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Stop Getting Ripped Off for Data Roaming With These Packages From Singapore Telcos

data roaming singapore

Joanne Poh

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If you see a bunch of bewildered looking tourists searching for wi-fi hotspots while on holiday, there’s a high chance they’re Singaporean. Apparently, we’ve all become so used to staring at our smartphones on those grinding MRT rides and during boring meetings that we’re completely unable to disconnect even on holiday.

But there’s a reason why on a drive to Malaysia everyone scrambles to put their phones in airplane mode before crossing the border—data roaming fees are insanely expensive. And we’re not talking about expensive in the way chicken rice now costs $6 at some food courts. We’re talking change-your-name-and-go-into-hiding levels of expensive, as experienced by this woman who got charged $2,080 after a single day in Malacca.

While pay-as-you-go data roaming charges are so insane the only people who end up using them are the ones who do so by accident, telcos have rolled out pay-per-day packages that are much less heart attack-inducing.

M1

Name

Cost

Countries

Unlimited Data Roaming

$0.20 per 10KB up to a maximum of $15 per day

Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, USA

Wifi Roaming

$12 per day (Asia Pacific & Americas) / $19 per day (rest of the world)

All countries with wifi hotspots here

StarHub

Name

Cost

Countries

RoamEasyDaily

$10 a day per 50 MB

Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K and USA.

DataRoam Daily Unlimited

$0.02 per KB up to a maximum of $30 a day

53 countries including Albania, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finalnd, France, Germany, Greece, Hungry, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA

Singtel

Name

Cost

Countries

DataRoam Pass

$15 a day

Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea Taiwan, Thailand

DataRoam Saver

Varies from country to country

Various, check here if network is available in your country of choice.

Tips

  • Starhub’s DataRoam Daily Unlimited plan is technically the cheapest per KB. Depending on which of the 53 eligible countries you visit, the maximum you’ll be charged for data is $15, $18 or $30 per day. This means that even if you upload an entire album of holiday photos to Facebook, you won’t need to worry about exorbitant bills.
  • If you’re planning to be using a lot of data overseas, M1’s Unlimited Data Roaming Plan is the cheaper option for those travelling to the US, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia because it’s capped at $15 per day.
  • Do note, however, that you WILL need to manually choose M1 or Starhub’s partner network in your destination country. In Malaysia, for example, M1’s partner is Celcom and Starhub’s partner is Digi. Choose the wrong network, and you’ll end up paying the regular roaming fees, without the price cap.
  • The plans are charged on a per-day basis. A day is from 12 midnight to 11:59pm Singapore time. This means that if you use data roaming for two minutes from 11:59pm to 12:01am, you’ll be charged for two days’ worth of data. Always keep tabs on what time it is in Singapore and try to squeeze your data roaming use into as few days as possible.
  • If you really want to save money and can afford to not be contactable (in terms of phone calls), you could always buy a prepaid SIM card in the country you are travelling to. Most countries around the region offer much cheaper packages than the per-day packages offered by Singapore telcos.

Do you use data roaming when you travel? Tell us why or why not in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.

  • Matt

    Agreed. Living here in the UK I’m using Three, it’s by far the best ever. All I have to do is pay 15 pounds (S$30) for 30 days, and I have “all-you-can-eat” data, which is unlimited, at 4G speeds.

    On top of that, it’s not just the UK, I can have the same unlimited data in many countries in Europe, US, HK, and Indonesia at no additional costs. Even with Starhub’s best, it’s nowhere near comparable with Three (owned by Li’s Hutchison).

    When I return to Singapore I may still keep my Three line, in case I travel to other countries I can just reactivate the plan for $30 and enjoy unlimited data. Screw the local telcos.