Travellers to Malaysia who are on a Singtel mobile line now have a cheaper option for data roaming.
A new monthly subscription roaming plan, which was introduced last October, grants Singtel postpaid subscribers 1GB of data for $10 a month on Malaysia's Maxis network.
This is cheaper than prepaid offerings by Malaysian telcos like Maxis, Celcom or DiGi, which cost at least RM30 (S$11) for the same amount of data.
Users can choose to activate the service at any time. Activation via the MySingtel app is free, but a phone activation over the Singtel hotline costs $10. The service, a tie-up with Malaysian telco Maxis, is automatically renewed every month until it is cancelled.About
250,000 Singtel subscribers visit Malaysia every month, the telco said.
It is the only Singapore telco which offers such an economical service. All three - Singtel, StarHub and M1 - offer daily roaming plans costing $15 a day for unlimited data while overseas. Singtel also has a subscription for 200MB of data for $5.
For travellers who make multiple trips to Malaysia, the 1GB of data can be used any time within the month.
Though the service is only for data, users say a lot of communication can be achieved without the usual voice and text networks.
"1GB of data is more than enough for e-mail, WhatsApp messaging and to surf the Internet for a few days," said tax manager Lawrence Lee, 40, a Malaysian who works in Singapore and returns home to Johor Baru during the weekends.
This subscription would look attractive to Singtel subscribers now purchasing prepaid data SIM cards in Malaysia, say mobile analysts.
Said Mr Avinash Sachdeva, a senior industry analyst based in market research company Frost & Sullivan's Malaysian office: "It adds up to almost three million subscribers going to Malaysia per year. If Singtel is able to monetise even a small portion of them (through this plan), it represents a significant opportunity that may run - in my estimate - into a couple of extra million dollars in revenue per year."
The most popular telco in Malaysia, Celcom, offers a prepaid SIM card which users can top up RM28 for 800MB of data, which lasts for a month. Maxis, the second-largest Malaysian network, offers a 1GB data SIM for RM30 through its Hotlink card.
This article was first published on Jan 24, 2015.
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