28 sen Story : Blue Is Out, X Has Return!

Not a long time ago, in one of my previous posts, I did write about the best prepaid service when you are 25 years old and above (click here to read). I threw in all the arguments, assumptions and comparisons and the final winner is Celcom Blue. I did mention the reason why Celcom Xpax was not included, simply because the rate are irrational and not realistic enough, at least in my point of view.

Celcom Blue holds the best prepaid title for quite a time, until 8th April 2011, situation somehow has changed.

Celcom has revised the rate of the Xpax plan, and they call it a ‘new’ Xpax. The naming convention is somehow confusing, at least for current Celcom prepaid customers, because previous prepaid plan is also called ‘New Xpax’. Simply, they refer this all-new, revised rate as ‘Xpax 2’ or simply ‘X2’. This supposely new plan was launched in conjuction with the Celcom owned social networking website called Kolony.

What are the difference, you ask. Well, continue reading folks!

Old X and New X: In Depth

The first and most obvious difference, of course, as I mentioned, is the rate. The rate itself is somehow employ a very different concept – calls are charged based on 10 or 5 minutes block, and not 60 seconds block as before. SMS rate also has been revised, no longer flat rate to all operators, but based on on-net and off-net, but cheaper. Refer to the table below

Comparison between old and new Xpax. Click the image to go to Xpax website.

Eh, the call block is now longer, I am better off or worst off? Yes, many had asked this question, they wonder if this new charging block is more value for money. If you call for 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes or 10 minutes, you will be charged 28 sen, roughly, you may assume those who often do short calls will be in disadvantaged.  Is it value for money? If you asked me, my answer is YES, and my arguments are

FIRST: You do not have to rush off on your conversation. Since you pay 28 sen for 10 minutes call (on-net), you have much longer time to say all your things clearly, less errors, and no more misunderstood words. Relax, take your time, sweeten you words. Even if you have dragged your calls until one hour, you only pay RM1.68, and this is a lot more cheaper than 8pax/15pax, Activ10 and Friends & Family. Chatters heaven eh? Count for yourself if you do not believe me!

SECOND: Longer call block does not mean hell to individuals who love to do short calls. Let us take a real life example. Suppose you need to make 3 different calls, the first call is about 5 minutes, the second call is 2 minutes, and the third call is just 30 seconds in length. If you use the new Xpax, the total cost is (28 sen + 28 sen + 28 sen = 84 sen), whereas on other operator, total cost is (36 sen x 5 minutes) plus (36 sen x 2 minutes) plus (36 sen x 1 minute) = RM 2.88. Obviously, which is better in terms of cost?

THIRD: Dropped calls, or those voicemail, you hate it! You talk with your sweetheart for about 5 minutes and suddenly your batteries died on you. Damn, dropped call, and you already spent 60 sen for the call (assuming your sweetheart is on your 8pax/Activ10 list, which is 12sen/minute). If you on new Xpax plan, well, it cost just 28 sen. Repeat as necessary.

OK, some of you are not born as chatters, or you hate to speak out. So voice rate is not your main concern, and you ask, how about the SMS rate? The old Xpax propagated the idea of one-flat rate which is 10 sen per SMS, all network, all time. Owh, ok, competitive, even Hotlink and DiGi charge the same. The new Xpax, however, is no longer one-flat rate, and the rate now is based on destination network. Oh well, a backward step, you laughed. Wait, the rate is even better, 1 sen to Celcom and 5 sen to other networks. Owh, that is damn cheap, almost similar with SOX/OUX and Hotlink Youth Club. Now exercise your thumb mate! MMS? Still a flat rate of 35 sen to all network, and one-day unlimited data for RM5 (pay per use is still 10 sen / 10 kb).

Any Shortcoming? Or Hidden Trap?

Yes, the deal is sweet, alluring, seducing, etc. and deep in your mind, you are still skeptical. Wait a minute, with these cheap, inexpensive rate, there must be some conditions, strings, or limitations. You learnt economics, you understand the concept “there is no free lunch”. Indeed, there are several shortcomings, which are;

FIRST: The 8pax/15pax feature is no longer available. No more list of preferred numbers. This is understandable since the call and SMS rate are already quite cheap, and having the said feature will be redundant. Why limit yourself to 8 or 15 people when you can call/SMS everyone without worrying about the cost?

