30 July 2014

Calculate savings with Golan Telecom, HOT Mobile, Rami Levy, Home Cellular

Use the No Fryers calculator to find out whether Golan Telecom, Home Cellular, HOT Mobile, or Rami Levy Communications are right for you!

In December 2011, Rami Levy was the first new player to debut.  Now, they have been joined by Home Cellular, HOT Mobile, and Golan Telecom.  Each offer straight-forward pricing, with some including “unlimited” plans.

How do you decide which is best for you and if any are a better deal than what you current have?  We’ll take a look at pricing and other factors which you should take into consideration.

Which is the best price?
Get your last couple of bills together, and figure out what your average use of minutes (all types – in network, other cellular, and landline), SMSs, and internet.  You’ll get your results in just three easy steps!

  1. Scroll down to the yellow section called “Tell the calculator your average monthly usage!!!“, and input the number of minutes, SMSs, and amount of web you use.
  2. After writing in your usage, click somewhere else on the page.
  3. The results will appear just below in the orange section entitled “Which Plan Offers the Best Price for You?
(If you are reading this on email, RSS, or anywhere but NoFryers.com, click here to be taken to the online calculator.)

More information
Now that you have an idea of what plans could save you money, below is some more information, factors you should take into consideration, and links to get you started doing your own research.

(If you are reading this on email, RSS, or anywhere but NoFryers.com, click here to be taken to the chart.)

Some points to consider
Everyone has their own specific needs, so each person should pick what company and plan is the best match for him.  Below are a few more points to keep in mind.

  • Gotta get a SIM!  Each of these companies charges a one-time fee of 39 NIS for a SIM card.
  • Don’t have 3G?  If you don’t have a 3G phone, your options among these companies is limited to Home Cellular.
  • Pick the right plan!  Even within companies, you need to pick the best match for you before starting a billing cycle.  For example, if you end up using 1 GB of data, HOT Mobile won’t switch you from the 10 Agorot plan to the Unlimited plan automatically nor will Rami Levy switch you from paying per MB to buying a 5 GB data package (both of which would be cheaper after 1 GB of data).
  • Need to be able to create a mobile hotspot or tether devices?  Unless you want a very slow connection, think twice about HOT Mobile’s Unlimited plan as they are limiting data speed to 64 kbps if they detect that you are creating a mobile hotspot or tethering a device.
  • Heavy international dialer?  If you are a heavy user of international calling from your mobile, take a look at Golan Telecom’s Unlimited plan and the 29 international destinations included, and see if it makes sense for you.
  • Unknown customer service…  Many wonder what the customer service will be like at the new cellular companies.  From my experience, most were very helpful and pretty quick to answer when I called to ask questions, with the notable exception of HOT Mobile which took 61 minutes to answer my call one afternoon and 39 minutes another morning.
  • Is it worth it to be a loyal customer?  Home Cellular is offering 19 minutes for every 50 NIS purchased at Home Center.  Using Home Cellular’s prices, that would be equivalent to an up to 7.2% discount on your purchase.  (Using the cheaper rates from HOT Mobile, it’s only equivalent to an up to 3.8% discount.)  But, unless you are a contractor or are buying a lot from Home Center for another reason, it seems unlikely the loyalty incentive would make a real dent in your mobile phone bills.

Nervous about switching?
First, remember that contracts are limited by law, and all of those featured above have no contract period at all.  If it ends up not working out, you should be able to switch to another carrier (small upstart or established standby) without much trouble.

Alternatively, you can always use the new competition to get a deal at your current cell provider.  The Marker sent out people to try to lower their monthly bills at the establishment cellular companies based on the low prices of the new companies.  They weren’t able to get their old companies to match the low prices of the new companies, but they did get remarkable discounts of between 22% and 46%.

