Traveling to and staying connected in Malaysia will be easier than ever before if you use Maxis/Hotline eSIM and SIM cards for travelers. Learn why here?
Maxis/Hotlink is among 4 leading mobile operators in Malaysia, offering a wide range of mobile plans and services to locals and tourists. With its extensive network coverage and high speed data connections, Maxis is a popular choice among tourists who need reliable and fast internet connectivity during their trips.
In this article, we will show you everything basic about Maxis/Hotlink eSIM and SIM for travelers, from network coverage, key services, best data plans for tourists, to how to top up, how to track your balance, etc.
Let’s get started!
Before you learn more about Maxis/Hotlink, you should get an overview of your options when it comes to Malaysia cellular operators for tourists. It is best to read our Best Mobile Operators in Malaysia in advance, then you will know that Malaysia has 4 big full operators, which are: Maxis/Hotlink, Celcom, Digi, and U Mobile.
Also, there are 3G-4G/LTE-only operators, which are Unifi, Yes and Altel. Unlike Altel and Unifi, Yes does not cooperate with major operators within Malaysia, so it is merely a 4G/LTE-only mobile operator.
There are a number of mobile virtual operators (MVNOs), like XOX Mobile, SpeakOut, Tune Talk and Redone. They use the infrastructure of major operators to facilitate their services.
Table of Contents
Facts about Maxis mobile operators in Malaysia:
- Hotlink, using the Maxis network, is the fastest SIM card in Malaysia.
- Hotlink / Maxis is one of the four full operators in Malaysia, offering 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks
- Maxis won the “Best Network in Malaysia” award recognized by Ookla, a global internet testing and analysis company for having the fastest mobile network in Malaysia.
- Maxis has a user-friendly app called “MyMaxis” that allows customers to easily manage their accounts, check their data usage, and purchase additional services.
- Compared to other operators, Maxis offers a range of mobile plans and services that cater specifically to tourists.
- Maxis has won numerous awards and recognitions for its network coverage and services.
- Hotlink has no eSIMs for prepaid customers.
I. About Maxis and Hotlink – What is the Difference?
Maxis is one of top mobile network operators in Malaysia, along with Celcom, Digi and U Mobile.
The company was founded in 1993 and has a history spanning over 25 years. It operates a secondary brand named Hotlink, which initially started as the prepaid brand of Maxis, but later also added postpaid plans.
Maxis operates on both 2G and 3G networks, and on the faster 4G/LTE and 5G networks. It has a wide network coverage in Malaysia, with over 95% 4G LTE coverage nationwide.
What is the difference between Maxis and Hotlink?
Maxis offers mobile postpaid plans and broadband internet plans while Hotlink provides both mobile prepaid and postpaid plans.
If you are looking to get a Maxis prepaid SIM card, then you will get a Hotlink prepaid SIM card instead because Maxis does not provide prepaid plans.
Hotlink is also known for being the first mobile operator to offer Free Basic Internet, which provides data browsing at a slow speed of 64 Kbps for free. This led to the removal of Pay As You Go data overuse fees throughout Malaysia.
Hotlink has the second-best 4G availability and 4G coverage experience in Malaysia, according to Opensignal. This puts Hotlink slightly behind Celcom, which has the best 4G coverage in the country, covering 94% of the population.
Hotlink prepaid SIM card price: about 10 MYR ($2.35)
Hotlink tourist SIM: 36 MYR = 8GB high-speed data (after that the speed will be capped to 64kbps + 60 local mins + 60 IDD mins (used in China and India), valid for 15 days.
It is noticed that Hotlink tourist SIM offers a competitive price in comparison with other tourist SIM cards in the word.
- Maxis DOES NOT HAVE PREPAID PLANS for tourists. Find it in Hotlink instead.
- In most Maxis stores, you can buy a Hotlink Tourist SIM. In fact, the Maxis salesperson may not offer you a regular Hotlink SIM card if you tell them you are a short-term visitor.
II. Maxis/Hotlink Mobile Operator Services
We have mentioned earlier that Maxis does not offer prepaid services for customers. Instead, the brand Hotlink offers this type of service.
1. Hotlink services
Hotlink now provides both prepaid and postpaid services for customers.
The prepaid services of Hotlink that tourists can choose include:
Hotlink Pantas: 30GB + 20GB Bonus high speed data with purchase of RM35/month pass till 30 June 2023 + unlimited calls to any local network, valid for 30 days. You have 3 options: RM35, RM25, and RM10.
Hotlink Unlimited: Unlimited internet and unlimited calls for all local networks + Unlimited hotspots + uncapped Internet speed from 2am – 2pm, valid for 30 days. You have 3 options: RM60, RM50, and RM40.
Hotlink Streaming: HD streaming with high-speed internet + Unlimited high speed streaming on Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, VIU, Spotify, & JOOX (from 6am-6pm).
2. Maxis services
For the Maxis brand, its services include: Maxis postpaid plans, Maxis eSIM, international direct dial (IDD), international roaming, refer to family and friends. However, Maxis eSIM is only available for Maxis mobile postpaid customers including Hotlink postpaid and Corporate plans.
