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Are All SIM Only Plans Made The Same?

Are All SIM Only Plans Made The Same?

Mark Cheng

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This post was written in collaboration with Singtel. While we are financially compensated by them, we nonetheless strive to maintain our editorial integrity and review products with the same objective lens. We are committed to providing the best recommendations and advice in order for you to make personal financial decisions with confidence. You can view our Editorial Guidelines here.

 

These days, with so many SIM Only plans being released seemingly faster than Apple software updates, you might be forgiven for thinking that this is the new way mobile phone plans are to be structured moving forward.

There are many benefits to SIM-only plans that extend beyond just the price point, but with so many new plans touting just how cheap they are, it easy to miss the point that in actual fact, these plans are quite different from the “classic” SIM only plans offered by the more established telcos.

The new kid on the block is the $0 per month plan, and it’s pretty easy to see why people would flock to the plan without consideration for factors beyond price. It’s not to say that these plans are bad, nor is anyone limiting you to getting only one plan, but here’s what you should consider first beyond just the low price point:

Factors / Plan Classic SIM Only Plans New MVNO SIM Only Plans
Data bundles Basic amount of data deemed sufficient for light users. Typically hover around the 5GB range. Usually has 1GB of data as a starter.

Data top up options range from up to $8/mth for every 1GB.

Talktime Have ample talktime allocation and free incoming calls. Varies greatly. Some offer ample talktime, while others keep talktime to a minimum, but generally they do not offer free incoming calls.
Speed throttling No speed throttling (subject to fair usage) Speed throttling may kick in earlier (e.g after a low data tier like 1GB).
Phone purchase Flexibility in purchasing phones
– IPP plans
– Mobile Leasing (only with Singtel SIM Only)
Provider may not offer option of phone purchase.
Value-added services Allows access to roaming data bundles, music /lifestyle subscriptions. Data roaming can be added at a higher cost than a bundle price.
Terms and Conditions Comes in either no contract or a minimum contractual period of 12 mths. Terms & conditions may vary, e.g. ensuring the line is primary line, else risk suspension of account.

 

We’re not trying to say that one is better than the other, and the reality is nothing is stopping you from signing up for a cheap plan and using it as an additional line. But here are the facts to consider before purchasing a plan and how it could potentially impact your mobile usage.

Before you sign up for a plan, do consider the price per GB based on your own data usage habits to get the best value. Singtel’s SIM Only Plans are no stranger to most, and they offer different plans for different needs at an affordable price per GB.

Singtel’s SIM Only Plan Price per month Price per GB
5GB $20 $4
10GB $36.05 $3.60
30GB $46.75 $1.55
55GB $73.50 $1.33

 

Getting a data allowance that is comfortable makes a lot more sense than adding data packs over time, in the same way that getting access to roaming data bundles makes more sense than pay-per-use roaming charges.

Talktime is definitely still a big point of consideration, and Singtel’s SIM Only Plans ensure that you get to enjoy free incoming calls as well as 150mins of outgoing talktime and 500 free SMS as part of the plan.

But more so than that, you get the data plan on the fastest and widest network in Singapore. The only telco to offer the LTE900 band, this basically means that even indoors or underground, your coverage is the best.

Singtel has recently launched Singapore’s first Mobile Leasing program that allows you to lease selected flagship phones and upgrade your phone every year, at a lower price vs buying the phone at R.R.P. This is exclusively with their SIM Only Plans and is great for the trend-conscious and/or gadget geeks who always need to own the latest handsets.

And if you are a music lover, you can get data-free music streaming on Apple Music, offered exclusively on Singtel, free for 6 months. Alternatively, Singtel exclusively has a Spotify Premium promotion package at just $0.99 for the first 3 months and $7.90 per month after (usually $9.90 per month). Which means data-free music streaming forever!

If you are interested in signing up for Singtel’s SIM Only Plans, you can find out more here.

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Mark Cheng

I rant and rave a lot, but when I'm not busy doing that, I'm managing the content for MoneySmart. I love Singapore, but I also believe in helping it to improve bit by bit, and that's where MoneySmart comes in. Have some thoughts? Drop me an email at [email protected]