I’ve not exactly written much about technology in this personal blog of mine, but here’s actually one question I get, way too often; “Which telco is the best?”
The question usually comes from family members and colleagues who are older or less tech savvy, and often, I do try my best to answer based on my experience.
However, since perhaps some of you also have the same question, let me answer it here, on this blog.
DEFINITION OF ‘THE BEST TELCO’
Most of the time, I ask those who ask me, what do they expect from a telco as this would reflect what they think would be ‘the best telco’.
This largely means that the term ‘the best telco’ isn’t easy to define, with each telco having their own specialty and offerings like better speeds, better coverage, better pricing, better freebies etc.
However, when looking for the best telco, one must look at themselves first, and consider their frequently visited places, as well as what they would need the telco service for.
For example, I would want a telco that offers good speeds, doesn’t cost too much, and most importantly, great coverage in areas I frequent most.
These three criteria are vital for me when choosing a telco, but unfortunately, most telcos in Malaysia don’t score in all three departments, with some outdoing their competitors in one or two sections, but faltering flat on their tummy in the other.
For me, branding and freebie offerings play little to none in my telco selection as I look often to only the three criterias.
SO, WHO’S GOOD, GREAT AND BEST?
Technically speaking, it would be very difficult to choose among all the telcos in Malaysia, but I can’t just say that to those wanting an answer, as they would be left hanging without an answer.
With that in mind, this is my brief review of each telco which I have had the opportunity to try myself over the past year.
DIGI – I’ve recently ported to Digi, and I can say I am slowly regretting it because their internet connection in Kuching City has been rather patchy, and unreliable at times. They aren’t the cheapest in town, but they are cheap. I’d note that their internet speed is unpredictable, but they cover two rural areas I frequent most, and hence why I am still with them for now.
CELCOM/AXIATA – These guys have the widest coverage in Sarawak, and that is probably the sole reason why they can’t be bothered to compete with the rest of the brands – a.k.a they have the monopoly. If you need to travel a lot, especially to rural areas, there’s a good chance Celcom would cover that area. Nonetheless, like Digi, their speeds are unreliable, and so is their network, but their internet coverage stability is much better than Digi in areas I frequent, but had become worst lately, and hence why I decided to port to Digi. They aren’t the cheapest either, but they aren’t the most expensive either.
MAXIS – Maxis has the fastest internet connection in Kuching as far as I know. Speeds can reach up to 60Mbps, depending on a location. Their network is pretty stable, and their coverage is also reliable hence why they are still my main line despite being pricier than the rest of telcos. The way I see it, Maxis delivers when I need super internet speeds to download large files, so that works for me, despite the price. I’m always for better service anyway.
UMOBILE – I’m using their prepaid, and I’d rate their internet service as the lowest among the four I’ve tried in the past three months. They are the cheapest telco among the four, but their network and internet connection in places I frequent is pretty is bad. UMobile however excels when it comes to saving as they not only offer discounts for each reload, but also an abundance of freebies. Unfortunately-lah, all these free stuff means peanuts if compared to their sub-standard service.
I’d love to also say something about webe, REDOne and other telcos, but since I’ve not used them, I don’t think it’s fair for me to comment on their service here in Kuching.
So, based on my needs and locations I frequent, Maxis is my top choice as a telco despite their higher price. However, my choice may not be the same as yours as you really need to look into places you frequent most.
Have something more to add? Use the comment section below! Else, you could also read about how to choose a good smartphone, or just check out this Ulefone T1 which has amazing specs for low low price.