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Why You Seriously Need to Relook at Your Mobile Plans

Gone are the times when you had to subscribe to one of the big 3 telcos — Singtel, M1, Starhub —  or get locked down for two years when it comes to mobile services. With rising living costs, it is time to break free and re-evaluate your mobile plans, picking the one that gives the best value for your buck.

Follow as Planner Bee goes in-depth on how SIM-Only plans stack up against traditional plans, the best plans for different types of users, and tips on saving money with your mobile plans.

Mobile Network Operators

In recent years, the number of network operators are on the rise, providing more options than ever. Singapore used to have three Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), namely Singtel, Starhub, and M1, dominating the mobile network scene. Now, we have four MNOs, which are Singtel, Starhub, M1, and SIMBA (formerly TPG Mobile), alongside 10 Mobile Virtual Network Operators.

Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), in simpler terms, are resellers of wireless communications services. An MVNO “rents” bandwidth and network services from an MNO at wholesale prices and resell these services to its customers at reduced prices. Although MVNOs pull bandwidth and network services from MNOs, it gives them the freedom to price their own plans with their own branding.

Mobile Network Operators
(Providing bandwidth and services for MVNOs)
Mobile Virtual Network Operators
(Pulling bandwidth and services from MNOs)
Singtel
GOMO
CMLink
VIVIFI
Zero1
Starhub
Circles.Life
Changi Mobile
Gorilla Mobile
M1
MyRepublic
redONE
giga!

SIM-Only vs 2-year Contracts

SIM-Only plans came into the mobile scene in recent years, disrupting the monopoly that 2-year contract plans held for as long as anyone could remember. SIM-Only plans are postpaid mobile plans that are fixed at a monthly price and include talk time, data and SMSes. The biggest difference between SIM-Only plans and the traditional 2-year contract plans is the absence of a minimum contract period. You have the freedom to switch to another telco or plan anytime you want without incurring penalties.

However, freedom comes with a catch.

SIM-Only plans are often without handset subsidies, meaning you would have to fork out the full sum of a new phone. For iPhone fanatics, 2-year plans with traditional telcos usually feature the inclusion of heavily subsidised iPhones for their higher-tiered plans but you can only upgrade your handset every other year. Getting a SIM-only plan would, however, give you the freedom to do a yearly handset upgrade, but at the full cost. That said, you can easily trade in your one-year iPhone when getting the latest one to offset a huge chunk of the cost.

Traditional 2-year mobile contracts are also more focused on providing ample talk-time and SMSes instead of packaging it with more data. SIM-only plans, however, offer more data instead of talk-time minutes and SMSes. It is easy to find SIM-only plans offering 50GB or even up to 100GB at a fraction of the cost of a 2-year mobile plan.

Read more: How Minimalism Can Help You Save More and Change Your Life

Best SIM-Only Plans

It can be challenging to compare 2-year plans with SIM-Only plans as each telco has its own pricing for both the mobile plan and mobile handset, offering a variety of combinations in talk-time, data, and SMSes. As everyone has different needs when it comes to their mobile usage, Planner Bee will focus on three different kinds of mobile users and compare the value of SIM-Only plans for these types of people.

Scenario 1: Danny

Danny is a businessman who needs a lot of talk-time minutes as he discusses business over the phone. Instead of using WhatsApp, he relies on SMSes to communicate with his business partners.

Not including limited-time-only deals and upgrades, these are some of the best-suited plans for a user like Danny who needs his talk-time minutes.

Network Operator
Plan InclusionPrice/Month
SingtelSIM Only Plus 45: 1000 mins, 1000 SMSes, 100GB data$30
M1M1 80GB: 1000 mins, 1000 SMSes, 80GB data$17.95
StarhubStarhub 100GB: Unlimited mins, 1000 SMSes, 100GB data$20
Changi MobileFlexi Ultimate: 1000 mins, 500 SMSes, 100GB data$17.50
giga!100GB: 1000 mins, 1000 SMSes, 100GB data$20
MyRepublicMobile Pro: 1000 mins, 1000 SMSes, 80GB data$20
VIVIFILite: 500 mins, 20 SMSes, 3GB data$8.80

Changi Mobile’s Flexi Ultimate and M1’s 80GB plan seem to be the most suitable plans for Danny based on the cost and plan inclusions.

Scenario 2: Lily

Lily loves to scroll Tik-Tok, post #OOTDs on Instagram, and watches Netflix on her phone while on the go. She uses WhatsApp, Telegram, and LINE to talk to friends and relies on her mobile to get through the day.

Not including limited-time-only deals and upgrades, these are some of the best-suited plans for a user like Lily who requires a lot of data every month.

Network Operator
Plan InclusionPrice/Month
SingtelSIM Only Plus 45: 1000 mins, 1000 SMSes, 100GB data$30
M1M1 100GB: 1000 mins, 1000 SMSes, 100GB data$19.95
StarhubStarhub 120GB: 1000 mins, 1000 SMSes, 120GB data$28
SIMBA130GB: 500 mins, 50 SMSes, 180GB data$18
Circles.LifeUnlimited: Unlimited mins, 25 SMSes, Unlimited data$38
giga!100GB: 1000 mins, 1000 SMSes, 100GB data$20
MyRepublicMobile Pro: 1000 mins, 1000 SMSes, 80GB data$20
Changi MobileFlexi Ultimate: 1000 mins, 500 SMSes, 100GB data$17.50

SIMBA’s 130GB plan seems to be the best value for money plan for Lily based on the cost and plan inclusions.

Scenario 3: Joshua

Joshua uses his mobile to check emails and scroll social media when he has time. He prefers to call his family instead of using WhatsApp calls as the network can be iffy at times.

Not including limited-time-only deals and upgrades, these are some of the best-suited plans for a user like Joshua who requires both data and talk-time in moderate amounts.

Network Operator
Plan InclusionPrice/Month
SIMBA100GB: Unlimited mins, 30 SMSes, 100GB data$10
M1M1 80GB: 1000 mins, 1000 SMSes, 100GB data$17.95
Zero1Jumbo 60: 500 mins, 50 SMSes, 60GB data$12
MyRepublicMobile EX Core: 500 mins, 500 SMSes, 50GB data$15
Changi MobileFlexi Value+: 300 mins, 300 SMSes, 20GB data$10

For Joshua, SIMBA’s 100GB plan seems to offer the best bang for his buck based on the cost and plan inclusions.

In Conclusion…

On top of SIM-Only and 2-year contract plans, there are also corporate mobile plans that might be available to you for greater savings. Check with your HR to see if your company has such plans.

The Singapore government had also launched the Seniors Go Digital programme, where seniors above the age of 60 can sign up for mobile plans at a heavily subsidised rate of $5 with the four MNOs. If you have family members above 60, make sure to look into the different Senior plans for them and do the port over to save on monthly costs.

As everyone has different needs when it comes to mobile usage, make sure to relook at your current mobile plan and compare it with what is in the market today to get the most value out of your money. What are some of the other ways you have been saving money? Share them with us at ask@plannerbee.co!

Read more: Zero-Based Budgeting 101: How To Use It To Maximise Your Finances and Achieve Your Money Goals

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