|Traveller SIM Card for Tourists
|Last Updated ( Friday, 25 January 2019 )
Probably one of the first things that tourists do nowadays when arriving at a country is to get a SIM card, mainly for their data needs. Most of the time it is much cheaper than to use their roaming feature.
Telecom operators in Malaysia are historically based on the GSM system. 2G frequencies are the 900 and 1800 MHz band. 3G (UMTS) frequencies are 2100 (Band 1) and 900MHz (Band 8) band while the 4G (LTE) frequencies are mainly 2600MHz (Band 7) and 1800MHz (Band 3).
In summary, in order for your phone to work in Malaysia, just make sure your phone is capable to run on Band 7 (2600MHz) and Band 3 (1800MHz) for 4G LTE and Band 1 (2100MHz) for 3G.
The main operators in Malaysia are Maxis, Celcom, Digi, U Mobile and Tune Talk and as a tourist, you probably would not need to look for other operators. 2G and 3G coverage is very good in populated areas in Peninsular Malaysia. 4G coverage tend to be limited to major towns and cities. Coverage in East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) tend to be very patchy outside of city centres. Celcom tend to have better coverage in rural areas of East Malaysia.
For tourists to Malaysia, the best and cheapest way is to get a prepaid SIM card. Most airports in Malaysia have several counters right at the arrival hall. If you are not arriving through the airport, one can also easily get a SIM card from bus stations, shopping malls or shops in the city centre. U Mobile packs can usually be purchased from 7-Eleven stores while Digi and U Mobile packs are sold at Speedmart 99 stores nationwide.
There are Traveller SIM card packages that are specifically designed for tourists who will be staying for a short period in Malaysia. These packages typically come with a preloaded credit, certain number of minutes for calls and data that can be used for the entire validity of the SIM card. Additional data can usually be purchased by adding credit to their account. Please present your Passport/ID when purchasing the SIM cards as sellers are required by law to register the user.
If you are staying in Malaysia for a longer period, you might also be interested in more Prepaid Plans in Malaysia
The table below is a comparison of several SIM card packages in Malaysia.
* Based on information obtained on January 2019
Scroll to the right for more ⇉⇉