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Yes Review: The Best Malaysian SIM Card For Unlimited Data (+Speedtests)

There is so much to do in Malaysia that you would almost think you have to live there for a few years to see it all. Even if you lived there your entire life, you would still not be able to see it all, but that does not mean you should not try!

From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital, with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, to George Town, also often referred to as Penang, albeit George Town being the capital of the Penang state, with many colonial landmarks – let alone the street good. Do not forget about the beaches in Langkawi!

You probably want to share your Malaysia experiences online. To do so, you want a Malaysian SIM card. Roaming with your provider in Malaysia could be costly because roaming can be expensive in many cases. That is why local SIM cards are so popular because you can enjoy local rates.

Mobile data rates are low in Malaysia compared to the world's average, which is why you should be taking advantage of it.

If you are planning on buying a SIM card in Malaysia, you are probably looking for the best SIM card. I had the same question when I went to Malaysia, so I tested out 5 different SIM cards: Digi, Hotlink, Celcom, U Mobile, and, of course, Yes.

Based on my experiences, I was able to find the best Malaysian SIM card. Would that be Yes? Let's find out in this Yes review.

Yes Malaysia Review by Phone Travel Wiz

Original publication: 10th of May 2020. Last updated: 18th of December 2022.

Table of Contents

Telecom Providers in Malaysia

Before I talk more about Yes, I need to inform you about your options in Malaysia. If you have read my Buying a SIM Card in Malaysia Guide, then you know that Malaysia has 4 full operators: Digi, Maxis/Hotlink, Celcom, and U Mobile.

Moreover, there are 3 4G/LTE-only operators, which are Altel, Unifi, and Yes. Unlike Altel and Unifi, Yes does not have national roaming agreements with the full operators, meaning that Yes is genuinely a 4G/LTE-only operator.

Finally, there are plenty of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), such as Tune Talk, XOX Mobile, SpeakOut, and redone, which use the mobile networks of the full operators to facilitate their mobile services.

Now that you know all of this, it is time to introduce you to Yes.

Yes Logo

Yes used to be a WiMAX operator, which was not compatible with GSM that most countries, operators, and phones support. That changed in 2016 when Yes launched their 4G/LTE network and closed down their WiMAX network.

Even then, Yes is still somewhat an exclusive network because they use frequencies that are not common in Malaysia and around the world (TD(D)-LTE). However, they are one of the operators to have the most extensive 4G/LTE networks in West Malaysia, and speeds are okay.

I decided to get myself a Yes SIM card to see if Yes is any good or not. Let’s see how my experience with Yes was.

What Frequencies does Yes Use?

Yes is a 4G-only operator that does not have 2G or 3G fall back in terms of a national roaming agreement with the full operators (Digi, Maxis/Hotlink, Celcom, and U Mobile). In addition, they do not use standard Asian/European frequencies. Instead, they use TD(D)-LTE.

It is not essential to know what that means. All it says is that you need a rather high-end phone to use Yes because only high-end phones support TD-LTE.

Yes supports the following 4G/LTE frequencies:

  • 800 MHz on Band 20 (trial)
  • 2300 MHz on Band 40
  • 2600 MHz on Band 38

Conveniently, Yes has a list of supported devices on their site. It is highly recommended to consult this list before considering a Yes SIM card. If your phone is not on the list, you will not be able to use any of Yes’ services.

I will be making a post covering frequencies more in-depth, but the higher the frequency, the higher the capacity. However, higher frequencies have difficulties going through walls and buildings. Lower frequencies have a wider reach, can penetrate walls and buildings more efficiently, but they have lower capacity.

As always, make sure your phone is unlocked. Otherwise, you will not be able to use any SIM card except the one from your home operator.

How do I Buy a Yes Prepaid SIM Card?

You can buy a Yes SIM card in Yes stores, kiosks, and official dealers. Moreover, you can also order your Yes SIM card online. When I was at Kuala Lumpur Airport, I arrived at the main terminal (KLIA1), and I could not find a Yes booth there.

According to the Yes FAQ, Yes offers an Airport SIM Prepaid Plan in both terminals from a Yes dealer called Atmosphere Mobile Sdn. Bhd. Unfortunately, this Airport SIM Plan is only available to foreign workers who have a valid work permit.

If you meet these requirements, then you will get the Yes Airport Prepaid Plan for free with 1 MYR in credit, free basic internet (128 Kbps, which is too slow for modern web browsing), and unlimited on-net calls and SMS for 7 days.

Initially, I was not planning on getting a Yes SIM card at all. Instead, I wanted to test the 4 full operators (Digi, Hotlink, Celcom, and U Mobile) only for this trip and the 4G-only operators (Yes, Altel, and Unifi) a few months later. However, I saw a Yes store and decided to give in anyway.

