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[Cheatsheet] What Are The Best SIM-Only Plans In Singapore (2019 Edition)

We relook the SIM-Only plans in Singapore with the introduction of players like Grid Mobile, giga and redONE.


This article was first published on 3 August 2018 and has been updated on 2 October 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.

Read Also: Are Subsidised Phone Plans Really More Expensive Compared To SIM Only Plans In 2019?

What Is A SIM-Only Plan?

A SIM-only plan provides users with only a SIM card, allowing us to focus on getting the most suitable mobile plan for your needs with the right amount of talktime, mobile data and SMS texts. Unlike traditional mobile plans, SIM-only plans typically don’t offer a handset subsidy or bundle discounts.

SIM-only mobile plans are also generally cheaper than traditional mobile plans as we only pay for what we need and we won’t be forking out an additional amount for a new phone. We also get to enjoy the flexibility of not having a contract if we choose. This is especially relevant if we want to move to a SIM-only plan because our phones are in perfect working condition or because we may have to move abroad in the near-term.

While SIM-only plans started out as contract-free, some telco providers are now offering 12-month and 24-month contracts deals with additional features. These plans also differ from prepaid SIM plans as they are post-paid.

Increasing 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.

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 trial for their unlimited data SIM-only plan.

A slew of mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) have since entered the market offering their own SIM-only plans – Circles.Life, Zero Mobile, Zero1, MyRepublic, as well as VivoBee, a MVNO that caters to Singapore’s migrant worker population.

In March 2019, SingTel launched its own MVNO, GOMO Mobile. Not to be outdone, StarHub launched their MVNO, giga in May 2019.

In June 2019, the NVMO Grid Mobile was launched, which is a joint venture between SingTel and ST Telemedia. A month later, in July 2019, redONE entered the MVNO space, followed by ViviFi, an MVNO that focuses on bundle plans for the family.

These developments have 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, service standards are under pressure to improve, and products more innovative.

For instance, Circles.Life launched a $0 Flexi plan, which sounds a little too good to be true. After all, Circle.Life isn’t a charity and they’re very likely offering this free plan to gain users and usage data and then hopefully upsell additional services or an upgrade to their paid plans.

Comparing The SIM-Only Plans

We’ll 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 they subscribe.

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.

Best SIM-Only Plans For Basic Data Needs

User A needs a minimum of:

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

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

Observations For Users With Basic Data Needs

Of course, TPG Mobile’s XL Unlimited Data Plan is currently offering a promotional free year-long mobile subscription for new users. Being free, nothing can beat this, but we have to bear in mind that this is only a promotion and it lasts for just one year.

Based on what’s available in the market, redONE’s Amazing 8 and Circles.Life’s $5 Plan are the cheapest at $8 and $12, respectively, though you’ll have to live with no caller ID if you go with redONE.

For a little more, GOMO Mobile’s GO Plan is a pretty compelling deal at $20.00. For a user requiring only basic data and talktime, we can still get up to 20GB data, giving us peace of mind that we will not easily exceed our usage while still paying a reasonable price.

Meanwhile, certain operators, such as Zero 1’s 3GB 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 suitable for basic data users who value more talktime over more data, with Zero 1’ 3GB To Unlimited plan giving 200 mins talktime ($29.99) and MyRepublic’s Smart 35 plan giving 1,000 mins talktime ($35.00). These plans give users added peace of mind that they will never get a bill shock.

Best SIM-Only Plans For Heavy Data Needs

User B needs a minimum of:

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

 

Observations For Users With Heavy Data Needs

GOMO Mobile’s GO Plan appears to be the most affordable option again at $20.00 for those who just need 20 GB of data. For those who need more, Grid Mobile’s gridPlan presents exceptional value, with 40GB of data at $24.90.

Again, TPG Mobile’s free year-long XL Unlimited Data Plan continues to be the best promotion available. Similar to the scenario basic data users face, another consideration are the unlimited data plans to avoid ever getting a bill shock, the cheapest of which is Zero1’s 9GB To Unlimited, which gives you 27GB of unthrottled data at $39.90.

Best SIM-Only Plans For Extreme Data Needs

User C needs a minimum of:

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

Observations For Users With Extreme Data Needs

For those with extreme data needs, we assume speed matters as well. So while there are a few unlimited data plans available, we’ll look at their unthrottled 4G data for comparison.

This time, Grid Mobile’s gridPlan comes out ahead, offering 40GB at $24.90. If you’re willing to pay a little more for peace of mind, Zero1’s 9GB To Unlimited gives you 27GB of unthrottled data at $39.90.

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?)

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