Travel tip: Cheap prepaid phone in Malaysia (Digi)

[UPDATE OCT 1 2012: Digi’s plans have been changed a lot since I wrote the post so I’m including the new price plans]

Usually before a trip, I try looking for a cheap prepaid phone plan or SIM. If you are like me, you probably think you cannot live without 24-7 Internet connection even when on the road. (That’s not quite true as I somehow managed to survive on hotel Wi-Fi and generousity of the Apple Store in Japan.)

Here’s what I use when I go back to Malaysia, either for a day trip to Johor or a week back home, I switch back to my old Malaysian SIM card. It just makes more sense.

I’ve been with Digi for many years not because it’s the cheapest prepaid around but because my whole family uses it so we get cheaper calls, SMS.

Here are the starter pack. (Click to enlarge)

Travel tip: Cheap prepaid phone in Malaysia (Digi)
Travel tip: Cheap prepaid phone in Malaysia (Digi)

I haven’t done any research on the other carriers but Digi’s current daily/weekly Internet plans are quite reasonable. RM3 for 100MB a day (*116*1#)RM15 for 300MB per week (*116*2#), promo RM30 for 300MB per 30 days (*116*3#) and RM48 for 750MB for 30 days (*116*4#). (It used to be unlimited, but those were the days. *sigh)

Here’s the catch, you’ll have to remember to subscribe to the services by dialing *116*2# or else it will default to the not too thrifty pay-as-you-go plan of a maximum of RM8 a day.

Oh! It would automatically renew your subscription every midnight, so if you want to stop the plan, you’ll need to go to *116#, look for Internet plan and work from there to unsubscribe.

It will tell you that you are currently subscribed to the weekly/daily plan. From there you can tell it to unsubscribe.

Digi’s 3G has worked for me in major cities of Malaysia. Unfortunately, there is no 3G coverage at Taman Pantai Lok-Kawi where my mom’s shop it, and the connection drops to 2G EDGE service.

Receiving SMS/text messages and calls is free for Malaysian prepaid mobile services–can’t say the same for other countries.

You can also try other phone companies such as Hotlink (unfortunately charging RM8 for daily use of 500MB–who needs that much?) and Celcom.

Information is correct at time of publishing.

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