Remember those days when Singaporeans mobile users only had the option of choosing between Singtel, M1 and Starhub no matter how poor the customer service or how unreasonable the prices?
But then Circles.Life appeared on the scene, and the floodgates opened. MyRepublic and new virtual telcos Zero1 and Mobile Zero announced in mid 2018 that they would be entering the market and releasing their own mobile data plans. TPG Telecom may be launching in 2019 as well.
So for those who have sworn off the big telcos, which of the four mobile data plans in Singapore is the best? Let’s compare your options.
Plans Under $40 from Circles Life, MyRepublic and Zero1
Swipe left to see all 5 plans
|Circles Life Flexi Plan||Circles Life Base Plan||MyRepublic Smart 35||Zero 1
1GB to Unlimited
3GB to Unlimited
|Price per month||$0||$28||$35||$9.90||$29.99|
|Data||1 GB||6 GB||7 GB||1 GB to Unlimited||3 GB to Unlimited|
|Contract||No contract||No contract||No contract||No contract||No contract|
|Talktime||Add $5 for 30 mins||Add $4 for 100 min||1000 mins||200 mins||200 mins|
Which data plan is the cheapest?
With its new $0/month plan, Circles.Life wins hands down when it comes to price.
No, it’s not a typo. The plan is really free. But you only get 1GB of data and 30 min of talktime, which is peanuts really. But it might be sufficient for people with very low usage (like kids or the elderly).
It’s likely you’ll want to add on data, and the good news is that even with add-ons it isn’t too pricey. It’ll only cost $12 for a 3GB plan or $20 for a 4GB plan. Not too bad. The registration fee (usual $38) is waived for now so grab it while the promo lasts!
If you’re looking for something closer to a traditional plan, Circles.Life still wins out as its basic plan is the most affordable at $28/month for 6GB data and 100 min talktime. Note that you’ll have to pay a registration fee of $38 though.
Plans bundling more than 20 GB from Circles Life, MyRepublic and Zero Mobile
Swipe left to see all 3 plans
|Circles Life’s Base Plan + 20GB||MyRepublic’s Xtra 85||Zero Mobile’s Zero X|
|Price per month||$48||$85||$64.95|
|Sign-up fee||$38||$0||$18 + $107.95 + $20|
|Talktime||Add $4 for 100 min||1000 mins||Unlimited|
|SMSes||None||Free 1000||Free 200|
Which data plan offers the best value for money?
If you need more than the 6 to 7 GB of data that the value plans offer, the best upgrade package is Circles.Life’s $20 add-on for unlimited data. In total, you pay $48/month.
Alternatively, you can sign up for Zero Mobile’s Unlimited Everything plan, but take note of the high miscellaneous one-time charges.
Unlimited data plans from Zero Mobile, Zero1 and Circles Life
If you really really need unlimited data, get Zero Mobile’s Zero X plan at $69.95/month, which will give you unlimited data at 4G speed, but in accordance to fair use policy. There’s an ongoing promotion now for $59.95/month.
Zero1 offers “unlimited” data too at less than half the price ($29.99/month), but you only get 3GB of data at guaranteed 4G speed – any data beyond that is at “managed speeds”, whatever that means.
For Circles Life, the first 20 GB will be at regular 4G speeds, and thereafter, it will be on managed speeds, in accordance to fair use policy.
Alternatively, if you just need unlimited data every now and then, like when your router dies or you’re marooned somewhere with no Wifi, Circles.Life lets you buy a day’s worth of unlimited data for $3/day.
Winner: Zero Mobile
What if I need unlimited talk time too?
People who talk on the phone a lot, like property agents, insurance agents and needy boy/girlfriends, will know how lousy data calls like WhatsApp or FaceTime Audio can be.
MyRepublic’s Smart 35 offers 1000 minutes of talktime on top of 7GB of data at an affordable $35/month, with no sign-up fee. But if even that is not enough for a chatterbox like you, you can go for Zero X’s unlimited talktime in addition to unlimited data and SMS, but that will cost you $64.95 per month.
Conclusion: So many Zeros, which one is best?
Circles.Life focuses on data, with talktime and SMSes more or less as afterthoughts, so it’s great for millennials with phone call phobia. Its new $0 plan is also terrific for children, the elderly, and antisocial hermits.
MyRepublic bundles data, talktime and SMSes, which strikes a balance between conventional telcos and Circles Life. Their Smart 35 plan is quite attractive, bundling 7 GB of data, with 1000 minutes of talktime and 1000 SMSes. But if you need more than 20GB of data, go for Circles Life and Zero Mobile’s plans as the MyRepublic Xtra85 is quite exorbitant.
Zero1 has lots of talktime and SMS, like a conventional postpaid plan. Their “unlimited” data is quite a gamble. Call us cynics, but we expect anything beyond the first 3GB will be stupidly slow. We’re guessing you could read Reddit, do simple Google searches and watch Youtube at 240p with the patience of a snail, but sifting through Instagram stories will be frustrating.
Zero Mobile’s unique selling point is unlimited talktime, making them ideal for people working in sales who need to make lots of phone calls.
Of course, all this presupposes some level of stability with regards to mobile network, which of course is a huge factor. Circles Life uses M1’s infrastructure, Zero1 and Zero Mobile uses Singtel’s and MyRepublic uses Starhub’s. Don’t exchange quality of the network for a cheap phone plan!
Customer service is important too. From reviews online, it seems that Circles Life has an outstanding customer service team while Zero1 and Zero Mobile seem to have almost zero service (haha).
And what about TPG Telecom?
Yes, we have one more telco. Apparently, TPG Telecom is an Australian telco and has been in operation for over 30 years. It recently launched with a free mobile plan in Singapore that offers 2GB of data, 20 minutes of talktime and 20 SMSes. This is part of a year-long trial for the Australian telco. You have to register online and collect your SIM cards at Shaw Tower. We’ve heard that it’s quite challenging to get a TPG SIM Card. But hey, it’s free.
We will be updating this space when we get wind of their paid mobile plans!
[This post was updated on 26 February 2018 with the latest plans available.]
Are you using one of Singapore’s new virtual telcos anytime soon? Tell us in the comments!