SECOND: The day of free one week call and SMS during your birthday will gone forever when you switch to this plan. Yes folks, all those bonuses you used to love (Birthday Bonus, SMS Bonus, Loyalty Bonuses, etc.) are not available in this new Xpax plan. Ouch!

THIRD: I am not very sure about this, but if you are SOX/OUX user and switch to this plan, your  no-expiry-until-25 validity period will be forfeited. You will reverted to normal prepaid system RM30 for 30 days validity period, RM10 for one week thingy. No way! So, the strategy is, just stay with SOX/UOX until 25 years old or if you want to switch, use the Extended Validity feature (RM30 for one year, RM50 for two years).

Give-and-take, of course! If not, how to make money? The shortcomings above are not really a big deal for those who not on UOX/SOX. If you are from other telco, or even a postpaid user, you might find this new Xpax is better, and can help you to manage the cost.

Why Only Now?

Personally, I am also very surprised when Celcom announce this new plan, and it totally makes other Celcom prepaid plans (UOX/SOX, old Xpax, Blue and Sukses) and well as contemporary prepaid plans (Hotlink & DiGi Prepaid) are the loser. Even some of my friends, wondering, why Celcom release this plan so late, when people already had perception that Xpax is the most expensive prepaid on Earth? The answer is with Celcom, do ask them if you want to know. But let me give my personal, humble opinion.

First, I think lah, the other Celcom prepaid plans (old Xpax, Blue, Sukses) act as a ‘stop-gap’ to fill the unserved market before this new Xpax is launched. Celcom Blue targets 25 years and above, the Sukses targeted those foreign workers, and old Xpax, well, I think just a dummy plan since most 25 years old and below go for SOX/OUX. Thus, when this new Xpax is launched, I think most on Celcom Blue and Sukses will switch to this plan, which offer cheaper rate for local call and SMS compared to their original plan. Users of SOX/UOX might switch as well, but they will lose the validity period, which I think they never want to let go.

Second, most of UOX pioneer users will reach their age of 25, and since UOX rate is applicable until 25 years old, and after that, they will be reverted to normal Xpax. For your information, all Xpax starter pack activated after 8th April 2011 will default to this new Xpax plan, and therefore, when those UOX users reach their age of 25, they will automatically upgraded (or reverted, whichever suitable) to this new plan. Now, see the connection? This new Xpax is actually a continuation of UOX plan, since the rate is almost similar. Therefore, it is a double-edged sword – Celcom hope it can retain the user to continue using Celcom prepaid service and at the same time attract new customers. It is marketing strategy.

How To Switch?

For existing Celcom prepaid users, just type MIG X2 and send to 28882. If this is your first time switch, the cost is F.O.C. and if you had switch plan before (e.g. old Xpax > Blue and now to new Xpax), you will be charged RM5.

For user of other telco, you have two options, either buy a new Xpax starter pack (a new mobile number), or MNP your current number to this new Xpax plan, if you want to keep your current mobile number.

For Celcom Postpaid user, I am not very sure if you can switch from postpaid to prepaid. Just call 1111 or go to Celcom Centre and asked them.


Author: Audi Faliq Ibrahim

Executive at Yayasan Basmi Kemiskinan. Alumni of International Islamic University Malaysia. An old soul and #INTJ.

15 thoughts on “28 sen Story : Blue Is Out, X Has Return!”

  1. nk tya pendapat lah kan, sy bru beli new xpax ni, dan membuat panggilan dr johor ke kedah,
    sy berbual dlm 18 minit gitu, dr rm5 balance tinggal 3.18 sen cmtu..

    knp plak eh..? kata 10 minit 28sen.. sy call lebih kurg 20 minit patutnya 56 sen je.. ye x?

    ada apa2 mklumat yg sy x tau ke? termiss?


