Data Roaming in Malaysia & Alternatives to Get Internet: Which Option to Choose?

Are you a traveler who is going to visit Malaysia? Do you know much about data roaming in Malaysia to ensure your connection? If not, this article will give you some tips and key information about data roaming in Malaysia and offer you some options for data roaming for the best journey.

Data Roaming in Malaysia

Roaming with your primary phone number is an old-fashioned way to stay connected and in touch with people back home while traveling abroad. When traveling in Malaysia, you can use your mobile phone to make calls, send text messages, and access the Internet by switching on roaming on your device.

However, roaming charges are expensive. So, it is a good idea to find another option for your trip in Malaysia. What it is? Let’s find out more below!

I. Phone Roaming in Malaysia – Quick Facts for Tourists

First of all, you need to know some facts about phone roaming, data roaming in Malaysia so as to decide whether or not you should use roaming services there.

There are some key factors about data roaming in Malaysia that tourists can refer to:

  • The standard roaming rate for voice calls is S$1 per minute, for SMS at S$0.25 for each message. Plus, data usage is about S$10 per 1GB.
  • There are two main roaming packages: the RM38 package ( 100-minute calls to Malaysia, 100MB data valid for 3 days) and the RM68 package (300-minute calls to Malaysia, 300MB data valid for 7 days).
  • If you want to activate roaming, please dial *111# from your phone as soon as you land in Malaysia! This is the fastest way for you to use the Internet immediately.
  • You need to remember that standard local rates in Malaysia only apply for calls made/received in Malaysia. Moreover, incoming calls will be free for you to use.

II. Understand about Roaming in Malaysia – How It Works

What is data roaming and how does it work? - Data Roaming in Malaysia
What is data roaming and how does it work?

Data roaming (in Malaysia) can be generally understood as the way to use your phone’s mobile data and internet connection when traveling overseas. In Malaysia, the big four Malaysian mobile operators include Maxis, Celcom, Digi, and U Mobile.

As a traveler to Malaysia, what you should care when it comes to phone roaming is how Malaysian mobile network carriers’ policy towards roaming.

Here is a quick view about each carrier:

For Maxis, the company provides a large network coverage and good 4G speeds. They offer unlimited calls and SMS as well as data. However, this price is quite expensive when we compare it to others. It costs up to RM30/day and above. Also, their data speeds will be unstable, and easily drop after 10GB of usage.

Celcom has a wide coverage in cities and towns. Their price is affordable with daily plans ranging from RM10 with calls/SMS and 1-2GB of data. But, their network connection quality is not as good as Maxis’s.

Digi is known as the most affordable daily plan for tourists when it costs RM5 with calls/SMS and 1GB of data. Plus, their policy for add-on data packs is cheap. Nevertheless, their network coverage is smooth in rural areas, so users cannot experience the best connection when using the Internet.

U Mobile truly offers competitively priced daily and multi-day plans for tourists and has unlimited data at perfect speeds. But their network coverage compared to the above big three is smaller. Moreover, their customer service and shopping experience are not good.

III. Is the Roaming Rate in Malaysia Expensive?

No, the rate of data roaming in Malaysia will vary depending on standard services. You can refer to the below roaming rate table by operators that we found for you to get more information:

OperatorCallTextData
Celcom$0.15/min$0.05/text3-day pass for select countries: $5.90 for 4GB
1-day pass for other countries: $2.30 for 1GB or $11/day for 500MB
7-day unlimited pass: $13.80 for 2GB/day at full speed
30-day unlimited pass: $23/month for 2GB/day at full speed
Digi$0.15/min$0.05/text1-day pass: $3.60 for 500MB and 10min calls
3-day pass: $5.90 for 2GB and 30min calls
14-day pass: $13.80 for 4GB/8GB
30-day multi-country pass: $13.50 for 30GB
U Mobile$0.15/min$0.05/text$2.90/day or $10.80/day for 500MB/day
Note: U Postpaid 68 and 98 plans provide 15GB of global roaming data per month for free.
Maxis$0.50/min$0.10/text1-day pass in major countries: $8.50/day for 2GB at full speed then throttled to 1Mbps
1-day pass in other countries: $11/day for 500MB
7-day ASEAN+ pass: $11.70 for 2GB/day at full speed
30-day world pass: $22/month for 2GB/day at full speed

From this table, now you can research carefully and choose the most suitable Malaysian data roaming plan for your trip. It also depends on your budget as well to select the most suitable data roaming plans.

