Part 1 – StarHub breaking status quo to revamp its SIM Only Plans. How do they compare among others?

Previously, on Reddit, I posted similar thread related to SIM Only Plan by Big 3 Telco and MVNOs. That was 6 months ago and I had not updated them since. There hasn’t been much changes in the industry since MyRepublic came in. However, few months after the Reddit thread was published, M1 introduced new data add ons while StarHub revamped its contract SIM Only plan . The new plans will be included in this article. In this article, I will get you the latest deals and recommend you the best by all Telcos in Singapore.

In this updated SIM Only plan comparison, I have added data cost / GB for better comparison purpose. To be fair to all plans, I will only calculate the cost based on their data allowance with 4G speed. For example, Zero Mobile’s data cost per GB for its 3GB to Unlimited at $29.90 will be $10/GB.

Big 3 Telco – Singtel, StarHub and M1 offer both no contract and 12 months contract for its SIM Only plans. At the end of the 12 month period, Big 3 Telco’s 12 months plan will revert to the no contract plan unless customers renew their plans. On the other hand, MVNOs such as Circles.Life, Zero 1, Zero Mobile and MyRepublic market itself as not having to stuck in a contract. Generally, their no contract plans are bundled with more data allowance than Big 3 Telco no contract plans.

Circles.Life is using M1 infrastructure, MyRepublic is using StarHub infrastructure while Zero Mobile and Zero 1 are using Singtel infrastructure.


Update: Singtel updated its SIM Only plan promotion as at 7 December 2018


SIM Only Plan (<$30 plans incl Caller ID charges)

Plan 1

Recommended plans:

  • StarHub SIM Only 3GB+10GB No contract plan
  • Singtel 5GB SIM Only with 5GB extra
  • M1 SIM Only 5GB plan with 5GB data add on
  • Life $28 base plan (6GB of data, 100 mins talktime)
  • Zero 1’s 3GB to Unlimited Data – $29.90

MVNOs may have unlimited or boundless data after a certain data amount has been reached. They are Zero 1’s 1GB to Unlimited, 3GB to Unlimited. For example, if a person who is using 1GB to Unlimited has already consumed 1GB of data in 4G speed, his data speed will be throttled.  For people who prefers fast speed, the recommended plan would be Circles.Life’s $28 Base Plan. The data cost per GB for Circles.Life is at $4.67/GB. Customers will also get 500MB bonus data from Circles every 6 months. This will decrease the data cost per GB in the long run.

For people who prefers more data but do not mind slow speed, the recommended plan would be Zero 1’s 3GB to Unlimited. Data cost per GB for the recommended plan is $9.97/GB for paying 4G speed. Some may argue how 1GB to Unlimited is not recommended. This is because customers will be paying $9.90 for the first 6 months and $13.90 thereafter. The effective price one has to pay every month will be $11.90/GB for paying 4G speed.

Circles.Life’s $0 Flexi Plan is the perfect substitute for prepaid phone plans. The plan is FOC and it has 1GB of data, 30 mins talktime and 10 SMS.

At price range of $30 and below, the recommended plan will be StarHub SIM Only 3GB+10GB no contract plan. For $25, StarHub is generous enough to give 13GB of data and 100 mins for the first 10,000 customers. The effective data cost per gb for the first 10,000 customers will be $1.92/GB thus making it the cheapest data plan. If you are not the first 10,000 customers, the next recommended plan will be Singtel SIM Only 5GB plan. As at 7 December 2018, Singtel has updated its promotion to give 5GB extra data allowance bringing its allowance to 10GB for $25.35. This will give us data cost per gb at $2.54/GB.  However, excluding data add on by M1, Singtel SIM Only offers the best plan compared to M1 Sim Only plan. Singtel offers 150mins talktime while M1 offers 100 mins talktime and Singtel offers 500 SMS compared to the 100 SMS given by M1.

