Have you ever check how much call time, data or SMS do you use monthly for your personal phone? If you are like me, chances are you won’t be using more than 150 mins call time or send more than 500 SMS but you will probably use up almost all of your data for the month.
I find it really expensive to pay more than S$ 50 for a phone plan that I will never utilize. In the past, we only paid S$ 39.90 for more data, call time and SMS. So why are these combo plans getting more and more expensive over time? The fact that everyone starts to use more data means it’s a never-ending money-making business for the telcos.
Contract plans are much more expensive because you are paying your new phone on an installment basis.
Please don’t tell me you didn’t know about this.
Since I’m not the kind who changes phone every 2 years for no good and practical reason, I begin my research on SIM Only plans across the different telcos (and later settled with Singtel SIM Only Plan).
My assumption is as follows:
- I do not need more than 100 mins call time.
- There is no need for free SMS.
- I need more than 4 GB of data.
Circles.Life offers a very attractive SIM Only plan. If you are a new user and decided to port your number over to Circles.Life, the base plan consists of 6 GB data, 100 mins call time and Pay-As-You-SMS for only S$ 28 per month. You will only need to pay $672 for 24 months. If you are a heavy user, you can opt to add S$ 20/month for additional 20 GB of data. In this case, you will be paying S$ 1,152 over 24 months.
Please note that I included the sum for 24 months so we can compare the price with 24-months combo plans. Circles.Life has no contract plans (except if you are buying a phone).
For an equivalent Singtel combo 2 plan with S$ 0 phone and Data x3 add-on, you will be paying at least S$ 1267.20 per month. Your new phone value costs around S$ 600. For your information, you can buy a flagship Xiaomi Phone at about S$ 350.
In case you need to get a new phone, you can get a Samsung S8 at S$ 75.83/month on a 2 years contract. In total, you will be paying S$ 1819.92 over a 24-months contract. If you sign up Combo 2 and subscribe to Data X3 add-ons with Singtel, you will be paying S$ 1925.20 over a 24-months contract.
So uh, you save around S$ 100 if you are taking up the phone.
If you opt for an additional 20 GB per month (with a phone), you will pay a total of S$ 2299.92 over 24 months contract. In order to get an almost-equivalent plan in Singtel or Starhub, you will need to sign up the most expensive combo plan with additional data add-on. And the plan alone will cost you more than S$ 5000 over a 24 months contract.
So if you need more data, it’s obvious that Circles.Life wins.
Why I Did Not Switch To Circles.Life
Circles.Life contracted their mobile network from M1. Technically, Circles.Life is using M1’s network and M1 is known for weak signals along with some MRT lines. There are also all sorts of stories on Reddit when the consumers tried to port their lines to Circles.Life.
What’s the point of having more data when you cannot use them on MRT? Fortunately for me, there is no need for me to get a plan with 26 GB of data. With all the above reasons, I decided to drop Circles.Life as one of my potential candidates.
Singtel SIM Only Plan
So now I have to turn to the other 3 telcos.
The 3 telcos are offering similar price for SIM only plans. Since my plan is already from Singtel, we decided to just look at Singtel’s SIM Only plan.
There are two plans – one with 12 Month Contract or No Contract. If you opt for a contract, you will be given free 150 mins call time, 500 SMS and 5 GB base data. You will also be eligible for “1 + 1 Deal” where you get an additional 1 GB for every 1 GB add-on (up to 4 GB at additional S$5.25/GB/Month). The starter pack costs $20/month.
Also, you will receive 20 GB for free if you sign for additional 5 GB. In this case, you will get 30 GB of data for S$46.78 per month.
The caveat is that you have to pay extra S$5/month for caller ID (just like any other combo plans). This is still more expensive than what Circles.Life offered for 26 GB plan.
Why Did I Choose Singtel SIM Only Plan?
Assuming I opt for the contract, I will be paying S$ 600 (excluding GST) over 24-months with the starter pack. This is a little bit cheaper than the base plan offered by Circles.Life.
Since Singtel has “1+1 deal”, I decided to opt for additional 1 GB for additional S$ 5.25 per month. Hence, I only have to pay approximately S$ 750 over 24-months with 7 GB of data (assuming I re-contract on the 12th month).
Of course, if I need a new phone, I would have to pay more than S$ 1,000 for a brand new iPhone. But who says I need to change my phone every two years?
Overall, my phone plan has dropped 50% in terms of price and yet I’m enjoying almost like what I paid for a combo plan with Singtel.
If you are not looking to change a phone, perhaps you can also consider switching to Singtel SIM Only Plan.