Landline services are provided by the national monopoly Telekom Malaysia (TM; www.tm.com.my).
The easiest and cheapest way to make international calls is to buy a local SIM card for your mobile (cell) phone. Only certain payphones permit international calls. You can make operator-assisted international calls from local TM offices. To save money on landline calls, buy a prepaid international calling card (available from convenience stores).
Local calls cost eight sen for the first two minutes. Payphones take coins or prepaid cards, which are available from TM offices and convenience stores. Some also take international credit cards. You’ll also find a range of discount calling cards at convenience stores and mobile-phone counters.
If you have arranged global roaming with your home provider, your GSM digital phone will automatically tune into one of the region’s networks. If not, buy a prepaid SIM card (passport required) for one of the local networks on arrival.
The rate for locals calls and text messages is around 36 sen.
There are three main mobile-phone companies, all with similar call rates and prepaid packages:
- Celcom (www.celcom.com.my) This is the best company to use if you’ll be spending time in remote regions of Sabah and Sarawak.
- DiGi (http://new.digi.com.my)
- Maxis (www.maxis.com.my)