So you’ll be going away to another country for just a couple of days. It’s way too short and too troublesome to buy a local SIM pack at the country just to go online. For convenience’s sake, you wish to stick to your Malaysian line. So which telco offers the best international roaming rates in its postpaid plans? We gather all the unlimited data roaming rates here so you know which local telco to select in the place(s) you travel to, and which Malaysian telco should you roam with in order to enjoy the best data roaming rates.
Maxis seems to offer the widest data roaming in over 100 countries at just RM38/day. 44 countries have been added in recently, but they will only take effect starting 21 April 2014. Maxis’ unlimited data roaming is based on local time of the country you are in from 12am until 11:59pm.
[edit: Maxis’ unlimited data roaming time is based on the local timezone of the country you are in, not based on Malaysian timezone, sorry for the mistake!]
Celcom also charges the same unlimited data roaming rate of RM38 a day, but is only offering the price across 58 countries as shown above. Celcom’s rates is based on Malaysian time zone from 12am until 11:59pm.
As for things over at DiGi, the telco is offering unlimited data roaming rates from as low as RM32/day but be careful which country you travel to, because places like Belgium and Austria cost RM56/day for unlimited data roaming. The price is calculated based on the time zone in the country you are in. For example, when roaming in Thailand, the daily usage will be calculated from 12:am to 11:59pm following Thailand’s time zone.
Finally, while U Mobile may offer the most affordable data roaming rates at RM30/day, they are only offering the deal to a handful of countries. Nonetheless, the telco has only started their unlimited data roaming offer about half a year ago so I think this is a good start. Like DiGi, U Mobile’s rates is based on the time zone in the country you are in from 12am to 11:59pm.
Do note that in order to enjoy these rates, you will need to ensure that you are connected to the partner telco from the respective country. For example if you are a Celcom user travelling to Australia, make sure you connect to Vodafone in order to enjoy a data roaming rate of RM38/day. You will have to manually connect to the respective telco otherwise you will be charged at a pay-as-you-use rates – that’s how people end up racking thousands of Ringgit in roaming charges once they land in Malaysia. No registration is required, just connect to the right telco and surf away, but just be mindful of the time zone you are in and which time zone the telco follows.
Here’s how to manually select a telco when you’re in another country:
Under Settings > Carrier, turn off Automatic and wait for the list of carriers to load. Pick the right one and you’re good to go.
Under “Network Connections” in the Settings menu, tap on “”Mobile networks” (could be buried under “More networks”), and then select “Network operators”. Wait for your phone to search for all the available networks, and pick the telco you want from the menu.
Under the “Mobile Network” section in Settings, tap on “Network Selection” and the system will automatically search for available networks. Select the local network that is the preferred network partner, and you’re set.
*Note: The above screenshots were captured in Malaysia. When roaming, the network operators will vary according to which telco is available in the country. So, no, you won’t see DiGi, Maxis, Celcom or U Mobile when you’re roaming internationally.