    1. Erm, sepatutnya macam tu lah. Ada beberapa kemungkinan mengapa perkara ini berlaku.

      Pertama, cuba saudari check adakah pelan saudari adalah pelan Xpax yang baru. Saudari SMS “bal” dan hantar ke 2888 (ini adalah untuk check baki dan pelan kita). Jika SMS yang diterima menunjukkan pelan yang betul (New Xpax atau X2), jadi bukan masalah pelan.

      Kedua, dari pemerhatian saya, saudari mungkin membuat panggilan kepada nombor bukan Celcom. Sebab dari maklumat yang saudari berikan, saudari dicaj sebanyak RM1.82. Jika saudari call nombor Celcom, betul, saudari sepatutnya dicaj RM0.56 untuk 20 minit (tapi ingat, jika saudari call 20 minit dan 1 saat, sudah RM0.84, sebab blok panggilan 10 minit). Kalau panggilan ke nombor bukan Celcom pula, caj nya adalah RM0.28 untuk setiap 5 minit, jadi untuk 20 minit, akan dikenakan sebanyak RM1.12.

      Dalam kes saudari, dari anggaran caj tersebut, saudari MUNGKIN membuat panggilan ke nombor bukan Celcom selama lebih kurang 20 minit lebih. Sekarang ini disebabkan kita boleh bertukar ke rangkaian lain dengan mengekalkan nombor yang sama (menggunakan MNP), jadi amat sukar untuk membezakan 012 adalah Maxis dan 019 adalah Celcom, mungkin ya mungkin juga tidak. Sekali lagi, ini mungkin andaian saya.

      Sebab ketiga, sistem Celcom belum ‘update’ baki yang sepatutnya. Saya sendiri merupakan pengguna Celcom Prepaid selama hampir 6 tahun, kadang2 sistem prepaid Celcom ini ‘lambat’ update baki kita. Dia akan tolak lebih sikit, dan selepas beberapa ketika, dia akan adjust kepada penggunaan sebenar. Jadi kalau kita check baki sejurus selepas kita habis membuat satu-satu panggilan, baki yang ditunjukkan mungkin ada ralat beberapa sen (atau ringgit). Tetapi keadaan ini jarang berlaku, dan selalunya berlaku bila sistem dalam keadaan busy (ramai pengguna buat panggilan/SMS/dsb). Saya sendiri pernah ‘hilang’ RM50 dari baki saya kerana ‘overcharge’ data service, dan bila saya membuat aduan kepada Celcom, mereka akui sistem mereka ada masalah pada ketika itu dan RM50 saya dipulangkan kembali.

      Jika saudari telah pasti keadaan-keadaan di atas bukan sebabnya, saya cadangkan saudari call Celcom Careline di 1111 dan tanya staff yang bertugas. Mungkin ada error pada nombor saudari. Sebab setakat ini, tidak banyak aduan dari pengguna lain yang menggunakan New Xpax ini, kawan-kawan saya pun setakat ini tiada masalah seperti saudari. Harap ini dapat membantu.


  2. thanks..
    sy mmg baru beli je xpax tu ahad lps.. mmg kt paket new xpax.. 28sen/10min ada tulis lg..

    dan no kt kedah tu mmg no celcom.. sbb x de tukar apa2.. confirm celcom..

    ntah lah eh.. mgkin kali pertama ni.. jd sy tgk plak len kali sy buat call mcm mana..
    sbb jd mcm tu..cam ralat plak nk guna new xpax ni.. hehe ..
    padahal sy beli sbb nk kurangkan penggunaan postpaid celcom sy.. hiks

    tp apa2 pun.. terima kasih byk2…


  3. salam..nk tnya, lao da switch ke x2 dri uox, bole wt lg ke extended validity yg rm30 setahun tu ? lao bole tanak dy expired…huhu..tp lao la bole wt, dlm 6 bln kna tpup 30 lak ea?


