Posts Tagged ‘3g’

Mobile Number Portability and the switch to DiGi

The one telco that I have never had the pleasure of dealing with yet, is DiGi. I’ve heard good things about them, and was slowly tiring of my Maxis subscription (a SIM card that I’ve held for over eight years, running mostly idle when I wasn’t living in the country).

So on Saturday, at about 8pm, I walked into the DiGi store in Pavilion and made the switch. I listed what was important to me:

  • My credit limit – I have a pretty high one, because I travel a lot
  • A reliable network, for both voice and data
  • Automatic international roaming turned on immediately
  • Guaranteed free calls to supplementary lines (and vice versa)
  • Never cutting my line off, if the credit limit is reached — I am after all a direct debit customer

DiGi confirmed this was all possible. I handed them my IC, and credit card (for direct debit purposes), and spent less than ten minutes at the store. The customer service rep, and the sales person were all very professional. There was a minor scare about needing a passport for international roaming, but the customer rep waived that requirement. I was told this process can take anywhere up to five days. They handed over my SIM card for safe-keeping.

Hardly thinking about it, I had an enjoyable Sunday, till I got the SMS that told me my switch is complete! What, that was about 24-hours turnaround, amazing, no?

Maxis said:

We acknowledge your request to move. Thank you for being with Maxis and we hope to serve you again in the future. For further queries, please call 1800 821 123

DiGi said:

Your line is about to be activated on the DiGi network. Please replace your SIM card with your new DiGi SIM card as soon as your current line stops working.

Being naturally impatient, I just switched SIM cards even before my current line stopped working. Upon powering up my phone, it said “DiGi” gloriously – no more “MY MAXIS”.

I made a quick call to ensure I had everything setup accurately. I did. My credit limit too was reasonable. After a flurry of service settings, everything on my phone just worked. I was on their EDGE network “diginet”, and I could make calls with no issue. I had no service interruption.

So, what do I get over at DiGi that I didn’t at Maxis?

  • For the same commitment of RM250/month, I get unlimited amounts of calls to any network, or local calls in Malaysia, including SMS messages, till it reaches RM600, and after that, I will pay 10 sen/minute or 10 sen/SMS.
  • RM66/month, unlimited EDGE. I was paying RM99/month for “unlimited” Mobile Broadband, at usually HSDPA speeds (3.5G). Note that there are caps, in theory, it was just never imposed on me.
  • RM30/month supplementary lines get unlimited calls and SMS to the principal line. With Maxis, this was capped at 15 hours (about half an hour per day!), with 1,500 SMS messages.
  • Great customer service – be it in store, or via the phone. I wish Maxis had an ounce of the customer service DiGi has.

With my limited testing, I can report that from Klang – Cheras, on the Kesas, I had one call drop; the situation was similar from Cheras – Klang on the Federal Highway – the call dropped around Glenmarie. EDGE is nowhere near as fast as 3G or 3.5G – YouTube’s mobile client ended up buffering ever 20 seconds or so, something that was completely smooth on Maxis. At events, sometimes I use Qik to live stream the event – this fails on EDGE. Uploads of between 5-15KB/s is just not enough to sustain video going up into the cloud. Coverage wise, I’m seeing it at all places I’ve been to so far – Klang, PJ, Cheras, Bangsar – so I can only assume they’re doing well in the Klang Valley (where I spend most of my time, no?). Also, video calls don’t work on the network, as its not 3G enabled, yet.

So EDGE on DiGi might be slow… but EDGE on DiGi seems darned reliable. No connection drop outs, just enjoyable working, (albeit slow) Internet. DiGi is rolling out 3G in some areas, and I don’t believe customers who have a mobile plan automatically roam to 3G there, but when time permits, I’ll check it out.

Oh, and I mentioned Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in the title, and never talked about it at all, even. That’s because it just worked. My 012-prefixed number, just works on the DiGi network. No problems, no questions, no service interruptions. So if your current telco provider is giving you the shits, consider moving! The comments I’ve received so far indicate lots of people wanting to move from Maxis to DiGi — a win, as long as they can take on new customers and keep capacity.

Watch out for my next post, probably when I get my bill, to tell you how DiGi performs, overall. Are you a recent switcher? Tell me about it.

Disclosure: I have no interests in either Maxis or DiGi. Though I am contemplating purchasing shares in the company (DiGi) in the near future, because I truly believe that the more modern and demanding Malaysian, will want greater customer service and cheaper prices, and DiGi seems to fill that niche quite well. They seem to be industry shakers in Malaysia (despite the government trying to retard them by not issuing them a 3G license when the other telcos were), while Celcom and Maxis tend to play catch-up.