III. Maxis/Hotlink Coverage in Malaysia
Maxis offers a large network coverage in Malaysia, with 95% of the country covered by 4G LTE. According to Hotlink, they provide coverage to more than 90% of the population, even though they only cover approximately 50% of the entire country (estimated, not exact).
You can see the coverage map of Maxis/Hotlink throughout Malaysia by Opensignal below:
- According to the coverage maps above, it can be determined that Maxis/Hotlink provides excellent coverage across Malaysia, especially in West Malaysia or Peninsular Malaysia.
- Although coverage in East Malaysia, which includes Sabah, Sarawak, and Labuan on Borneo, is decent, most of the population resides in Peninsular Malaysia. Therefore, Maxis/Hotlink is a good option for those traveling to Malaysia, as they can expect reliable coverage in most areas of the country.
V. Top Maxis SIM Cards for Tourists
As mentioned earlier, Maxis does not provide prepaid plans, but just Hotlink.
Hotlink has 02 types of prepaid SIM cards:
- Hotlink Prepaid Unlimited: come with unlimited internet that is throttled up to 6 Mbps, unlimited local calls, and free premium access to Viu.
- Hotlink Prepaid Video: provides limited data usage but with unrestricted speed. It also includes free Video Internet data for popular streaming services like YouTube, Viu, iflix, Astro GO, and tonton.
The following four Hotlink SIM cards are available:
|10 MYR||5 MYR||N/A||N/A||30 days|
|25 MYR||2 MYR||10 GB||N/A||365 days|
|40 MYR||N/A||“Unlimited”, 50 GB @ 3 Mbps||Unlimited||30 days|
|50 MYR||N/A||“Unlimited”, 50 GB @ 6 Mbps||Unlimited||30 days|
VI. How Much Does Maxis SIM Cards Cost?
As mentioned earlier, you can buy both Maxis and Hotlink SIM at Maxis stores.
Hotlink prepaid SIM card price: You can get a Hotlink SIM card for 10 MYR (about $2.35)
Hotlink’s tourist SIM: offers a competitive price when compared to other tourist SIM cards worldwide. You can buy a Hotlink tourist SIM for 36 MYR, valid for 15 days in most Maxis shops, with the following features:
- 8GB of high speed Internet (speed will be capped to 64 kbps)
- 60 local minutes
- 60 IDD minutes (used in China and India)
VII. Calls and SMS Rate of Maxis in Malaysia
Here are the Maxis call and SMS rates for domestic calls and SMS within Malaysia:
|Service||Rate (per minute/SMS)|
|Maxis-to-Maxis calls||RM 0.15|
|Maxis-to-other networks calls||RM 0.20|
|SMS to Maxis||RM 0.10|
|SMS to other networks||RM 0.15|
|Video calls||RM 0.15 per minute|
Note: These rates are charged per minute/SMS and are subject to additional taxes and charges.
VIII. Maxis International Roaming Fees
Here are the Maxis International Roaming Fees for selected countries. Please note that these fees may be subject to change, so it’s best to check with Maxis for the latest information:
|Countries||Incoming Calls||Outgoing Calls||SMS||Data (per MB)|
|Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines||RM 1.50||RM 1.50||RM 0.50||RM 0.50|
|Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka||RM 2.50||RM 3.00||RM 0.50||RM 3.00|
|United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Europe, Middle East||RM 4.00||RM 4.00||RM 0.50||RM 16.00|
|Rest of the World||RM 10.00||RM 10.00||RM 0.50||RM 36.00|
Note: These fees are charged per minute/call/message/MB and are subject to additional taxes and charges.
IX. How to Top up Your Maxis SIM
Below are common ways to top up Maxis SIM for tourists to Malaysia:
|Methods of Topping up your Maxis SIM||Description|
|Maxis Online Store||Tourists can top up their Maxis SIM online through the Maxis Online Store. They can choose from various top-up amounts and pay with a credit or debit card.|
|Hotlink Flex App||Hotlink Flex App is available for download on both the App Store and Google Play. It allows tourists to top up their Maxis SIM, check their balance, and purchase additional data, voice or SMS packages.|
|Maxis Pay||Tourists can use Maxis Pay to top up their Maxis SIM, pay bills, and make purchases. They can link their Maxis Pay account to their credit or debit card, or use online banking to add funds.|
|Maxis Centres or Maxis Exclusive Partner (MEP) outlets||Tourists can top up their Maxis SIM at Maxis Centres or MEP outlets using cash, credit or debit cards. These outlets are located in major cities and tourist destinations throughout Malaysia.|
|Online banking||Tourists can top up their Maxis SIM using their online banking account. They can add Maxis as a payee and transfer funds to their Maxis account.|
|ATM||Tourists can top up their Maxis SIM at selected ATMs that offer mobile reload services. They can insert their debit or credit card, select the mobile reload option, and enter their Maxis phone number and top-up amount.|
X. How to Check Maxis Balance – All Maxis USSD Codes
Here are the Maxis USSD codes that tourists can use to check their balance and perform other account-related tasks:
Here are the Maxis USSD codes that tourists can use to check their balance and perform other account-related tasks, as of my knowledge cutoff of September 2021:
|Check data balance||1007#|
|Check voice call balance||1001#|
|Check SMS balance||1005#|
|Check MaxisONE plan balance||1002#|
|Check Hotlink plan balance||1001#|
|Check Hotlink FAST plan balance||1006#|
|Check Hotlink Postpaid plan balance||1009#|
|Check Hotlink RED plan balance||1007#|
|Check Hotlink Prepaid Unlimited plan balance||1008#|
|Top up credit||100RELOAD PIN#|
|Activate data plan||1001#|
|Deactivate data plan||1002#|
|Activate international roaming||1006#|
|Deactivate international roaming||1007|
To use these codes, tourists can simply dial the code on their phone and press the call button. They will then receive a message with the relevant information. Please note that these codes may be subject to change.
