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[Cheatsheet] The Best SIM-Only Plans in Singapore (2019 Edition)

We relook the SIM-Only plans in Singapore after changes to Circles.Life’s plan, the introduction of SingTel’s GOMO Mobile and TPG’s free year-long SIM-Only plan.

 

This article has been updated on 23 April 2019 to reflect the latest prices and plans.

Many of us spend several hundred dollars or more each year on our mobile phone plans but rarely consider whether there are better mobile subscriptions in the market when our contracts run down. The main reason – we are often lured by seemingly lucrative deals on the latest handphone models rather than trying to source for the best mobile subscription that actually fits our usage requirement.

Often, we end up opting for more expensive plans just to enjoy the initial handset subsidy. To lower the cost of buying the new phone, we also typically trade-in our perfectly working mobile phones which may have nabbed us a better deal if we sold it on Carousell, eBay or even mobile stores on our own.

If we could just avoid our compulsion to buy the latest mobile phones, we would enjoy a substantial saving on both handset upgrades AND mobile contract – by getting a SIM-only plan.

More Options For Consumers In Singapore

The increasing popularity of SIM-only contracts is clearly evident. The three local telcos – SingTel, StarHub and M1 – all have their own SIM-only plans.

No less than four other mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) – Circles.Life, Zero Mobile, Zero1, MyRepublic – have also entered the fray offering their own SIM-only plans. SingTel has also launched its own MVNO in the form of GOMO Mobile, an all digital mobile product.

In addition, Australia’s TPG Telecom, which won the fourth telco license in Singapore, has announced its entry with a trial offer of a free year-long SIM-only subscription to their unlimited data SIM-only plan. SingTel has also

This has led to further intensification competition in an already crowded telecommunications marketplace. The main benefactors are the consumers in Singapore for now, as prices have tapered and service standards have to be better and more innovative.

In fact, Circles.Life has also responded with its new $0 Flexi Plan. Circles.Life isn’t a charity, and they’re very likely offering this free plan to catch our eyeballs and hopefully upsell us a paid plan. More recently, Circles.Life even out a whole-page advertisement in the local newspapers addressed to their “telco friends in red and green” – thanking them for following their example to give consumers a better deal, and going a step further by upgrading 100% of their subscribers on their base plan to 20 GB a month (from 6 GB a month) for the same price.

Comparing The SIM-Only Plans

We look at the SIM-only plans offered by the different telco and MVNO operators in Singapore to find out which offers the best deal. All promotions and discounts will be disregarded to take away variances that an individual may encounter depending on the time we subscribe for the plans.

We also use three model users – with basic data needs (2 GB to 3 GB), moderate data needs (8 GB to 12 GB) and extreme data needs (at least 23 GB) – to determine the best SIM-only plans for each.

User A – Basic Data Needs

This user needs a minimum of:

  • 100 mins talktime
  • 2 to 3GB data
  • Caller ID
  • Free incoming calls

* The Circles.Life Base plan offers 4 GB. If you port-in a number from an existing telco, you will receive an additional 2 GB. If you are one of the first 10,000 customers to subscribe for its plan under its latest promotion, you will receive an additional 14 GB for free, for ever.

** Unlimited WhatsApp does not include video calling. Voice calling is capped at 10,000 minutes per month.

Read Also: [2019 Edition] Complete Guide To Prepaid SIM Plans In Singapore

Observations For Users With Basic Data Needs

Based on what’s offered by the individual telcos, GOMO Mobile’s GO Plan seems to be the most affordable plan at $20.00. For a user requiring only basic data and talktime, we can still get up to 20 GB, giving us peace of mind that we will not easily exceed our usage while still paying the a reasonable price.

Of course, TPG Mobile’s XL Unlimited Data Plan is currently offering a free year-long mobile subscription for new users. Nothing can beat this, but we have to bear in mind that this only lasts for one year. GOMO Mobile’s GO Plan also beats even Circles.Life’s promotional Base Plan of 20 GB, which will cost $30.00, and only limited to a certain number of new customers.

From time to time, there may also be promotions by the other telcos, such as SingTel’ SIM Only 3 GB Plan (offering an extra 3 GB) or StarHub’s $25 SIM Only Plan (offering an extra 10 GB and 80 GB on weekends) or M1’s mySIM320 (offering an extra 12 GB). Even comparing to these promotions, users with basic data needs should opt for GOMO Mobile’s Go Plan.

