Which 3G mobile broadband should I choose in Malaysia?

Internet is part of our life now. Most of us cannot live without get connected. We surf Internet for information, playing games at Facebook, watching video at YouTube… Lot of interesting stuffs can be done with Internet. And 3G mobile broadband is becoming a norm now. There are 2 type of 3G mobile broadband ~ USB modem and mobile phone. Both of them have different pricing. I am going to cover 3G mobile broadband for mobile phone only now. Why? Most of the smart phones like HTC HD2 can be acted as 3G modem. There is no need to subscribe another package for home usage if you are using it alone. There are 3 main 3G mobile broadband providers in Malaysia ~ Celcom, Maxis and DiGi. Let’s see how they perform…

Factors to consider when choosing 3G mobile broadband

  • Coverage
  • Connection speed
  • Usage quota
  • Price

First and the most important factor ~ coverage. If the provider doesn’t have 3G coverage at your place, it is out. Without 3G coverage, the connection will be reverted to EDGE / GPRS connection which is VERY SLOW (something like the old days 56k dial up modem connection). Take my home town, Sungai Petani as example. Celcom and Maxis have 3G converge while DiGi provide EDGE only. So DiGi is out from my list…

Connection speed is another important factor. I don’t want to wait to watch video at YouTube. Nobody does. Celcom provides up to 3.6 Mbps. No information from Maxis but it provides up to 7.2 Mbps for its Maxis Wireless Broadband (USB Modem) package. DiGi provides up to 14.4 Mbps. DiGi is the clear winner in connection speed but it only cover Klang Valley, Penang and Kota Kinabalu.

I hate usage quota. We should get unlimited usage but it is not the case in Malaysia. 3 of the 3G mobile broadband providers include the usage quota per month. Different pricing based on the usage volume. There are 500MB, 1.5GB, 3GB and 5GB packages. For Celcom and DiGi, the connection speed will be throttled to 64 kbps – 128 kbps once the volume has been used up. As for Maxis, connection speed remain the same but you will charge with at 0.05 cent/KB with NO WARNING (maximum charge of RM250). Don’t over use the limit else you will be charged a lot from Maxis.

Different people have different needs. Choose the correct plan that suite you. Can you guess which plan am I using as a full time tech blogger?


  1. i use celcom prepaid weekly broadband. use my as a modem for my PC. used to be able to play battlefield bad company 2 with it. but now its kinda slow. cant play the game anymore.

  2. I hate usage quota too. I been using Celcom Broadband Weekly simply because it unlimited quota. Sadly this will no longer true as this service will impose data usage limit starting 27th June.
    This is the SMS that i received from 23332 (Celcom).
    “Effective 27 June, the data usage limit for Broadband Daily is 500MB & Weekly is 1GB. Call 1300111000 for more info.”

    Good thing didn’t last and bad thing can get worse. It time to bid farewell. Bye bye Celcom.


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