This Versus That

Singtel vs M1 vs StarHub vs Circles.Life – Who is Winning the SIM-Only Data War?

sim-only data plan singapore telco

Joanne Poh



The three big telcos have long been a source of angst for Singaporeans, who complain about slow internet and exorbitant excess data usage charges.

Then Circles.Life came along, and now it seems like we have a way out of overpriced mobile data plans! Actually, it gets even better—cowed by the competition, the telcos have started offering more attractive add-ons.

So which is the best SIM-only plan in town now?

Here’s how Circles.Life stacks up to the three telcos’ most similar plans.

Circles.Life Singtel M1 StarHub
Plan No-Contract Mobile Plan SIM-Only mySIM20 SIM-Only S
Price $28 $20 $20 $34
Data 6 GB 5 GB 5 GB 4 GB
Talk-time 100 min 150 min 100 min 400 min
Free incoming calls? No, can add on at $2 a month Yes Yes Yes
Caller ID Already included in price Available at $5.35/month Available at $5.35/month Available at $5.35/month
SMS $0.05 per SMS sent 500 100 $0.0535 cents per SMS
Add-ons 1 GB for $6, 20 GB for $20, 100 min for $4, 100 SMSes for $4, $2 for unlimited incoming calls 25 GB for $26.75, 200 minutes for $5.35, 1,200 SMS/MMSes for $5.35 Unlimited talktime for $15 5 GB for $10
What else? Unlimited WhatsApp (not including voice calls)  Unlimited data on weekends
Contract length 12 months 12 months

So, which is the best SIM-only plan?

As you can see, SingTel has upped its game by offering a 25 GB add on for only $26.75. StarHub has also announced unlimited data for weekends, but the question is if you’re willing to pay at least $6 more for unlimited weekend data. (Although as reader Sherman pointed out below, you can always go with StarHub’s SIM-Only XS plan, which has 3Gb of data for $24 a month and unlimited data on weekends.)

So how do you know which plan to sign up for? Here’s a quick guide:

If you don’t want to commit to a long-term plan: Circles.Life – they offer the best value no-contract plan which is cheaper and offers more than StarHub’s no-contract Sim Only S Plan. Even if you pay the $2 add-on for free incoming calls and the $4 add on for 100 SMSes, you end up paying the same as you would for the Starhub plan, but with more data.

If you are the last person on earth who uses SMS: Singtel – M1’s SIM-only plans looks similar, but Singtel’s is just a little more attractive, with more talktime and more SMSes. You get 1GB less data than Circles.Life, but you also pay $8 less and get free incoming calls and 500 SMSes.

If you need a helluva lot of talktime: M1 – Maybe you’re a telemarketer or something and need a lot of talktime on top of all that data. M1 offers unlimited talktime for an additional $15.

If you want to upsize your data: Singtel – Their 25GB for $26.75 offer means you can get 30 GB for $46.75, as opposed to Circles.Life’s 26 GB for $48. That doesn’t make much of a difference, but note that with Singtel you also get SMSes and free incoming calls.

What data plan are you using right now and are you satisfied with it? Tell us 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.