SIM Only Plan ($30 – $60 plans incl Caller ID charges)

Plan 2a

Recommended plans:

  • Singtel 20GB SIM Only plan (get this if promo still on)
  • Else get: MyRepublic 9GB to Unlimited Plan
  • Singtel 30GB SIM Only plan with 10GB extra
  • StarHub $50 SIM Only plan (30GB excl promo)
  • Life $48 plan (26GB data)
  • Zero Mobile’s Zero X plan (30GB to Unlimited)

Currently, Singtel is having a promotion for its 10GB SIM Only where they are giving out 10GB free of data every month. The plan costs $41.40, the nearest contender plan is MyRepublic where it offers 9GB to unlimited data, 1000 SMS and talktime at just $35. If the promotion for Singtel ends, it will be better to get MyRepublic plan as it offers lower data cost per gb, more talktime and SMS than Singtel. Moreover, MyRepublic data is 9GB to unlimited meaning you will still have data but at controlled speed even if you have consumed 9GB of data.

At $50 price range, there are 4 similar plans that are attractive. They are M1 SIM Only 15GB + 5GB 12 Months contract, Circles.Life $48 plan, StarHub $50 SIM Only plan and Singtel 30GB SIM Only plan. As at 7 December 2018, Singtel has updated its promotion by giving 10GB extra data for its 30GB SIM Only plan. This will give us 40GB of data at $52.10 (incl Caller ID). Looking at the data cost per gb, Singtel offers the lowest cost at $1.30/GB including promotion deals while Starhub figure is at $1.67/GB. Circles.Life is taking the third spot at $1.85/GB while M1 costs $2.52/GB (after adding $5 data addon). Both M1 and Circles.Life offer similar plans for the same price range. At $48, you can get 26GB of data and 100 mins talktime from Circles.  However, for M1, you pay a bit more than Circles but 6GB less data than Circles. Therefore, one should compare StarHub’s plan with Circles’ plan. For StarHub, you are paying $2 more for 4GB of data and 200 mins more talktime. Naturally, StarHub’s plan will be chosen. Comparing StarHub and Singtel plan, the cost difference is $2.10 more for Singtel but it is offering 500 SMS but 150 mins of talktime instead of 300 mins offered by StarHub. StarHub plan will be a better choice if you call a lot and Singtel plan will be better if you want both SMS and talktime.

At $60 price range, there are only 2 plans with similar offerings. They are Zero Mobile’s Zero X plan and M1’s SIM Only 30GB 12 Months no contract plan. For better comparison, $5 for 5GB data will be added into M1 plan making it $60.35. M1 SIM Only plan at $60.35 is giving 35GB of data, 100 mins of talktime and 100SMS while Zero Mobile is offering 30GB to unlimited plans, unlimited talktime and 200 SMS. 30GB to Unlimited means that you will get 4G speed for the first 30GB and at controlled speed subsequently. It will be wise to get Zero Mobile’s Zero X plan instead of M1 SIM Only 30GB 12 Months no contract despite the fact that M1 data cost per GB is lower. This is because you get unlimited data, talktime and SMS for Zero Mobile than M1.

Comparing unlimited data plans

The recommended plan for unlimited data plan will be Zero X plan.

In its fineprint, it states that usage in excess of 30GB per month or part thereof will be considered excessive after which your speed may be controlled. This means that you will get 4G speeds for the first 30GB of data and thereafter your speed will be controlled. There are other unlimited plans offered by MVNO such as Zero 1 and MyRepublIc and M1 SIM Only plan. Looking at data cost per GB, Zero X 30GB to Unlimited plan offers the lowest data cost at $2/GB. As for M1’s 50GB to Unlimited SIM Only plan, data cost per GB is $2.07/GB. It is wise for customers to get Zero X 30GB to Unlimited at a much lower price as at the end of the day they will still enjoy unlimited data but it costs cheaper to have 4G data speed in Zero X than M1. On the other hand, it can cost close to $4/GB for those choosing MyRepublic’s 9GB to Unlimited data plan. 

SIM Only Plan (>$60 plans incl Caller ID charges)

Plan 3

At $80 price range, the recommended plan would be to choose StarHub’s SIM Only $80 plan.

Although it might cost about $1 more expensive, StarHub is offering 5GB more data and 350mins more talktime. You will get a sweeter deal if you are one of their 10000 launch customers where one can get 10GB more data. With this promotion, this will bring down the data cost per GB to $1.14/GB. Even if one is not their launch customer, data cost per GB will still be $1.33/GB. This is lower than the data cost per GB by Singtel at $1.43/GB.

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