Are you moving from a postpaid to a prepaid plan or are you looking for a new telecommunications provider? You may be looking for a mobile introductory package for your children, or a package offering the best value for money.
Recently, a multitude of new unlimited prepaid plans from Celcom, Maxis and Tune Talk were launched in June. They all offer an unlimited data quota – but which one is worth your money?
To help you decide, we’ve compared them to each other. We have also added a few other prepaid plans from Digi, RedONE, Tune Talk and Unifi in the same price range that aim to provide you with more data.
Here’s how these plans stack up:
Next, we will go deeper into the different aspects of these plans:
Now is a good time to be a consumer. Celcom, Maxis and U Mobile unveiled their unlimited prepaid plans in June, and Digi joined the fray by releasing a new prepaid plan with – well, not quite unlimited data – but it gives you unlimited access to YouTube, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.
If you are a heavy data user, unlimited plans from Celcom, Maxis and U Mobile are a great deal. However, although these plans are advertised as “unlimited”, telecom operators generally impose a Fair Use Policy (FUP), which means that your available data is unlimited … if you don’t abuse it. Under the FUP, your telephone operator may have a data quota in place – if you use your quota, you will still have Internet access, but at a reduced speed:
- Celcom: no strict quota limit, but your bandwidth can be limited, suspended or stopped in case of abuse
- Maxis Hotlink: 50 GB for monthly subscriptions
- U Mobile: no publicly disclosed hard quota
2. Speed and latency
Opensignal found that Maxis has the highest download speeds and the lowest latency (a lower latency score means that you will experience less delay when playing multiplayer games or streaming video).
But if you subscribe to unlimited plans from Celcom, Maxis or U Mobile, you will not be able to benefit from these speeds. The speed of your data will be limited to 3 Mbit / s or 6 Mbit / s. For the context, Google recommends 2.5 Mbps to broadcast 720p videos on YouTube, 5 Mbps to stream 1080p videos and 20 Mbps to stream 4k videos. So depending on your needs, it’s up to you to decide if the trade-off between unlimited data and speed will be worth it.
Remember that you cannot always see the maximum speed promised due to a number of factors that interfere with the signal. In most cases, you can see about 80 to 90% of the speeds capped under optimal conditions.
Overall, Celcom has the best 4G coverage in Malaysia. RedONE and Tune Talk users also benefit because their telecom operators operate on the same Celcom network.
This divide is more noticeable in rural and densely populated areas. Opensignal found that in less populated areas, Celcom users could connect to 4G services 74.3% of the time, while U Mobile users could only connect 40.6% of the time. So while U Mobile’s plans are generally good value for money, they are only worth it if you stay in an urban area.
4. Calls and SMS
Remember when we mainly used our phones to make calls and texts? If connecting to people via a good, fashionable phone call is important to you, consider Celcom, Maxis and U Mobile.
Tune Talk has the most expensive call rate in this comparison, charging 22 sen per minute (or RM3.30 for a 15-minute conversation) for calls to non-Tune Talk users.
5. Other functionalities
Among the plans, the additional features of Digi and Unifi seem the most useful. The choice between one or the other will depend on whether you are a heavy or light user.
Otherwise, if you want to earn miles points, you can earn Tune Talk points on your recharges and convert them into AirAsia BIG points.
Which prepaid plan to choose?
Based on this comparison, we think the plans from Celcom and U Mobile offer good value for money if you want unlimited calls, unlimited data and hotspot availability. U Mobile has decent coverage in urban areas, but if you need better coverage or if you live in a rural area, go for Celcom (the Opensignal app is useful for determining which phone operator has the best coverage in your region).
On the other hand, for users who want to access the Internet without a speed limit of 3 Mbps or 6 Mbps, Internet Cili Padi by Digi looks like a decent alternative which currently offers 9 GB (6 GB + 3 GB of promotional data for its recent launch) of broadband Internet.
But in the end, although we have made some suggestions based on assumptions about your usage, the best plan for you will depend on your budget and your specific needs.
Our sincere thanks to