Along with their U Mobile 018 Prepaid, U Mobile has introduced 3 new postpaid plans earlier this month, namely U38, U68 & U98. U38 is not an entirely new product as it was launched several months earlier as U Mobile’s first postpaid commercial offering in April.
Since U Mobile is pushing on their per second billing, U38 was revised from having 15 seconds block to 1 second block and reduced their off net rate slightly from 28 sen/minute to 24 sen/minute (0.4 sen/sec).
The postpaid plans are as follows:
To begin with, U Mobile is now consistent that it offers per second billing and no access fee with their monthly commitment based plans. As mentioned in the U Mobile 018 Prepaid post, per second billing is proven to save more and it is expected that these plans would somehow help save in the long run.
On the plans specificly, U38 is currently the lowest commitment based plan in the market. This should not be confused with DiGi’s DG20 which the RM20 denotes subscription/access fee which does not contribute to your usage. The U38 rate is slightly on the high side with 24 sen/minute for off-net as compared to DiGi’s DG20 20 sen/minute. Overall U38 may be cost saving for low usage subscribers due to its commitment based usage and per second billing.
U68 & U98 are essentially the same thing. Both share the same rates for calls, SMS, MMS and Data. The only difference is the monthly commitment which is RM30/month. So what do you get for commiting for an extra RM30/month? According to their phone bundling options on their website, you could get a Samsung Z140 for FREE and other various models from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola & LG for several hundred ringgit cheaper than normal.
From the way we see it, U98 is just a one time phone discount option on top of U68. At the moment, it seems that the bundled phones are to be paid outright as we don’t see any monthly installment plans. In this time of rising costs of living, it is more sensible that U98 phone bundle repayment is done on a monthly installment package tied to the 18 month contract period.
Another thing to note is that U38 is the only postpaid that comes with FREE 2 Months Data Usage. We are surprised that U68 & U98, with a higher commitment fee does not come with this free Data usage. However they are also giving an option for subscribers to opt for Surf with U data package for RM58/month until December 2008 (Normal price RM68/month). Of course as usual, the “Unlimited Surfing” is subject to certain terms & conditions.
Free Calls? What Free Calls?
We just gotta mention about this! On their website, U Mobile claims of offering tens of thousands of FREE CALLS with its new postpaid plans with U38 offering 12,000 FREE calls, U68 with 34,000 FREE calls and U98 with 49,000 FREE calls. At first we thought U Mobile is doing something radical in the local telco scene but it turns out to be a silly gimmick.
The so called thousands of FREE calls are actually the minimum of seconds in the commitment which is already been PAID for in the monthly minimum commitment! Plus, who makes a call that is only 1 second long? It is ridiculous that U Mobile is daring to make such silly claim of whopping free calls. Sure it is catchy but the consumers aren’t that stupid.
Overall it is a great attempt from U Mobile to create more competition in the postpaid market and their per second billing for postpaid is the 1st of its kind in Malaysia. As mentioned before on their coverage, U Mobile is still hampered by its limited 3G coverage and dealers which are currently concentrated in the Klang Valley. DiGi has already responded to U Mobile with their New Postpaid plans and we certainly look forward to Celcom & Maxis’s counter attack.