It’s pretty well known that we Malaysians love our social media. We’re among the top nations that love taking selfies and #foodporn pictures everywhere we go. So it’s no surprise that mobile internet is a must have for us, more so when we’re overseas.
Just a while back, we headed over to Sydney, Australia just so we could be one of the first to test and purchase the Apple Watch. And while we were there, our entire 4 days connectivity was reliant on a U Mobile Prepaid SIM.
If you’re wondering why U Mobile, it’s because we wanted to test out just how well the roaming plan worked for us while spending our time down under. Considering that they were offering up to 50MB free of international roaming a day (at selected countries), we really had to try it out. That’s not all though, you also have the option of enjoying unlimited data roaming for both U Mobile pre-paid and post-paid at only RM30/day. Yep, you read that right. Not 50MB, not 500MB but unlimited internet on roaming.
So before our trip started, gotten ourselves U Mobile’s i60 plan on prepaid for the iPhone, that’s loaded with RM280 worth of credit. While this prepaid plan wasn’t entirely necessary for our overseas trip, we wanted to leverage on U Mobile’s unlimited data offer within Malaysia until 31st July.
That being said, after the RM60 deduction for the i60 plan, we were left with RM220 worth of credit. That would have been more than enough for 4 days of international roaming right? Well that’s what tried to find out.
[nextpage title=”Getting Connected Overseas”]
As soon as we landed over in Sydney, we immediately switched on our the iPhone 6 Plus. Before switching on “Data Roaming”, we would need to take note of its network partner to avoid unnecessary surprises.
In U Mobile’s case in Australia, their local telco partner is Telstra, which we decided to connect to manually, just to be on the safe side. Upon successful connection onto the Telstra network, we got an SMS from U Mobile informing us of their free 50MB a day roaming offer as well as the option to go unlimited for just RM30/day. On top of that, we also received instructions on how to make international calls while in Australia.
We weren’t really going to be making much calls but having the option to do so was welcomed. For calls made from Malaysia to Australia, it would cost RM2.20/minute while SMS are charged at RM2 each. You can call other countries too but varying rates apply.
One thing that we also noted was that despite Telstra having 4G connectivity, we received an SMS from U Mobile that advised us to turn OFF the 4G/LTE mode. This according to their SMS was to ensure stable and constant internet connectivity while we were there.
So on to our data usage. It’s great that U Mobile give 50MB worth of free data at selected countries and that’s good enough for lighter stuff like Whatsapp-ing (minus media downloads) and basic instant messaging. However, with our heavy usage of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and emails, that 50MB quota was soon nearing its limit. The good thing was that as soon as you hit 90% of the 50MB usage, U Mobile will send a reminder SMS that you’re about to finish your free limit. That’s pretty handy as you can decide to switch off data roaming to void extra charges, or if you were like us, continue using with a fixed cap of RM30/day.
So did we really get unlimited data while we were in Sydney? Considering how heavy our data usage was on the first day, U Mobile seems to be living up to its #confirmsure unlimited roaming promise. To max out its full data roaming potential, the U Mobile SIM was our mobile Hotspot with several devices including our a notebook connected to it. By the end of our first day, we used up 1.6GB of data and we’re charged just RM30. That left us with a good RM190 worth of credit remaining.
Our general data usage would continue to hover around 1-1.3GB/day for the course of the next few days (including the free 50MB of course, not that it lasted us long). By the end of our four day trip, we racked up a total usage of 4.2GB for RM120 in total. Not bad considering that the line was used as the de facto internet connection for our work. Throughout the test we even managed to get more than decent speeds, with no hint of line throttling. The best part was we have slightly more than RM100 credit balance remaining before we make our return to Malaysia.
[nextpage title=”Comparison and Conclusion”]
If you’re needing lots of data for a couple of days, it is actually quite reasonably priced and hassle free than getting a local SIM. As comparison, a Telstra prepaid data pass cost A$30 (about RM87) for 3GB and A$50 (about RM145) for 5GB, but with longer validity period. But how does it stack up in cost compared to other Malaysian options?
With its RM30 a day unlimited data roaming offer, U Mobile’s looks pretty hard to beat in terms of value. Let’s take a look at the roaming costs from other options:
Telco C – RM38 a day unlimited data
Telco D – RM36 a day unlimited data
Telco M – RM38 a day unlimited with 500MB high speed quota
Not only U Mobile is more affordable but you get true unlimited usage in Australia. Even for light users who just need a little bit of data, the free 50MB data offer is unbeatable as well. Apart from Australia (Telstra), this offer is also applicable in Cambodia (Cellcard), Hong Kong (PCCW), Indonesia (Telkomsel), Philippines (Globe), Singapore (StarHub), Taiwan (Taiwan Mobile) and Thailand (True). Just make sure you’re connected to the right network manually before you switch on that “Data Roaming” option on your phone.
For the current data roaming partner and offers, head over to U Mobile’s Data Roaming Page for more info.