IV. How to Avoid Roaming Charges When Traveling to Malaysia

Data Roaming in Malaysia
What are the best ways to avoid roaming charges when traveling to Malaysia?

There are several tips for you to prevent roaming charges when you travel to Malaysia:

  • Remember to disable data roaming in Malaysia when you do not use it.
  • Let’s use Wifi whenever we can to save fees and cellular data.
  • Do not forget to disable automatic app updates on your app stores.
  • Use a local SIM Card or travel eSIM to get the best rate.
    • If you use a local SIM Card or eSIM, remember to check your phone to ensure it is unlocked.
    • On the other hand, in order to use an eSIM, you should make sure that your phone supports activating an eSIM or not (check eSIM compatibility list to know)
  • Control your data usage by monitoring and setting up the mode on your phone settings.

▶ Our recommendation:

To sum up, to avoid high roaming charges optimally, you are recommended to use another way to get mobile internet in Malaysia. The best alternative to roaming in Malaysia is using a prepaid Malaysia eSIM.

However, it only works on eSIM-supported devices. If your phone is of that list, congratulation! If not, using a physical Malaysia SIM card is still good.

V. Malaysia eSIM – Alternative to Data Roaming in Malaysia to Get Internet

Data Roaming in Malaysia
Using Malaysia eSIM is the best way to use data roaming to get the Internet.

When you compare an eSIM and data roaming in Malaysia, an eSIM will offer you so many pros that data roaming cannot have:

  • An eSIM is convenient because you do not need to use physical SIM cards for data roaming in Malaysia. eSIM will activate roaming services digitally via your phone.
  • An eSIM is flexible since we can activate an eSIM for carriers and plans via phone settings. It is more adaptable than swapping a physical SIM.
  • Tourist can save a part of their money from using an eSIM. Using local eSIM plans abroad is so much cheaper than home operator’s roaming charges.
  • Tourists can have dual connectivity and still keep using home connections on an eSIM while being able to experience international roaming on another simultaneously.

As one of the top providers that offer eSIM services for tourists, Gigago.com will bring you the best experience of getting Internet access during your trip in Malaysia.

This eSIM provider offers not only Malaysia eSIM plans but also several eSIMs for different countries and regions in the world such as Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Asia, Europe, etc.

Buying GIGAGO eSIM online, the customers will receive a QR code via email to activate eSIMs. All can be done online 100%, in 5 minutes.

For Malaysia, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 3 GB for 5 days with $5.00 . What is great about Gigago’s Malaysia eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $5.00$89.50 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Malaysia, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VI. How to Turn Off Data Roaming When Traveling in Malaysia

There are 02 ways to turn off data roaming in Malaysia when tourists travel in this country: for Android devices and IOS devices (iPhone).

1. Turn off international roaming on Android When Traveling in Malaysia

For Android devices, please follow the below steps:

  • Let’s turn on your phone and open the “Settings” app.
  • Searching for the section called “Network & Internet” or “Connections”.
  • Access to “Mobile Networks” or “Cellular Networks”, then look for “Data Roaming” and tap on it.
  • Switch the mode from on to off to turn off data roaming.

2. Turn off international roaming on iPhones

For IOS devices like an iPhone, it is quite similar to Android devices. Just follow the following stages to turn off international roaming on iPhones:

  • Get access to the “Settings” app on your iPhone
  • Scroll down the screen and tap on “Cellular” or “Mobile Data” (the label position may be different depending on your iOS version)
  • Tap on “Data Roaming”  then switch the mode from on to off to turn off  “Data Roaming”. For IOS devices, the system will remind us with a pop-up message including “Disable” or “Turn Off”. Tap “Turn Off” if you would like to.

VII. FAQs

What is data roaming in Malaysia?

Data roaming is a method for people to access the Internet, WAP, or MMS on mobile phones when they travel abroad.

Can I use my M1 data in Malaysia?

Yes, you can use your M1 data in Malaysia. Just remember to keep your local data and bring it to Malaysia to use.

Is data free on roaming?

It depends on the roaming policy of the countries that you travel to. You will have to pay more to make calls, send messages, or texts if those countries require to charge more.

VIII. Conclusion

In conclusion, data roaming plans in Malaysia indeed have so many options to choose from. However, instead of using data roaming in Malaysia, you can take into consideration using eSIMs for a better experience. We hope that this article about data roaming in Malaysia can reach you well. Plus, let’s choose the best option for your trip and enjoy the most wonderful moment in Malaysia with your friends and family.