XI. Where to Buy Maxis SIM Card?
1. Where to Buy Maxis eSIM?
There are many ways to buy Maxis/Hotlink eSIM for tourists, be it buying directly from the website of the mobile operator or from eSIM providers’ websites. They can be Malaysiaesim, Gigago, Holafly, Airalo, etc.
But, after all, if you buy Maxis eSIM directly from Maxis/Hotlink or MyMaxis App, then you have to undergo the registration process as per Malaysian law. Instead, you can buy Maxis/Hotlink tourists eSIM online from authorized resellers like Nomad, Holafly,.. before leaving home and you are all set to go right after at the airports in Malaysia.
This option will help you save time and hassle.
2. Where to Buy Maxis/Hotlink SIM Card?
To buy a Maxis/Hotlink SIM card for tourists, you can visit a Maxis/Hotlink store or Maxis Exclusive Partner (MEP) outline. Check Maxis’ website for a list of their outlets and locations. The popular outlines can be 7Evelens, myNEWS, or 99 Speedmart. However, they will not activate the SIM card for you. To do that, you can either visit a Hotlink store or use self-registration.
XII. Maxis Mobile Operator Pros and Cons
Here are some pros and cons of using Maxis as a mobile operator in Malaysia
- Large network coverage: Maxis has widespread network coverage across Malaysia, making it a reliable choice for people who travel frequently or live in rural areas.
- Strong 4G LTE connectivity: Maxis has a strong 4G LTE network, which offers fast internet speeds and good overall connectivity.
- Wide range of plans: Maxis offers a wide range of mobile plans and packages to suit different needs and budgets, including prepaid and postpaid options.
- Generous data allowances: Maxis plans often come with generous data allowances, making it a good choice for heavy internet users.
Good customer service: Maxis is known for providing good customer service and support, with various channels available for customers to seek assistance.
- Expensive plans: Maxis plans can be relatively expensive compared to other mobile operators in Malaysia, particularly for heavy users.
- Limited features on prepaid plans: Maxis prepaid plans may not offer as many features as postpaid plans, such as international roaming or device financing options.
- Fair usage policy: Maxis may enforce a fair usage policy on its unlimited data plans, which may limit data speeds or usage after a certain amount of data is consumed.
- Network congestion: Like any network, Maxis may experience network congestion during peak times or in densely populated areas, which can result in slower internet speeds or connectivity issues.
- Additional fees and charges: Maxis plans may come with additional fees and charges, such as taxes, administrative fees, or activation fees.
XIII. Maxis vs Other Malaysia Mobile Operators
|Network coverage||Large coverage across Malaysia, with strong 4G LTE connectivity||Good coverage across Malaysia, with 4G LTE connectivity in most areas||Good coverage across Malaysia, with 4G LTE connectivity in most areas|
|Plan options||Wide range of plans for both prepaid and postpaid users, including unlimited data options||Wide range of plans for both prepaid and postpaid users, with some plans offering unlimited data||Wide range of plans for both prepaid and postpaid users, with some plans offering unlimited data|
|Plan prices||Generally more expensive than other operators, particularly for heavy users||Competitive pricing, with some plans offering good value for money||Generally more affordable than Maxis, with some plans offering good value for money|
|Data allowances||Generous data allowances on most plans, particularly for postpaid users||Generous data allowances on most plans, particularly for postpaid users||Generous data allowances on most plans, particularly for postpaid users|
|Additional features||Offers international roaming and device financing options, as well as good customer service||Offers international roaming and device financing options, as well as good customer service||Offers international roaming and device financing options, as well as good customer service|
|Network congestion||May experience network congestion during peak times or in densely populated areas||May experience network congestion during peak times or in densely populated areas||May experience network congestion during peak times or in densely populated areas|
|Additional fees and charges||Plans may come with additional fees and charges, such as taxes, administrative fees, or activation fees||Plans may come with additional fees and charges, such as taxes, administrative fees, or activation fees||Plans may come with additional fees and charges, such as taxes, administrative fees, or activation fees|
Note: prices and plan offerings may change over time, so it is always a good idea to do your own research and compare different options before making a decision.