Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia known as a beautiful tourist destination worldwide. It is an affordable location when it comes to western standards, but somewhat costly when Southeast Asian ones are considered. To keep things less expensive, it is recommended to buy a local SIM card in Malaysia to enjoy local rates. Consequently, the question of which SIM card to buy should arise in people’s minds. In this article, you and others will learn about the best SIM cards to use in Malaysia. Let’s dive straight into it.
Digi Malaysia is commonly known as Digi. It is the largest telecom company in Malaysia and is operated by the biggest telecom company in Norway, called Telenor. Digi is also the fastest mobile operator in Malaysia. It operates on 2G and 4G/LTE. The company shut down its 3G services in December 2021, and it will introduce 5G NR services soon. A Digi SIM card is available for 8 MYR (Malaysian Ringgit) at grocery stores, convenience stores, and even at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. At the same places, you can buy their top-up vouchers too. To recharge or check your balance, you can also use the MyDigi mobile application anytime.
Hotlink is a brand of Maxis Telecommunications. It is the second-largest telecom company in Malaysia and a runner-up among the top SIM cards. Hotlink was the first carrier to offer Free Basic Internet, a plan which offered free data browsing at 64 Kbps. It operates on 2G and 4G/LTE frequencies. Hotlink also shut down its 3G services in December 2021 and plans to implement 5G NR pretty soon at the time of writing.
A Hotlink SIM card is available for 10 MYR at Hotlink/Maxis stores, grocery stores, and convenience stores. No matter what type of Hotlink SIM card you buy, the price is the same. You can recharge the SIM card with a top-up voucher, in-store recharge with a POS system, or the Hotlink app for Android and iOS devices.
Celcom Axiata generally referred to as Celcom is the third-largest wireless carrier in Malaysia. It has been known for its best 4G/LTE network coverage for the longest time. The Axiata Group is also active in some other countries under different brand names such as Bangladesh (Robi), Cambodia (Smart), Nepal (Ncell), Indonesia (XL Axiata), and Sri Lanka (Dialog). Celcom operates on 2G and 4G/LTE frequencies and ceased its 3G operations in December 2021.
Their 5G NR services will be introduced shortly, too. A Celcom SIM card is available for 10 MYR which you can buy from official, grocery, and convenience stores, and even at some select international airports in Malaysia. You can recharge the SIM with vouchers, POS system, international debit and credit cards, Celcom Life app, and more.
U Mobile Malaysia is typically called only U Mobile. It is the smallest full-service wireless carrier in the country. It is also the first carrier in the country to introduce VoWiFi (Voice over Wi-Fi). U Mobile operates on 2G and 4G/LTE frequencies. The dates regarding 3G and 5G NR networks are identical to other carriers above. U Mobile SIM cards are available for 10 MYR, including 6 MYR default credit balance, 200 MB of data, and unlimited data for WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, IMO, PUBG Mobile, Instagram, and Viber all for 5 days only. Its SIM cards are available at U Mobile, convenience, and grocery stores across Malaysia.
5. Yes Malaysia
Yes used to be known as Yes 4G in the past thanks to being a renowned 4G/LTE wireless carrier. It is owned and operated by YTL Corporation. Because it doesn’t have any national roaming agreement with other mobile operators in Malaysia, users need to have a 4G/LTE compatible device to use a Yes SIM card.
You can visit the website of Yes and have a look at the list of such devices to avoid unwanted surprises. A Yes SIM card is available for 10 MYR, which includes 5 MYR credit and 1 GB of data for 7 days. If you choose its Kasi Up Prepaid Plan worth 15 MYR, you will get the SIM card for free. This plan offers 10 GB of data for 30 days.
Not to be confused with Antel Uruguay, Altel is a 4G/LTE-only wireless carrier in Malaysia. It has a nationwide roaming agreement with Celcom, hence its consumers can use the 2G and 4G/LTE frequencies of Celkom when on national roaming. You can buy an Altel SIM card for 7 MYR which includes 3 MYR credits valid for 30 days, and 200 MB of data valid for 15 days.
To recharge, you can buy a top-up voucher or visit a retailer dealing with Altel SIMs and recharge via the POS system. Moreover, you can download the Altel Prepaid mobile application on iOS or Android devices and top up that way. Regardless of the method you choose to employ, the company offers combo, data-only, and social media data plans. None of those have a validity exceeding 31 days. This can be a curse or a blessing, depending on your needs.
redONE is a low-cost Celkom MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). This means it lacks a mobile network infrastructure and uses Celkom Axiata’s one to function. A redONE SIM card is available for 10 MYR (5 MYR credit with a validity of 30 days) for 6 months. It means you will get 5 MYR credits each month for half a year continuously. For travelers, redONE has Travel Data SIM for international data roaming in several countries.
Some examples include Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Singapore, and China. This traveler SIM card is not for local use. To check balance and recharge you can use its official mobile app called the redONE 1 App available on Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and Huawei AppGallery. Other ways to recharge are the POS system, top-up vouchers, and international debit and credit cards.