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Travelling to Malaysia? A data roaming plan may be your best bet if you want to stay connected

By Ken Wong - on 14 Aug 2023, 5:19pm

Travelling to Malaysia? A data roaming plan may be your best bet if you want to stay connected

Image source: Pixabay.

Given how close Singapore is to Malaysia, it’s no wonder that we cross the Causeway for holidays and even day trips. In fact, following the relaxation of Covid-19 enforced closed borders, Malaysia welcomed more than five million Singaporeans in 2022.

But if the one thing we all need when we cross the Causeway is data. And for those who are travelling to Malaysia for a single day, buying a local SIM or renting a Wi-Fi router doesn’t make sense.

Luckily for Singaporeans, Opensignal analysed how Singaporean users’ on their Singapore telco’s  SIM cards experienced roaming while on Malaysian 4G networks in its report, “Analysing the roaming experience of Singapore users in Malaysia”. Opensignal focused on 4G speeds instead of 5G, as that is the network Singaporeans will use the most.

The report’s findings

Image source: Opensignal.

Some of the report's key findings were: 

  • StarHub and Singtel data roamers in Malaysia observed the fastest average 4G download speeds at about 31.9 to 36.7Mbps. This translated to a smoother experience when using data-intensive applications such as browsing, streaming, and downloading content. These scores compare favourably against the experience of Malaysian users, whose speeds average 22.4 Mbps.
  • M1, SIMBA, and StarHub users experienced the fastest average 4G uploading speeds.
  • If you’re a gamer, then Singtel best supported you when roaming in Malaysia. However, local Malaysian users still had a better gaming experience.
  • M1 users mainly use Celcom, while SIMBA users predominantly use Celcom with some utilising Digi. Singtel users are more likely to roam on Maxis, with some using Digi and Celcom. StarHub users connected to Maxis, Digi, U Mobile, and Celcom.

Sam Fenwick, Principal Analyst at Opensignal added that in Opensignal’s recent Benchmarking the Global 5G Experience — June 2023 analysis, the company found that Malaysian 5G users in Malaysia spend just 20.5% of their time with an active 5G connection.

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