Mobile phone Carriers in Malaysia

GSM not CDMA

If you are moving to Penang, you’ll want to know if your cell phone will work over here. The first thing you’ll need to find out if your mobile phone uses GSM or CDMA. This is the communication protocol that cellphones talk to cell networks. You can find out which protocol your phone uses by looking it up from your home carrier.

The reason why you need to know if you have GSM or CDMA is because there seems to be no CDMA service in Penang at all.  That is actually true of a lot of the world.  If you find yourself travelling around Europe and Asia, a GSM phone will be a lot more useful to you.

The United States has 7 major mobile phone carriers.  Five of these are CDMA (Verizon Wireless, Sprint, MetroPCS, Cricket, and U.S. Cellular). AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM.  Our American friends can check this Wikipedia page to see what kind of protocol your cell carrier uses.  Canadian friends can check this list of Canadian mobile phone carriers.

Consider yourself warned.  We have a friend with an iPhone with Verizon that came to Malaysia.  The iPhone is now essentially an iPod Touch because he cannot get cell coverage.

4 major mobile phone carriers in Malaysia

There are 4 major mobile phone carriers that can serve data and voice and text.  Digi, Maxis, Celcom and UMobile.  There are pros and cons to all of them.  They have pricing policies that can sometimes be hard to navigate.  And often they will throw promotions that will offer you some things for a limited time and won’t last.

There are two criteria that should go into your choice of a mobile phone carrier.  First is coverage where you go.  You don’t want poor coverage in your home and at your workplace, where you spend the most time.  Dropped calls and poor data networks is going to frustrate you.

The second criteria is your friends’ networks.  You will always get better rates calling and texting within your network.  For this reason, companies will give their employees numbers from the same network.  If your workplace gives you your phone, then the choice is made for you.

After you’ve weighed these two consideration, you can look at price.  Some cell networks are cheaper to text, others are cheaper to talk.  Some of cheaper data plans.  You can dissect these plans further to make your decision.

Official websites for mobile phone carriers in Malaysia

Mobile phone carrier Celcom

Digi

Mobile phone carrier Maxis

Mobile phone carrier U Mobile