One of the ways to save on your monthly expenses is by picking the right mobile plan for you. It’s a decision we usually tend to make in haste and as a result end up paying more than needed. However just by carefully considering your mobile requirements and usage habits, you can pick the right plan and save money.
Deciding on what you actually need can quickly get confusing. Within Saudi there are three main mobile network operators with multiple mobile plans. To add to the confusion, plans come with the option of different mobile phones. Therefore you need to prioritize according to what’s more important to you, getting a new phone, data or minutes.
For example, if you care more about the kind of phone you can get from a provider, this can help you cancel out those mobile providers who aren’t offering your phone with a plan.
Another good way to prioritize is to make a checklist of your needs. Consider if you are going to get a new phone or use your old one. Think about how your wish to pay for your plan, prepaid or postpaid and if you wish to pay monthly or get a contract.
Once you have a basic idea of what you want, now consider plans which suit your requirements. We all use our phones in different ways and for different reasons. Therefore, understanding your data and minute usage is important. Try categorizing yourself into either a light, medium or heavy user. For example, the more data you have as part of as your plan, the more you can download music, browse, or check emails on your smartphone. With 1 GB of data, you can check around 250 emails, 3 hours of music and 2 hours of video. With a 10 GB data plan, you can check around 10,000 emails, 30 hours of music and 20 hours of video.
This also means, the more data or minutes you have as part of your plan, the more you will pay for it each month. For that reason, evaluating your mobile usage habits can help you figure out how much data or minutes you need.
The next step after understanding how much data you use is to look at the average number of national and international phone calls and SMS each month. So if you are person who travels a lot, or has family abroad, consider looking into plans with more international minutes and SMS.
Once you have roughly narrowed down your priorities and how much data and minutes you use, do your research. In Saudi Arabia, compare options with Mobily, Zain and HTC. Even if you get free minutes with your plan, you need to think about how much each provider charge for calls and SMS above those minutes. Another factor to take into consideration is the kind of coverage you get in your area as service providers will have better coverage in some areas than others.
While you research for a plan that suits you, look for the hidden costs. If you choose to get a contract, they might charge you a fee for cancelling it before the end of the contract. Don’t forget to look into how much it will cost you to use data roaming especially if you travel a lot. International rates may vary depending on the region. For example Zain charges different rates for Gulf States, Arab countries, Europe, North America and the rest of the world. Ensure you know the prices charged for the region you travel the most to.
Also think about scenarios where you might use up your allotted data. For example, Mazaya packages from Zain charge you 8 Halalas per extra MB for extra data.
These small costs can add up so do your research thoroughly and make sure you are aware of the above information.