Everything You Should Know About Smartphone Plans

Negotiating a better price on your phone and finding the right mobile internet plan are too much of a hassle. Find out how you can save big bucks by getting them in one go and things you need to pay attention to!

What are the benefits of a smartphone plan?

Unless you plan on using the phone just to play games, surf the Internet on your home Wi-Fi and not make any calls, you’ll eventually need a data & call plan with a telco anyway. Depending on which telco and package you sign up with, the smartphone plans come included with either a 12-month or 24-month contract.

The prices of the phones are subsidised by the telco, so getting a smartphone plan could save you money in the long run, compared to buying the phone from the retailer (at retail price) and then subscribing to a comparable mobile plan later.

Take for instance, an iPhone with a retail price of RM 3,199.00,

Phone Purchased on Retail Price = RM 3,199.00

Mobile Internet Plan = RM 128 x 24 months = RM 3,072.00

Total Spent after 24 months = RM 6,271.00


Purchased via Smartphone Plan:

Subsidised Phone Price from Telco = RM1,990

Mobile Internet Plan = RM128 x 24 months = RM 3,072.00

Total spent after 24 months = RM 5,062.00

Total Saved = RM 1,209.00

Do note that some telcos will require you to pay a deposit or upfront payment of monthly charges, which will then be reimbursed to you over a period of time. Therefore, the amount of money you should be prepared to pay upfront upon registration is equal to the subsidised price of the phone + the deposit or upfront payment.


What happens if I terminate the contract before the end of the contract period?

If you terminate the contract before the end of the contract period, you will need to pay a cancellation fee. The exact amount depends on which telco, plan and the number of months remaining in your contract period.


What happens when I have used up all my quota or allocation for calls and data?

For most telcos, once you have used up the quota for data, there will not be any charges for additional but the connection speed will be “throttled” or slowed down intentionally to be fair to other paying customers using the service as outlined in their Fair Usage Policy.

Therefore, while you may not be able to enjoy crispy clear YouTube videos that used to load in seconds, you should still be able to send and receive simple text messages on apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat.

The good news is, you can opt to “top up” with additional data blocks, but these are usually more expensive per GB compared to your monthly plan charges. For calls, SMS and MMS, telcos may charge additional fees based on either 30-second or 1-minute blocks. We recommend you to check with the respective telcos for more details.


If I do not use up my allocations, can it be carried forward to the next month?

While some telcos give you the leniency of carrying forward unused allocations (Minutes, SMS and data) every month, usually there's a limit on the amount allowed to be carried forward.

Let’s say your billing cycle ends on the 20th of every month, therefore your allocations will be reset on 12:00 am of the 21st and you will begin with the new month’s allocations plus any balance from the previous cycle. Normally, if you have used up a certain percentage of your allocations, your telco may send you an SMS to notify you of your remaining allocations.

Here’s a tip for you to maximise and monitor your usage: “My Data Manager”, a free mobile app for iPhones and Android phones, helps you to track not only your personal mobile data usage, but also your family members’ data usage if you are subscribed to a data-sharing plan.


Who can sign up for these plans?

There are no minimum income requirements for smartphone plans. Whether it is a new registration or you’re an existing prepaid or postpaid subscriber, basically anyone can sign up as long as the smartphone plan fits your requirements and budget, and that you provide the relevant documents upon signing up. If you’re a cat and you’re reading this, kindly speak to your master.

That being said, for any smartphone plans that offer you instalment or Easy Payment Plans, they may run a check on your previous payment records if you are an existing customer.


I’m currently subscribed to another telco. Can I switch over to another telco and keep my phone number?

Forget about sending a million text messages to your friends just to tell them you’ve changed your number! Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is supported by all telcos in Malaysia, so you can now switch or “port” to another telco within Malaysia while keeping your existing mobile number. This means you can take advantage of the benefits or deals offered by another telco.

There are a few things to take note before you decide to switch to a new telco, though:

  • You’ll need to clear all outstanding payments, overdue bills or contracts with your existing telco;
  • If you’re a prepaid user, all existing credit will expire when you have successfully switched to the new telco, so you’d better use up all that credit;
  • You may experience issues on international roaming if you were travelling overseas during the switching process, so we would advise you to stay in Malaysia until the switch is completed;
  • All supplementary lines and accounts must be switched along with the principal account; and,
  • Your existing account is still active.

To switch to a new telco, go to the new telco’s service centre or authorised dealer to request for number porting, fill in a service registration form, pay a processing fee and you will be issued with a new SIM card. Upon approval, the new telco will inform you that you have successfully switched when the new SIM card is activated.

For more information on porting, visit the FAQ Page on the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission website.


What is the difference between 4G LTE and 3G?

“4G” means the fourth generation or data technology for cellular networks, after 3G. “LTE” means “Long Term Evolution” but all you really need to know is, it’s insanely fast!

Gone are the days of waiting forever just to load and watch a 1-minute YouTube video. Super-sharp HD (High Definition) videos now load almost instantly, so you can start enjoying online videos immediately. If that’s what 4G can do for video, imagine what it can do for your casual browsing experience!

Of course, the actual speed of your data connection may vary depending on your surroundings. If you’re surrounded by thick walls or you’re in an underground basement, then the quality of the connection won’t be as good as you’d expect. The speeds mentioned by your telco is usually on a best-case or “best-effort” scenario only.


What about the bills?

When you’re subscribed to a postpaid plan, your telco will send you a bill at the end of every monthly cycle, depending on the date you signed up on. You have the option to either pay at the telco’s service centres, authorised dealers, online banking or register your bills with your credit card to earn cashback.

Check out our list of Best Cashback Credit Cards in Malaysia and find out how you can save on your mobile phone bills via cash rebates. If Cashback is not your thing, there are cards that give extra rewards points on your phone bills. Give our Best Rewards Credit Cards in Malaysia list a try.


The plans’ included free voice calls / SMS / MMS are applicable to what type of usages?

The number of minutes (for calls), SMS and MMS along with the pre-allocated mobile internet quota included in the smartphone plans are only applicable for domestic use only. Call and data charges for other countries outside of Malaysia will vary from telco to telco, and you’ll need to check with your telco whether or not you need to submit a request for International Roaming.

0 comments

Agree or disagree with this post? Questions? Be the first to post!