Lebanon’s Alfa Introduces U-Chat

I was driving yesterday when I heard an ad on the radio announcing a new type of prepaid plan from Alfa called U-chat. When I got home, I researched about it further and found the offer to be very interesting and unLebanese-like.

U-chat is a new recharge system, next to regular prepaid and Waffer, that’s closer to a plan than a simple credit recharge. Two varieties exist: $9 and $17.5.

You can switch your prepaid line to U-chat and convert U-chat back to prepaid free of charge. The recharges for regular prepaid, not Waffer, apply to U-chat. You can also have someone send you credit if you are low on it.

The following are the plans:

For $9:

For $17.5:

And out-of-plan rates:

 

The 10 or 20 minutes for weekdays are for the whole month. If you finish those 10 or 20 minutes before the month is up, you’re charged 60 cents per minute even if the 20 or 40 minutes for the weekend are not done.

I think the “Out of Plan” charges are overpriced, which makes this the main drawback of the plan, when it comes to minutes and extra MB consumption.

The plans in themselves are interesting considering we’ve never had a texting, calling and data bundle in Lebanon before.  This a good step. But seeing as such plans are apparently not impossible, shouldn’t there be a bigger variety especially for users who might need more than 250MB per month and more than 60 minutes?

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Alfa and MTC Announce New Prepaid Packages

Lebanese Mobile Carriers Alfa and MTC have announced new packages for prepaid lines and they feature decent cuts on pricing.

Alfa has revealed the new lineup via its website, and called the new line: Waffer (Lebanese for save-up). You’ll get the chance to buy a new Alfa line for $4.55 and apply the new plans to it, or apply the new plans to your existing line.

The plans are as follows:

Starter: $10 per month for 30 minutes of talk.

Medium package: $16 per month for 60 minutes of talk.

“Heavy” package: $30 per month for 120 minutes of talk.

There are also reductions on SMS pricings. Peak and off peak prices apply as well.

MTC’s packages are also of similar nature, after all our telecom sector is a monopoly.

The interesting thing to note is that these are packages, not new recharge cards. Meaning, they do not go hand in hand with the current packages we all use: you cannot add your existing credit to them, nor can you add up credit while using them. You cannot also transfer credit to a needy friend. Moreover, if you run out of credit, you cannot recharge your line. You need to wait until your 30 days are up. So seriously, what’s the point? Prices reduction but limiting service? Why couldn’t they simply reduce the price on current packages and not introduce new ones?