Which sim card Malaysia for your trip?
If you decide to live in malaysia or simply come to Malaysia on vacation, we strongly advise you to use a local sim card.
This will save you a lot of money and time.
You will be able to launch all the essential applications (nowadays…) such as Grab (to get around by car in Malaysia – equivalent to Uber), or to launch Google Map (there are also applications that could work without connection, by downloading the map of the country or city beforehand), etc.
We are going to explore the mobile networks in Malaysia, and try to bring you the best answer to the question which sim card to travel in Malaysia?
For this, several criteria come into play:
- The quality of the 4G network (also 2G/3G and 5G) : a good coverage and a good connection speed are essential.
- Package prices: you have to take into account the validity period of the package and the type of package (sms, voice, data, social networks).
4g 5g network coverage in Malaysia : what is the best network ?
There are several mobile networks in Malaysia.
As everywhere, these 3G/4G/5G networks are differentiated by the quality of the network (network coverage especially on the islands in Malaysia or Borneo), and also by their different packages.
We can mention the current mobile networks:
- U Mobile
Also other new operators such as YES.
How did we test the network quality of these operators?
We first used various tools to measure the coverage on the territory.
Most of you are here because you want a 4G sim card for the time of your stay.
For this, we studied the network coverage on the main places visited in Malaysia, during a stay: Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Perhentians, and Borneo.
We used Opensignal to retrieve the data.
Also note that your SIM card Malaysia must be chosen according to the network, but also the operator (a bit like NRJ Mobile, which uses the Orange, SFR, or Bouygues networks).
The Malaysia – CELCOM network
Let’s start with the CELCOM network.
Please note that the CELCOM network is used by several operators.
The choice of your sim card Malaysia must be done according to the quality of the network, and the quality of the operator (or provider according to the vocabulary).
The overall coverage seems to be very good (when comparing with the results of the following networks).
You should have no worries in Kuala Lumpur, as well as along the East and West sides.
The Malaysia – MAXIS (Hotlink) network
As before, let us study the results of the MAXIS network in Malaysia.
The Malaysia SIM card from Hotlink provider uses the Maxis network.
Like Celcom, Maxis has a good network. It is slightly less dense than Celcom, but this should not be a problem in Kuala Lumpur for example.
Similarly on the Perhentian islands, or on Langkawi: you should be able to get the signal (not everywhere, but you will not be cut off from the world).
The Malaysia – DIGI network
DiGi has a slightly better network than Maxis, but less dense than Celcom, as we can see from the maps below:
On the Perhentian Islands, the network seems to be less good than Maxis and Celcom.
The Malaysia – YES network
We also checked the state of the YES network (not very widespread but very sufficient if you stay in Kuala Lumpur for example):
On the other hand, the network, on all the rest of the territory seems very unreliable, except along the west side (but that remains largely inferior to other networks in Malaysia).
The Malaysia – Unifi network
What about the UNIFI network? Opting for sim card Malaysia at Unifi is not the best option.
The 2G/3G/4G network is much better than the previous ones, but is still below Celcom and Maxis.
Just like YES, this network should be more than enough if you stay in Kuala Lumpur.
On the Perhentian Islands, and Langkawi, this should not be a problem but you will have a less better network than Celcom or DiGi for example.
The Malaysia – U Mobile network
This network is average, and of equivalent quality to the UNIFI network.
Like the Malaysian sim card at Unifi, we advise you to go for Celcom or Maxis networks.
If you stay only in Kuala Lumpur, the choice of sim card Malaysia will be easier because most networks work very well.
What about the 4G Malaysia network quality speed in all this ?
The antennas are not enough, you also have to check the download and upload speed.
Here are the statistics provided by OpenSignal:
The higher the number displayed for download and upload, the higher the speed of the 4G network.
Conversely, the lower the latency, the better the network quality.
Conclusion: what is the best network ?
If you decide to stay only in Kuala Lumpur: all the networks should be enough for you. The difference will be in the speed and quality of the signal.
Celcom and Maxis seem to be the best in terms of speed and signal quality.
For us, Celcom and Maxis seem to be at the same level . On Borneo, Celcom will have a better coverage. But overall, Maxis has better speed and latency in Kuala Lumpur.
What could make the choice tilt is the proposed rates and packages, which we will study in the second paragraph.
DiGi and U Mobile are competing for the next spots.
Unifi appears to be the last of the class: low network speed and high latency.
What is the price of a sim card for your trip to Malaysia ?
Now that we have studied the quality of the network, we need to choose the associated operator / provider.
To buy your sim card Malaysia, you must distinguish the network of the operator: there are several networks, but also several providers.
Different providers can use the same network.
In France, the Orange network is, for example, used by Orange operators / providers (Sosh for the version without commitment), but also by NRJ Mobile, by Free, etc.
Note that NRJ Mobile uses the 4 networks: an allocation is made automatically (depending on your address, NRJ Mobile will choose the best network) by the operator when you open your line. However, you can ask for a change of network if the one that has been assigned does not suit you (personally, in France, I prefer Orange to the other three networks).
Here we will deal only with PREPAYED packages, adapted for tourists.
We will do another article on subscriptions.
Operators with low-cost 4G
You can choose from several operators including: TuneTalk, Hotlink Red, Xpax, Digi, U Mobile, or redONE.