Meanwhile, certain operators, such as Zero 1’s 3 GB To Unlimited plan and MyRepublic’s Smart 35 plan, are offering unlimited data, albeit at slower speeds after a certain amount of data. However, these plans may be more suitable for basic data users who value more talktime over more data, with Zero 1’ 3 GB To Unlimited plan giving 200 mins talktime ($29.99) and MyRepublic’s Smart 35 plan giving 1,000 mins talktime ($35.00)

User B – Heavy Data Needs

This user needs a minimum of:

  • 100 mins talktime
  • 8 to 12GB data
  • Caller ID
  • Free incoming calls

* The Circles.Life Base plan offers 4 GB. If you port-in a number from an existing telco, you will receive an additional 2 GB. If you are one of the first 10,000 customers to subscribe for its plan under its latest promotion, you will receive an additional 14 GB for free, for ever.

** Unlimited WhatsApp does not include video calling. Voice calling is capped at 10,000 minutes per month.

Observations For Users With Heavy Data Needs

Based on the plans available in the market, GOMO Mobile’s GO Plan appears to be the most affordable option again. Similar to the previous discussion, TPG Mobile’s free year-long XL Unlimited Data Plan is the best promotion available.

Also similar to scenario basic data users face, another consideration is the plans that are on promotion as well as the unlimited data plans to avoid ever getting a bill shock. However, with 20 GB of data, GOMO Mobile’s Go Plan does look the obvious choice, even without being on promotion.

User C – Extreme Data Needs

This user needs a minimum of:

  • 100 mins talktime,
  • At least 23GB data
  • Caller ID
  • Free incoming calls

 

* The Circles.Life Base plan offers 4 GB. If you port-in a number from an existing telco, you will receive an additional 2 GB. If you are one of the first 10,000 customers to subscribe for its plan under its latest promotion, you will receive an additional 14 GB for free, for ever.

** Unlimited WhatsApp does not include video calling. Voice calling is capped at 10,000 minutes per month.

Observations For Users With Extreme Data Needs

For those with extreme data needs, we assume speed matters as well. This rules out signing up for unlimited data plans which throttles down to slower speeds after using a certain amount of data. Again, GOMO Mobile’s GO Plan is the most affordable choice – offering 30 GB of data at an extremely competitive $30.00 price point.

Once again, the same considerations come into play, including TPG Mobile’s free year-long XL Unlimited Data Plan as well as plans which are on promotions.

Read Also: [2019 Edition] Best Unlimited Data Mobile Plans In Singapore (Plus: Which Plan Gives The Most 4G Data Per Dollar?)

Going For A 12-Month Contract Today

In the telco industry, we can also opt for a 12-month contract to boost the benefits that we get on our SIM-only contract. While this is a slight deviation from the origins of the no-contract SIM-only plans, signing on a 12-month plan may be a logical step to take as we’re bounded for a shorter timeframe (compared to 24-months usually) and offers better perks in the form of more data and/or talktime.

* The Circles.Life Base plan offers 4 GB. If you port-in a number from an existing telco, you will receive an additional 2 GB. If you are one of the first 10,000 customers to subscribe for its plan under its latest promotion, you will receive an additional 14 GB for free, for ever.

** Unlimited WhatsApp does not include video calling. Voice calling is capped at 10,000 minutes per month.

New entrants such as GOMO Mobile’s GO Plan has made the current telcos’ contract plans redundant. Of course, TPG Mobile’s XL Unlimited Data Plan is free, and is the best promotion on offer.

We also find ourselves having to go back to the original premise, whether we value data over talktime. Another consideration is whether we want the safety net of being on an unlimited data plan, which Zero 1’s 3 GB To Unlimited plan and MyRepublic’s Smart 35 plan offer, along with more talktime, at a reasonable price.

For Users With Extremely Low Data Requirements

Another group of people who may also sign up for SIM-only plans include parents getting a phone for their younger children as well as the elderly. In certain instances, some within this group may not require a lot data – perhaps due to parents wanting to limit their children’s phone usage or the elderly who aren’t familiar with the feature.

These two plans may be suitable for them.

Circles.Life is offering a $0.00 plan to users. With unlimited incoming calls, the plan will come up to $2.00 a month.

While more expensive, Zero1’s plan is also a compelling choice – ensuring those who sign up will not get a bill shock. Speeds just slow down after the 1 GB rather than stop working, which means overusing will only be frustrating (at slower speeds) rather than expensive.

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