Yes SIM Card

Once I got inside the Yes store, I got greeted and instantly got asked what type of phone I had. Remember, Yes is a 4G-only operator and only runs on rather unusual frequencies, so they had to know if I could even become a customer. I told the salesperson that I have an OnePlus 7 Pro, which she had never heard of (that made me sad), so she put her SIM card in my phone to see if it worked. That is an interesting take of good customer service.

Once it was confirmed that my phone support Yes’ frequencies, I asked if I could get a prepaid SIM card. I could, but they only sold the 30 MYR unlimited data plan. I knew that Yes has other types of plans, but this store conveniently did not sell them. Weird.

Anyway, I decided to go for it because unlimited data sounded great to me. I asked whether there was a Fair-Use Policy (FUP), and the salesperson told me that the data is truly unlimited. I was a bit skeptical because there are not that many operators around the world that offer real unlimited data (Taiwan is one of them). Still, according to Yes’ terms of service, there is no clear defined FUP, but excessive usage may result in your speeds getting throttled or your connection getting shut down.

In Malaysia, you have to show your passport and register it with the provider. When you buy your SIM card at a Yes store, the salesperson will handle all of this for you, but you do have to bring your passport with you if you intend to buy a Malaysian SIM card.

A Yes Prepaid SIM card costs 10 MYR and comes with:

  • 1 GB 4G LTE internet
  • 5 MYR in credit
  • Free basic internet (128 Kbps)
  • Unlimited on-net calls and SMS
Free basic internet speed has doubled from 64 Kbps to 128 Kbps

So, I spent a total of 40 MYR on a SIM card and data in this Yes store. Although not expensive compared to many other operators around the world, you can get a lot of data for much less in Malaysia. However, getting unlimited data for less than 40 MYR may be a challenge.

Once my personal details were processed, the salesperson activated my SIM card for me and my Yes account. You get a Yes email address with each subscription, which can be used for whatever you want to use it for – kind of cool. Now, I was ready to enjoy unlimited data in Malaysia.

Yes Account Creation Activation Email

How do I Activate my Yes SIM Card?

The Yes salesperson will activate your SIM card upon purchase and registration. Remember to bring your passport with you.

Yes Activation SMS

How Do I Top-Up my Yes SIM Card?

You can recharge your Yes SIM Card online and on the MyYes4G App. You can also get reload cards at Yes stores and kiosks. The following reload denominations are available:

  • 5 MYR
  • 10 MYR
  • 30 MYR
  • 30 MYR
  • 50 MYR
  • 100 MYR

You can check your Yes credit balance by texting BAL to 018 330 1111.

Adu from Phone Travel Wiz holding a Yes SIM Card

Yes Top-Up: MyYes4G App

To top-up via the MyYes4G App, go to the menu, select Buy Now, and press Reload Cards. Enter the 16-digit activation code and redeem your voucher.

Yes Top-Up: Online

To top-up via the Yes website, head to the Pay & Reload page, enter your Yes number/Yes ID/account number, and press Verify.

Yes Pay & Reload Page

Select Reload Cards/Activation Code from the Service menu and enter the 16-digit activation code.

Yes Recharge Card Activation Steps

Confirm the transaction and complete it.

Yes Top-Up: SMS

To top-up via SMS, text REL YourYesNumber ActivationCode to 018 330 1111. For example, if your yes number is 0181230000 and your activation code is 1234567890123456, you would text REL 0181230000 1234567890123456 to 018 330 1111.

What Prepaid Packages does Yes Offer?

Yes has several data plans with a hard-cap and unlimited data plans. All these plans can be purchased online on MyYes or on the MyYes4G App. You can also these add-ons at Yes stores and kiosks. Let’s go through each plan.

Yes Data Add-Ons

Yes has several data packages, called Data Add-Ons, that only come with data. They come in 6 variants. For the past few months, Yes is doubling your data allowance. It is unclear whether this is a permanent thing or just a long on-going promotion. For now, I will label the extra data as bonus data:

PriceDataBonus DataTotal DataValidity
5 MYR1 GB1 GB2 GBUntil midnight  
10 MYR2 GB2 GB4 GB7 days
25 MYR8 GB8 GB16 GB30 days
30 MYR10 GB10 GB20 GB30 days
50 MYR15 GB15 GB30 GB30 days
80 MYR25 GB25 GB50 GB30 days

Yes Konfem Plans

Yes is mainly known for their Konfem Unlimited Plans, which come with unlimited data. Video resolution restriction applies to the Konfem Unlimited SD Epik plan, which is the 30 MYR version. That explains why YouTube was buffering, even when my speeds were good enough for HD speeds.

There are 3 Konfem plans:

PriceDataVideo Resolution CapValidity
5 MYR5 GBNoneUntil midnight
30 MYRUnlimitedStandard Definition (480P)30 days
40 MYRUnlimitedHigh Definition (720P)30 days

Do note that you cannot tether, or use your phone as a mobile hotspot, with the Konfem plans. I even tried using a VPN to see if I could circumvent this restriction, but that did not work. Hey, it never hurts to try!