 

If you have switched to one of the new players, please share your experience in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Calculate savings with Golan Telecom, HOT Mobile, Rami Levy, Home Cellular http://t.co/7Zv1rbKt (via @nofryers)

  2. Calculate savings with Golan Telecom, HOT Mobile, Rami Levy, Home Cellular http://t.co/lWsLdycN #Israel #mobile

  3. Jochanan says:

    Not many people know that Rami Levy does not support internet for Blackberry as they have not received permission from RIM. This is worth noting as i have been stung by this limitation. Does anyone else know of such limitations with Golan Telecom?

    • Thanks for raising this point, Jochanan. I am unfamiliar with Blackberry issues, but I would be happy if others would like to respond to your question or you want to report back here what you find out.

  4. I wouldn’t sign up with Golan too quickly.
    Take a look at their fb wall. It’s full of customers who are having problems moving to them.
    http://www.facebook.com/GolanTelecom

    I tried signing up with them and I’m thankful that I didn’t even manage to successfully order a sim from them, so I still have service from Pelephone…

    • Meir, it does seem they are having some growing pains. The huge change in the market this month has left all of the companies reeling. Even customers of the established cell companies (Orange, Cellcom, and Pelephone) are reporting long waits for customer service.

      It will be hard to judge the performance of the new cellular companies until after the first month has passed. A cautious consumer can wait on the sidelines to see what happens, but should in the meantime leverage the new competition by calling their established cell company and asking for a better deal!

  5. The calculator is soooooooo awesome!

    You have done a great done Mr Matzliach.

    I intend to go over to Hot Mobile although I am still paying 100 nis per month and getting a discount for 95 nis.

    Even if I need to pay the whole 100 nis after going over to hot mobile – it is still cheaper!

    What do you make of that Mr. M?

    • I think it’s awesome, Avi! The potential savings for so many people is amazing.

      If you can, in a month or so, let us know what you think of HOT Mobile.

  6. Does anyone have any idea of what the 29 destinations are?

    • CM, the list of international destinations included in Golan Telecom’s Unlimited plan is available if you follow the link in the article. They are currently:
      - Mobile & landline: USA (including Hawaii but not including Alaska), Canada
      - Landline only: UK, UK Channel Islands, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Vatican City, Austria, Greece, Argentina, Turkey, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Singapore

  7. Melvyn says:

    This is a very informative post. Thanks. One item missing from your tables is the difference between the providers’ definitions of “unlimited” wrt surfing.

    On Golan, “unlimited” means that after 3GB of data you will no longer be on a fast connection and your data speeds will therefore be reduced.

    On Orange’s new “unlimited” plan, the number is a paltry 500 MB before things slow down.

    I can’t find the details for what HOT really means by “unlimited” data but I really want to know…

    • Melvyn, thanks for your kind words. As is written in the first table on the “Included Web” row, both Golan Telecom and HOT Mobile offer 3 GB of data at high speeds, and any further data is available at slow speeds. Of course, very few people will use more than 3 GB of data.

      • Mr Miser says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong but 3GB doesn’t sound like an awful lot if your smartphone is also your primary GPS.

        • “A lot” is subjective, but for most 3 GB is more than sufficient. According to a 2011 Nielsen survey, the average Android smartphone user consumes 582 MB per month, while the average iPhone user consumes 492 MB per month. Personally, I use my data package frequently including for GPS, and I’ve never surpassed 1 GB in a month.

        • Correction:

          GPS doesn’t use data = internet connection at all!

          That being said, the most used GpS app in Israel – Waze, DOES use some internet connection – not for the GpS functionality, but the app send it’s current coordinates to the server (and the target’s coordinates) and the server calculates the best route based on several parameters like traffic etc.

          To sum it:
          GPS functionality doesn’t use bandwidth at all.
          Waze uses some internet bandwidth – but it is minimal and is no function when calculating monthly internet bandwidth.

          Avi

          • Avi, thanks for being precise. Yes, the GPS itself doesn’t use any data. But, as you pointed out, popular GPS software – such as Waze – does use data. And, as you indicated, you can use such programs a lot and safely stay under 1 GB of data.

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