U Mobile’s prepaid business has been growing steadily, thanks to its aggressive plans and freebies. Its POWER Prepaid plan is an industry benchmark, thanks to its low-entry fee and unmatched bundled benefits. Well, it’s about to get better. Team orange has announced that it’s giving 3GB of free data to its prepaid subscribers. But wait, there’s a caveat. Read on.
A POWER Prepaid Starter Pack costs just MYR8.50. With it comes 200MB of high speed data (up to 4G LTE), MYR5 of preload airtime credit, 150 minutes of free calls (on-net, valid for 10 days). Basic internet speeds of 64Kbps is bundled, subject to a fair usage policy (FUP). Call rates to all networks is 5sen/30s, the lowest in the prepaid segment. SMS to all networks is 8sen/SMS.
So what exactly has changed?
If you remember, U Mobile gives you 1GB of free high-speed data per month, for life, when you do a one-time RM10 reload. Yes, you read that right. Free for life. The only catch is that you need to keep the line active. Which means, the bare minimum of MYR1 per day.
You can also add on UMI or MB data riders if you need more high-speed data.
The validity of the prepaid pack is 10 days (active) and 60 days of passive period.
What’s different now is that U Mobile is throwing in 2GB worth of free basic internet on top of the free for life 1GB high-speed data. An upgrade of sorts. Previously, U Mobile’s basic internet data quota was unspecified, but assumed to be 500MB.
Note that other telcos like Maxis, Digi and Celcom currently have data caps of 500MB each for free basic internet. As a refresher, Maxis’ #Hotlink was the first prepaid to offer free basic internet.
The quest to be ‘always on’
In the era of 4G LTE, and upcoming LTE-A with speeds in excess of 3Gbps DL/1.5Gbps UL, what can one do with 64Kbps basic internet? Well, the good news is that you’ll never be disconnected*. You’ll never be completely data-less even if you’ve run out of prepaid credits*.
*This is assuming you don’t ever hit the 2GB data quota.
64Kbps is good enough for WhatsApp messaging, social updates, basic browsing, email and even navigating via Google Maps or Waze.
Hypothetically, if you use 64Kbps of data for 24 hours, you’ll be burning around 691.2MB per day.
1KB (Kilobyte) = 8Kb (Kilobit)
1MB (Megabyte) = 1,024Kb (Kilobit)
64kbps (Kilobits per second) = 0.008MBps (Megabyte per second)
0.008 x 60 x 60 x 24 = 691.2MB per day
It’s highly unlikely you’ll be using data for 24 hours in a day of course, but hey, it’s “good to know.”
By U Mobile standards, this isn’t a huge update. However, it does reaffirm its competitiveness in the prepaid segment. After all, who doesn’t like ‘free’? Let’s see how the competitors react to this.