How Do I Activate a Yes Data Plan?

You can activate a Yes data plan on the MyYes4G App, online, or via SMS with a data add-on reload card.

Activating a Yes Data Plan: MyYes4G App

To top-up via the MyYes4G App, go to the menu, select Buy Now, and press Reload Cards. Enter the 16-digit activation code and redeem your voucher.

Activating a Yes Data Plan: Online With or Without a Reload Card

To top-up via the Yes website, head to the Pay & Reload page, enter your Yes number/Yes ID/account number, and press Verify.

Yes Pay & Reload Page

Select Reload Cards/Activation Code OR Activate Reload Card and Convert To Add-On from the Service menu and enter the 16-digit activation code IF buying an Add-On with a reload card.

Yes Recharge Card Activation Steps

If buying without a reload card, select Add-ons.  

Yes Add-Ons Activation Steps

Select the add-on of choice under Select an Option.

Yes Add-Ons Activation Steps

Select your payment method. Yes accepts international Visa cards and Mastercards.

Yes Add-Ons Activation Steps

Enter your payment information.

Yes Add-Ons Activation Steps

Confirm the transaction and complete it.

Activating a Yes Data Plan: SMS

To top-up via SMS, text REL YourYesNumber ActivationCode to 018 330 1111. For example, if your yes number is 0181230000 and your activation code is 1234567890123456, you would text REL 0181230000 1234567890123456 to 018 330 1111.

What Speeds Will I Get with Yes in Malaysia?

Normally, I do at least 3 speed test with an operator throughout the city I am staying or the country to get a good feel of there speeds. For some reason, I only saved 1 speed test with Yes. Weird, but at least we have something to look at.

Yes Speed test in the Pavillion Mall in Kuala Lumpur
Yes speed test in the Pavillion Mall in Kuala Lumpur

I do remember that the speeds were rather consistent with Yes, although it sometimes shot up to 40 Mbps. These speeds are fine. They are not the fastest in the world and certainly not the fastest in Malaysia. Even then, it is fast enough for regular web browsing.

I also remember being confused about why YouTube was buffering so often. That is because my unlimited data plan restricted video resolution to SD (480P). If I knew that, I may have gone for the 40 MYR Konfem plan that comes with HD video.

Do I Recommend Yes to Travelers Visiting Malaysia?

I would and would not recommend Yes to travelers visiting Malaysia. The main reason why I would not recommend Yes is that you need a high-end phone that supports TD(D)-LTE to use Yes. Over 250 phones are on Yes’ supported devices list, and I assume more will be added when the 800 MHz trials are going well. Until then, Yes not accessible to the majority of mobile data users.

If Yes supports your phone, then Yes can be an exciting option compared to the full operators, especially when staying in larger cities and towns. Yes’ coverage is still somewhat limited compared to the full operators.

Moreover, if you are in an area where Yes has no coverage, then there is no option to fall back to 2G and 3G because Yes does not have those networks, nor do they have national roaming agreements with the full operators. This makes Yes not a good option for those who wish to explore more of rural Malaysia.

Furthermore, Yes is primarily active in West Malaysia. They have started extending their coverage in Sarawak and Sabah (East Malaysia on Borneo). Still, the coverage there is even more limited than in West Malaysia.

I am somewhat disappointed that I was not able to buy a plan of choice when I visited the Yes store. There should not be a reason why I could not buy a specific plan because the store did not offer them. To me, that does not make sense. I am not sure whether this is a common practice among Yes stores or if I was simply unlucky by going to that specific store (in a touristy area).

Besides that, I do like the fact that the Konfem plans come with unlimited data, albeit there being restrictions on video streaming. The Konfem plans are affordable too, compared to unlimited plans I have tried before in the past. They can be considered slightly expensive for Malaysian standards, though.

Speeds with Yes were alright. Nothing spectacular if I have to be honest.

I also like the customer service aspect of Yes. The employees were friendly and were willing to address most of my concerns in a positive manner. You even get a Yes email address, which is cool, although I probably will never use it. Even if I did, the email address would expire in a few months because I am not planning on maintaining my Yes account (because I am not in Malaysia anymore).

One thing that was kind of sweet is that when I had a layover from Australia to Taiwan via Malaysia, Yes sent me a text message congratulating me on my birthday. They would give me 50% more data on data plans. Unfortunately, I was not be staying in the country long enough to take advantage of this plan

Yes Birthday Offer
March 3rd is not my birthday. March 1st is.

Based on all these experiences, I believe Yes deserves a 4-star rating. Although I had mainly positive experiences with them, the fact that they are not accessible to the majority is a con. Moreover, the lack of 2G and 3G fallback can be an issue for when there is no 4G/LTE coverage. Yes’ coverage is limited in East Malaysia, which is another con. Besides that, the plans Yes offers are alright, so are their speeds. Therefore, the 4-star rating is warranted.

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