I’ve been a loyal DiGi user since my high school days.
In terms of prepaid, DiGi (016) managed to give us the best call & SMS rates, Maxis (012) a very close 2nd best, followed by Celcom (019), TM Touch (013), & TIME (017).
Celcom was the most expensive to use at the time, where you have to top up for network access which differs from the credit that you can actually use for calls / SMS.
e.g Topup RM50 for 50 days network access, and you will have to topup another RM50 for call/SMS credits; while DiGi, you topup RM50 which includes 30 days network access (which is called credit expiry these days)
But in terms of network coverage, Celcom was the best, (which is essential at the time since our place is full of trees and a lot of remote towns like Papar, Tuaran was not developed at the time.
There were no 010 / 014 / 018 / 0111 in my high school days, but I recall 010 did appear before the Prepaid Era, my father’s time, but had problems with network hacking etc. And getting a VIP number with 3 numbers in a row like 016-8306668 was easy, and the new pack was sold for RM50 but it came with RM50 credits inside, which means you are virtually paying nothing to the simpack. (Those were the days!) These days you only get a RM8.50 pack with RM5 inside. And those VIP numbers with 3 repeating numbers in a row with good numbers like 8883 can go up to few hundreds of dollars each pack.
And then slowly, Celcom and TM Touch merged, which then followed by the Maxis and TIMEdotcom merger. DiGi was still standing tall even with intense competition from these mergers, but as DiGi gave the best prepaid rates, almost everyone in my school who owns a handphone uses DiGi as it is truly affordable for students like us at the time.
Kids nowadays are lucky to have very low rates and with special packs like the Hotlink Youth Club, Celcom’s UOX, SOX & DiGi campus, it’s so affordable that you can just call them without thinking about the credit. But in our times, we like to “PLAY MISS CALL”, even under very urgent situations, and hoping the other person would call back and you get to answer it before he hangs or cancels the phone. You’re the winner if you get to answer the call as it’s automatically charge RM0.15, so the caller would just let the call run since it was charged already. Even with the SMS craze at the time, we still love to “PLAY MISS CALL”, flirting girls.
Thanks to the wonders of mobile phones, I actually get to knew my wife better from “PLAYING MISS CALLS” with her during our school days. She didn’t know my number at the time, but she went on to ask around in class as we were in the same class and finally she knew it was me, and we got along together after starting to text each other more frequently.
I’ll look into the 3G problems that I and most of you are facing, later in the Part II. Stay tuned for my update.