These days, most telcos offer prepaid plans with special promotions that are only valid for a certain period of time. True to its disruptive approach, U Mobile introduced the Power Prepaid Plan in the middle of last year – and so far has proven to be unmatched in delivering value for subscribers.
U Mobile’s POWER prepaid plan is the company’s latest offering for prepaid users. The SIM starter pack goes for a mere RM8.50 and it comes with a tonne of freebies that last forever. Yes, forever. Plus, it is the only prepaid plan in Malaysia that offers free high-speed Internet every month, also forever.
Each SIM pack comes with RM5 pre-loaded airtime credit as well as free basic Internet. As an activation bonus, U Mobile is giving free 200MB of high-speed Internet and 150 minutes free on-net calls, which are both valid for a good 10 days. As of this writing, no other telcos’ prepaid plans offer free high-speed Internet and calls as activation bonuses.
Besides that, U Mobile continues to provide the lowest call rate possible with the POWER Prepaid plan at only 5sen for 30 seconds. That translates to 10sen/min, which is the joint-lowest offering compared to the other three major telcos in the market, tying with Celcom’s Xpax Magic SIM plan. That’s not all as U Mobile also includes 450 minutes of free on-net calls in its POWER prepaid pack every month.
But is this the best prepaid plan available in Malaysia? Let’s take a closer look at the U Mobile POWER Prepaid plan, and compare them to other popular prepaid plans available in the market: Hotlink FAST, Xpax Magic SIM, and Digi SMART Prepaid.
SIM Pack Price
In recent times, prepaid plan SIM card starter packs have been quite affordable. A Hotlink FAST prepaid pack now costs RM15, Digi’s SMART prepaid pack goes for RM10, while U Mobile’s POWER prepaid pack is priced at RM8.50, and the Xpax Magic SIM starter pack is available for just RM5.
Most of the Internet plans offered by telcos have similar monthly fees, but they differ in terms of what the customer gets. U Mobile offers 1.5GB of mobile data for RM30 a month with its Unlimited Mobile Internet (UMI30) plan. Digi SMART Prepaid has the same quota for the same price, while Xpax Magic SIM gives a lower quota of 1GB for RM25. However, Hotlink FAST is providing 2GB of mobile Internet for RM30. That being said, only half of the quota is usable on 4G LTE, whereas the other half is used on 3G speeds and below.
However, U Mobile is the only telco to offer free 1GB of high-speed Internet for as long as the number is active, which means that’s an instant saving of at least RM25.
Voice and SMS
Based on our observation, U Mobile’s POWER prepaid pack is offering one of the most competitive rates for both calls and SMS in the market right now. The only other telco that offers the same call rate as U Mobile is Xpax’s Magic SIM. For calls, U Mobile is charging 5 sen per 30 seconds to all networks – that’s 10 sen a minute. Hotlink’s FAST is offering 12 sen per 30 seconds (24sen/min) to all networks, while Digi SMART Prepaid charges a whopping 30sen/min – three times more than what U Mobile is charging.
In terms of SMS, U Mobile and Digi offers the lowest rates at 8 sen per SMS, while Xpax and Hotlink charges 12 sen for each SMS sent.
For the bonuses you get by just activating the SIM pack, Hotlink FAST is giving 300MB of high-speed Internet, while Xpax Magic SIM offers 200MB, 75 minutes of calls, and 75 free SMS. Digi may not be giving free Internet or calls as an activation bonus, but it does give RM3 airtime credit every month for the first three months. This free credit will only remain valid for 15 days each month. In contrast, U Mobile gives 200MB of mobile data as soon as you activate the SIM pack. It also includes free YouTube and music streaming from 2am to 10am daily with 150 minutes of free calls to other U Mobile numbers for that month.
Free High-Speed Internet
At the time of writing, U Mobile is the only telco that offers free high-speed Internet with its prepaid plan. To enjoy the free 1GB high-speed Internet every month, you’ll need to make an initial one-time top up of at least RM10. From then on, 1GB of mobile data will automatically be given to you every 30 days. Pretty sweet, right? The only catch is your account has to stay active to be able to use the 1GB quota. U Mobile has set for RM1 to equal one-day validity, so you’d need to top up at least RM30 a month to enjoy the extra 1GB of mobile data.
Free Basic Internet
Free basic Internet allows the customer to stay connected to the Internet even without subscribing to a high-speed mobile Internet plan. The catch is, their connection gets throttled to a significantly slower speed.
For Digi customers, their connection speed will be capped at 32kbps, while Celcom and U Mobile’s throttled Internet speeds are capped at 64kbps. Unfortunately, Hotlink FAST customers do not get to enjoy any free basic Internet, and they are required to purchase a mobile Internet pass to stay connected.
It doesn’t really matter, but there is a quota for those surfing on free basic Internet. For those who want to know, U Mobile sets a limit of 2GB of free basic Internet compared to Celcom and Digi’s cap of 500MB. Considering how long it would take to exhaust 2GB of mobile data on 64kbps, U Mobile’s free basic Internet quota is more than enough for you to send and receive messages on instant messaging app, and if you’re patient enough, to do some light browsing on the Internet.
This also allows U Mobile to state that it is the only telco to offer a total of 3GB of free Internet every month for as long as the account is active.
Cost Of Ownership
Let’s say you have RM50 in your hands and you would like to purchase a prepaid SIM pack with some additional top-up. Which prepaid plan offers the best value for money?
The Xpax MAGIC SIM bundle might be the most affordable of the bunch, but it doesn’t offer as much as what the other telcos are offering. Celcom Wi-Fi hotspots are hard to locate, and the Internet Burung Hantu requires you to be awake during the wee hours of the morning.
Hotlink FAST’s bundle might be the most expensive, but it does offer the highest data quota. That being said, only half of the said quota is usable on 4G. On the other hand, Digi’s SMART Prepaid bundle offers 1.5GB mobile data – the same as U Mobile’s monthly Internet pass – but U Mobile also offers an additional 1GB of high-speed Internet for free every month for as long as the number is active.
Additionally, U Mobile’s POWER Prepaid plan also gives plenty of free calls and free mobile data for YouTube and music streaming.
How can I get U Mobile’s POWER Prepaid plan?
Those of you who already have a prepaid plan can purchase a new U Mobile POWER Prepaid SIM pack from your nearest SIM starter pack retailer. If you wish to keep your number (sentimental attachments, we know), you could switch to U Mobile via Mobile Number Portability (MNP) – doing so will automatically grant you 10 days of active validity. Also, take note that a RM3 fee is applicable for the switch request and all freebies as well as validity from the previous plan will be forfeited, with only your credit balance being brought over.
U Mobile customers may also migrate from their old U Mobile prepaid plan to the POWER Prepaid plan to enjoy the free monthly 1GB high-speed Internet. Here’s how you can do it:
SMS “MIG POWER” to 28118.
If you’re in the market for a new prepaid SIM pack, U Mobile offers the best bang for buck prepaid plan around. The POWER Prepaid plan’s call and SMS rates, as well as the free high-speed Internet just makes the deal so much better.
Of course, you should also consider if U Mobile’s network is strong in your area. If it is, then this might just be the most powerful prepaid plan for you…until some other telco comes up with an even better plan to trump it. Given the fierce competition among telcos these days, it will only be a matter of time.
Disclosure: This article was sponsored by U Mobile.