom 1-Day Internet PassRM38160500MB
Digi Roaming PassRM5 / RM10 / RM155050MB / 500MB
U Mobile Roam Onz / U Data RoamRoam 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
Yes 4GRM3824500MB
The winner
U Mobile doesn’t charge anything when you’re in one of these 12 countries, making it the clear winner in terms of affordability. For countries not listed, U Mobile charges RM10 or RM36 per day for unlimited data, depending on the country.

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
*Availability depends on your plan

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…

The winner
The real winner goes to U Mobile for offering unlimited usage for many apps commonly used by Malaysians – this includes Waze, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and more.

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%.

The winner
It’s a tie between Maxis and Celcom. According to OpenSignal’s metrics, both telcos score high on 4G coverage, although Celcom has a small edge. Celcom also beats all other telcos for upload speed experience and ties with Maxis for the best video experience. On the other hand, Maxis clinched the highest scores for download speed experience and latency experience.

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.

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