    1. W’salam.

      Servis ‘Extended Validity’ boleh digunakan oleh semua jenis Celcom Prepaid (Xpax, Blue) dan semestinya saudari boleh menggunakannya. Yang dimaksudkan dalam enam bulan kena topup RM30 tu, bukan bermaksud saudari perlu topup RM30 sekaligus. RM30 itu adalah nilai terkumpul dalam tempoh 6 bulan, jadi saudari boleh topup katakan RM10 sebulan dalam 3 bulan, atau RM5 sebulan dalam 6 bulan, atau kombinasi-kombinasi yang lain, asalkan jumlah terkumpulnya adalah RM30 dan dalam tempoh 6 bulan selepas diaktifkan.

      Harap penerangan ini dapat membantu.


  4. I hv been used celcom prepaid for more than 8 yrs..X2 plan is the most valuable prepaid plan..I make a call to S’wak region(celcom) frnd of mine for near by one hrs and I can believe it, I just pay for lest then RM2.Big thumb for X2. But the others plan like Plan International is so expensive.why?


    1. Every prepaid call plan has its own target market and features, in order to serve different segments on the market. It is a basic marketing idea, let us think, why carmakers make different type of cars as all of it mean to transport us from point A to point B?

      Celcom, in particular, is exercising the marketing concept of ‘segmentation’. New Xpax primary target is youth who generally talks and SMS a lot, thus the rate for call & SMS is relatively ‘lower’ than competitors. Celcom International is meant for foreign workers in Malaysia, hence the IDD rate and feature are better than Xpax but relatively expensive to call locally.

      Yes, no problem if the Telco wants to have only one plan, but in long term it is not effective. DiGi has done this before, and somehow the market did not respond well and now segment it into two major plan. But, if not carefully planned, a multiple plan approach also can fail, remember the old Celcom 3X (Xcel, Xceed, Xplore) plan?


  5. Recently I asked one telco vendor about the Celcom’s New Xpax plan and I was told that I had to top up RM10 every week in order to enjoy the 28 sen per 10 or 5 minutes rate. Is this true or the telco vendor was simply ignorant? If it is true that I have to top up RM10 every week, I will be accumulating credits since I am a light user of voice service and it is also akin to using a postpaid plan where I have to pay a fixed amount every month even though I don’t use it very much. Please clarify.

    Thank you.


    1. Come to think of it, each top-up of RM10 provides a validity period of one week. Perhaps that’s what was meant by the telco vendor i.e. I need to top up RM10 every week in order to be able to make calls or send sms. However, as far as I know, I can still top up less than RM10 with a shorter validity period. What is the minimum top-up amount available? Can I extend the validity period of the New Xpax plan by paying RM30 or RM50 for one or two-year validity period? If I migrate from my Celcom Blue plan to the New Xpax plan, will my extended validity period be transferred as well or will I have to pay RM30 or RM50 again in order to extend the validity period of the New Xpax plan?

      Thank you for any responses to my queries.


      1. For physical top-up card, the lowest denomination is RM5, but you can top-up any amount as low as RM1 via ePay machines or selected Telco dealer.

        About the extended validity service, I am not very sure but most likely Celcom will retain the validity period because the only difference between Xpax and Blue is on the rate and supplementary services, and no explicit T&C that mention about affecting the existing validity.


    2. As far as I am concerned, there is no condition for us to enjoy the 28 sen rate, you may refer to Celcom Xpax website. I think the the seller simply do not understand the concept, or perhaps, staging a ‘marketing tactic’ or ‘instructed’ by competing Telcos to say inccorect info in order to prevent people from switching to Xpax. Who knows?

      Thus, you can mark my words, THERE IS NO MINIMUM TOP-UP whatsoever in order to enjoy the rate. If you still sceptical, just google and you can read countless testimonials and first-hand experiences on this new Xpax plan.

      Myself, I am a Celcom Blue user.


    1. Celcom First adalah pelan terbaru, menggantikan Prabayar Celcom Blue dan (mungkin) juga Xpax sedikit masa lagi.

      Saya kurang pasti sama ada pengguna Celcom First boleh bertukar ke X2, tetapi saudari boleh cuba dengan menaip MIG X2 dan hantar ke 28882.

      Harap maklum. :-)


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