Friday, 8 June 2012

Smartphone + Prepaid Feasible In Romania?

inexpensive vs expensive
So how about using a Smartphone with a prepaid or pay-as-you-go plan in Romania? Most of mobile network providers around the world are trying to lure their customers into getting the newest and most desirable smartphone combined with a not so cheap contract, which binds the customer to the company for a long period of time!
In this article, I want to show you, that you have other options, with todays focus on Romania. If you don’t set yourself the standard of always having the newest phone but instead just wanting something that does the job and doesn’t cost you a fortune, there are some quite cool offers out there!

I will start off with Vodafone Romania:
They are the only ones offering a proper package, including a prepaid card, with some credit/airtime, and a Vodafone Smart, which is one of Vodafone’s in-house mobile phones. The Android touchscreen phone is good enough to brows the Internet, watch and make videos, find your way round (GPS) and play music.
The best part really is the prepaid card (pay-as-you-go plan) that comes along! It comes charged with 3000 network credit/sms, 75 min of credit to other networks or international minutes. You also get 250 MB to surf the net, which is sufficient for a decent amount of traffic. All this you get for just 7 euros. Every time you run out of minutes a bandwidth just top up your prepaid plan and you're good to go again. Also as I mentioned in my first article, you can top up your credit on Vodafone Romania’s website. Vodafone sells the package for just 99€ plus you get a 10€ recharge voucher.

Next in line is Orange Romania:
Orange doesn’t offer a complete package so you have to piece the parts together. We will start off with the phone. The cheapest one, that is out there ATM, would be the Motorola Defy Mini. It is an Android phone, equipped with a camera, GPS service and touchscreen. I think it’s a cool mobile phone since it is supposed to withstand a lot and is waterproof, which is useful for a messy guy like myself. Orange sells the phone 161.20.
Then you will have to get a prepaid plan with Orange, starting at 5 euros and it will get you 3000 min of credit and 3000 sms on their network plus 75 min of credit and 75 sms to other networks and international. This is a slightly better deal then Vodafone has to offer! BUT you still have to add on an Internet option, where the plan gets costly. It starts at 2 for 10 MB of inclusive traffic, which is not a lot. You would have to get at least 100 MB, which cost 4 or better 500 MB for 6€.

Cosmote Romania is next.
Cosmote Romania offers you a cool list of prepaid plans with different bonus options. The most valuable one for this discussion is the Cartela Vibe option. Once you charge it up with at least 5 you will activate the Xpand extra-option, which gives you 75 national and international min of credit, 75 sms national, 3000 min of credit and sms in the Cosmote Romania network and on top of that 75 MB mobile data traffic! That is pretty cheap. Now you just have to add a mobile phone, where I would recommend the Motorola Defy. Cosmote doesn’t seem to state any prices on their website so you would have to run down to the shops to check for the best deal. But as mentioned above, the Motorola Defy is a solid mobile phone that does the trick.

Last but not least is Digi.Mobile Romania:
Digi.Mobile Romania is one of the few network providers who don’t seem to offer any mobile phones. Nonetheless they do have some prepaid or pay-as-you-go plans, which allow you to surf the net. You just have to buy the phone elsewhere (and get it unblocked elsewhere, for that matter)! Digi.Mobile allows you to charge up your phone for any amount you would like, since they don’t offer any packages of credit, but their rates a reasonable, since they only charge you 1.24 cents per minute into their own lines and fixed lines. Rates are higher to other networks. BUT they offer you for just 4.96 unlimited traffic data rate of 7.2 MB, which is quite an offer. I wouldn’t recommend DigiMobile as a pay-as-you-go plan since they have the least amount of subscribers.

All in all I would have to go with the Vodafone plan, since they are the only ones truly targeting the prepaid customers with a great package!

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