The best choice for a small budget: TuneTalk at RM 28 per month
TuneTalk uses the Celcom network, which is our favorite with Maxis.
There are several prepaid formulas. Depending on the profile of each individual, it would be best to use the RM28 per month formula.
This package offers:
- 6 GB at high speed, with no speed limit, unlike other operators who offer unlimited packages, but limited on the speed. If you don’t need fast speeds, this type of unlimited plan might be for you.
- 15 GB of video: this is 500 MB per day for 30 days
- Unlimited calls to other TuneTalk numbers
- 10 GB of basic internet
- Unlimited chat on WhatsApp, WeChat, IMO, Viber, and Line
- Unlimited social networks: facebook, instagram, twitter, FB messenger
All the details can be found on their website.
For RM 28 per month, which is less than RM 1 per day, you can enjoy all this.
If you need more data, you can activate a “BOOSTER option” of 10 GB at RM 10.
Alternatively, you also have the same package at RM48, including 10 GB at high speed, with the option to boost to RM10 for an additional 10 GB.
The unlimited alternative: Hotlink 45RM
If you need an unlimited package, but with limited speed, you can choose Hotlink prepaid.
Hotlink uses the Maxis network, the best with Celcom.
Hotlink offers 2 different prepaid plans: RM35 and RM45.
Both offer unlimited internet, unlimited calls, unlimited hotspot usage for an additional 5RM.
The difference between these 2 packages? The backtack speed.
The RM35 package limits the speed to 3 MBPS: you will be able to call without any problem through Whatsapp, but also make video calls. But for RM10 in addition, it is better to take the RM45 package to double the speed.
The RM45 package limits the speed to 6 MBPS: this will be enough to watch videos on Youtube in HD or even Full HD, for streaming, to call via Whatsapp, or also in video calls to France etc.
What about the other operators?
You have Xpax, which uses Celcom network: you have to buy the sim card at RM10.
Basically, you will have 10 GB for Facebook, 1 GB for internet per month, RM6 credit.
To have data, you will have to opt for an “Internet Passes add-on”.
For example, for 30 days, for RM35, you will be able to enjoy unlimited internet, but at a limited speed of 6 mbps.
You also have Digi, BigBonus package. Digi uses its own Digi network, which is very good in Kuala Lumpur. For the rest, we prefer Maxis and Celcom.
For RM35, you will get 40GB, and unlimited calls to all operators. If 40GB is not enough, you can add a booster to RM10 for 10 GB.
No speed limit for these packages.
Finally, you also have U Mobile, GX30 package. At RM30, you have unlimited internet, but limited to 3 mbps. However, many users complain about the quality of this operator. U Mobile uses their own U Mobile network.
Operators for heavy 4G data consumers
As seen previously, it is often proposed a “booster” to add a little more data.
TuneTalk CUN once again stands out as having the best offer overall.
We recommend the RM48 package, with a RM10 Booster add-on.
With this, you will have 20 GB high speed + 10 GB basic + 60 GB video (2 GB per day) + unlimited calls + unlimited chat (Whatsapp, etc.) + unlimited social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) + unlimited Music (Spotify, Joox, etc.).
On what criteria should you base your choice of sim card Malaysia ?
Each profile is different, so you must weigh the pros and cons of each offer.
But for the average user, who uses social networks and calls in moderation, TuneTalk stands out as the best offer, whether you are a small or large user, and whether you prefer internet speed.
Otherwise, if you really want unlimited, limited speed, at a fair price, we also recommend the new TuneTalk package, which offers unlimited, but at a speed of 6 mbps max, for RM48, valid 1 month.
Conclusion : the choice for your phone plan Malaysia
With all these details, you should have a little more insight into the different prepaid packages in Malaysia.
Choosing a sim card for internet can become complicated when you come across the multitude of offers, especially at the airport.
Our favorite plan : personal choice of sim card Malaysia
With all this information, and based on our personal situation, we concluded that the packages offered by TuneTalk are the best for us.
In particular the RM48 package, valid for 30 days, with 20 GB and the possibility of adding 10 GB for RM10.
Note that there will be a speed limit of 6 mbps: this speed will be more than enough for voice or video calls, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Grab, etc.
This is not a sponsored article, and our choice sim card Malaysia is, I remind you, purely personal!
Finally, don’t forget that many personal parameters come into play, and that our ranking might not be suitable for you.
Some advice before your departure in Malaysia
Here are some tips before you go to Malaysia:
- Make sure your phone is unlocked to work on all networks.
- Don’t forget to disable roaming before you go on vacation in Malaysia: you can disable it even before you get here.
- If you don’t want to miss any calls, while avoiding out-of-pocket expenses, there are a few tricks like redirecting your French (or Belgian or other) number to a VOIP number. We will do an article on this.
- The different Malaysian visas : how to live in Malaysia ?
- Living cost in Malaysia : what budget for living in Malaysia ?
- Expatriate health insurance : which one is the best, how to choose
- School Malaysia : French, British, International, locale and private
- Where to eat in Malaysia : best restaurants and online order
- Moving from France to Malaysia : Moving, working visa, procedures
- All the information on how to get around in Malaysia
- MM2H visa : details on this long term Malaysia visa
- Religion in Malaysia : Islam and other religions in Malaysia
- Looking for an apartment in Malaysia : where, how, how much ?
- What phone plan Malaysia postpaid or prepaid