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!

hotlink sim

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.

What is the difference between Maxis and Hotlink?

  • 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.

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:

Coverage of Maxis in Malaysia (source: nperf)

Pro Tips:

  • 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.

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:

PriceCreditDataLocal MinutesValidity
10 MYR5 MYRN/AN/A30 days
25 MYR2 MYR10 GBN/A365 days
40 MYRN/A“Unlimited”, 50 GB @ 3 MbpsUnlimited30 days
50 MYRN/A“Unlimited”, 50 GB @ 6 MbpsUnlimited30 days
Hotlink Malaysia prepaid plans

IV. Calls and SMS Rate of Maxis in Malaysia

Here are the Maxis call and SMS rates for domestic calls and SMS within Malaysia:

ServiceRate (per minute/SMS)
Maxis-to-Maxis callsRM 0.15
Maxis-to-other networks callsRM 0.20
SMS to MaxisRM 0.10
SMS to other networksRM 0.15
Video callsRM 0.15 per minute

Note: These rates are charged per minute/SMS and are subject to additional taxes and charges.

Below are common ways to top up Maxis SIM for tourists to Malaysia:

Methods of Topping up your Maxis SIMDescription
Maxis Online StoreTourists 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 AppHotlink 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 PayTourists 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) outletsTourists 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 bankingTourists 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.
ATMTourists 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.

VI. How to Check Maxis Balance – All Maxis USSD Codes

TaskUSSD code
Check balance*100#
Check data balance1007#
Check voice call balance1001#
Check SMS balance1005#
Check MaxisONE plan balance1002#
Check Hotlink plan balance1001#
Check Hotlink FAST plan balance1006#
Check Hotlink Postpaid plan balance1009#
Check Hotlink RED plan balance1007#
Check Hotlink Prepaid Unlimited plan balance1008#
Top up credit100RELOAD PIN#
Activate data plan1001#
Deactivate data plan1002#
Activate international roaming1006#
Deactivate international roaming1007
Maxis store in Malaysia
Maxis store in Malaysia

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.

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 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. 

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.

VIII. Maxis vs Other Malaysia Mobile Operators

OperatorNetwork TypeCoverageData PlansRoamingAdditional Services
Maxis (Hotlink)4G/LTE, preparing for 5G via DNBCovers 94% of populationVarious daily, weekly and monthly plans starting from RM3 for 2GB valid 1 day to RM70 for 10GB valid 30days. Also offers unlimited plans.Daily and monthly Asia roaming packages to select countries.Chat and social packs for unlimited WhatsApp, Facebook etc. Inflight roaming via AeroMobile.
Digi (CelcomDigi)4G/LTE, rolling out 5G via DNBCovers 96% of populationWide range of data packs from short 1hr plans to monthly plans up to 14GB. Also offers unlimited plans. Various bonus data offerings.Competitive roaming packages within Asia and Europe. Inflight roaming via AeroMobile. Tourist SIM options.Broadband plans for routers/modems. Special packages for social media usage.
Celcom (CelcomDigi)4G/LTE, rolling out 5G via DNBWidest coverage at 96%Daily, weekly and monthly data packs. Unlimited data packs also available.Daily roaming pass for Asia. Basic roaming option for minimal usage.Special late night data packages. Additional data boosters can be purchased.
U Mobile4G/LTE, preparing for 5G via DNB. Relies on Maxis 3G networkCoverage below 93%Daily, weekly and unlimited(throttled) plans. Weekly plans have call minutes included.Daily Asia roaming.Unlimited access to selected apps and streaming even without a data pack. Additional hotspot data available.
YesOperates own 4G networkCoverage over 90% in peninsula onlyOffers daily, weekly and monthly social and non-social data plans.No information.No information.

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.

Thus in summary, Digi and Celcom provide the most comprehensive suite of prepaid options for both local and international usage, making them good choices for frequent travelers or data-hungry users. U Mobile is a budget-friendly option for basic connectivity.


How do I purchase a Hotlink SIM card?

Standard prepaid Hotlink SIM cards can be purchased at Maxis retailers nationwide, including outlets at airports and major shopping centers. You can also find them at convenience stores like 7-Eleven.

How do I top-up my Hotlink balance?

You can top-up your Hotlink balance using top-up vouchers available at Maxis retailers, convenience stores, supermarkets, and many other resellers. Top-ups range from RM5 for 5 days validity to RM100 for 100 days validity. You can also top-up online using credit cards.

How do I check my Hotlink balance and data usage?

To check your Hotlink balance, dial *122#. You can also check your data balance and usage by dialing *100#, selecting “Internet Passes” or using the Maxis Hotlink app.

What data packages does Hotlink offer?

Hotlink offers various data packages valid for 1 day, 7 days, and 30 days. The packages provide data allowances ranging from 1.5GB to 10GB. They also offer daily and monthly roaming packages for certain Southeast Asian countries.

How do I purchase a Hotlink data package?

You can purchase Hotlink data packages by dialing *100# and selecting “Internet Passes” on your phone. You can also purchase them through the Maxis Hotlink app.

Does Hotlink have any roaming services?

Yes, Hotlink offers daily roaming packages for 8 countries in Southeast Asia as well as a monthly package for Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. It also provides an Asia roaming option that gives 1GB data valid for 30 days.

What is Hotlink’s IDD prefix for cheap international calls?

Hotlink’s discounted international direct dial (IDD) prefix is 132. Calls using this prefix are significantly cheaper than standard IDD rates.