Malaysian Telcos Are Screwing the Galaxy S3 1

Firstly, Malaysian Telcos are not renowned for being nice. Every mobile user in Malaysia would have at least one horror story to talk about. This is so prevalent in our daily lives, that it has numbed our consumer senses. Mobile Zombiefication… That’s what it is.

Secondly, based on the charges for mobile data, Malaysian telcos are one of the worst in the world. It’s not exactly cheap (based on living standards), and to add salt to the wound, it’s not exactly fast either.

For what we claim as ‘Bolehland’ it is pretty clear that some things are ‘tak boleh’. What a great tribute to the Najib’s premiership.

However, we live in exciting times. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has recently launched and will now be exclusively available on Maxis, DiGi and Celcom.
The problem with that is not the phone, but the telcos and the exorbitant data rates.

I am currently using DiGi’s SmartPlan 68. I have been using it for almost 2 years, since getting a HTC Legend on contract. I don’t call and sms as much as i use data, so the SmartPlan fits the bill very well.  The speed is capped at 1MB and occasionally bugs out for no apparent reason. There are rumours that DiGi will launch LTE (Long Term Evolution) in the third quarter of this year, but nothing has emerged to verify that. I welcome this new LTE service, and will probably be one of the early adopters here.

There’s also rumours about a LTE version of the Galaxy S3 coming soon, but it’s all ‘hush-hush’ and taboo words for now. 

I have heard that Maxis is faster, at about 7MB speeds, but their latest S3 plans indicates that nothing has changed in the way they conduct business. The problem with Maxis is that the data hasn’t moved to the unlimited data format, and overly enthusiastic first-time Android users will suffer from unbridled data usages. It sad to see such backward thinking from Maxis, since it is considered as the best telco in Malaysia in recent years.

Celcom seems to be taking their time with the S3 promo. Good for them (should you choose to be optimistic about it).

Anyway, the S3 is an amazing device. It’s fast, smooth and cutting edge unlike other devices in the market. It is no surprise that the 3 top telcos in Malaysia would want their greasy hands on it.

But how to they charge exactly. I shall compare their HIGHEST plan, to compare  with.

Maxis – RM 999  device / RM 968 Advanced+first month data / RM 50+68 for voice and data. This totals to a MINIMUM of RM 3831 throughout the contract of 2 years.

Malaysian Telcos Are Screwing the Galaxy S3 2

DiGi – RM 1299 device / RM 600 Advanced payment / 88 SmartPlan (data only). This totals to a MINIMUM RM 3411 throughout the contract of 2 years – provided you didn’t make any SMS or Calls, and survived solely on data. assuming you make RM 30 worth of calls and SMS per month, the total would increase to RM4131, which isn’t all too bad considering you’re getting unlimited data as compared to Maxis’ plan.
Malaysian Telcos Are Screwing the Galaxy S3 3
Celcom – It’s as low as RM 1398 from their website. No other information is available.
Malaysian Telcos Are Screwing the Galaxy S3 4
That said, the prices are extremely high considering that the USA economy is absolutely inflated, and they are getting high end devices for 199 USD up to 250 USD on contract.

So, which would be my recommendation?
Firstly, i am very don’t see myself leaving DiGi…
So i’m probably not going to switch my internet provider.
I’ll probably just trade in my current device and pay the difference for it.
And i’ll still enjoy 2 years warranty instead of 1.
Truly, that would make little difference, but that would mean that i won’t have to be on any contract for that (and telcos might be nicer to you to make you stay).

However, that said, things in Bolehland must change for the better.


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