Contract SIM, SIM-Only or data-only plans. Every two years, you have the choice to get the best out of your mobile phone plans. But the quest to derive the best value out of your phone plan can be tough. First of all, there are four telcos in Singapore. Each of them offers a slightly varying mobile phone plan that consists of varying talktime, data plan and SMS allowance. Secondly, with the new disruption by Circles.Life to introduce SIM-only plans, the number of mobile phone plans have almost doubled. With so many options available to you as a consumer, how do you make the best decision?
Luckily for you, we have analysed every mobile plan available in the market and broken them down for you. We created four common personas that most people would fall under and the type of mobile plans that are suitable for each persona.
The ones who cannot live without data
If you are always lamenting about how little data there is on your current mobile plan, then this is meant for you. You are one who cannot live without data in your life and always find yourself exceeding data limits on your monthly plan. Among the features of a mobile plan, you are most concerned with the average cost of data.
Based on the average cost of 1GB of data (before add-on), Singtel, M1 and Circles.Life offer some of the cheapest SIM-only plans. These are the telcos that charge S$5 or less for each GB of data consumed on your mobile plan. (Caveat for Circles.Life is that you must port over from another telco to enjoy that +2GB per month). While some of these plans might offer a higher average cost for calls, you probably won’t be noticing it. You would be more amazed by the amount of data you are getting out of these deals.
Making comparison across data deals based on your needs
Here comes the complication. If you decide to take up add-on options to your data plan, you will find yourself overwhelmed with choices. Almost every SIM-only plan has a low per GB data cost of less than S$5. Then you need to decide which is the right amount of data for you and compare plans with a similar amount of data usage.
For example, your monthly data usage is 5GB. You should be comparing M1’s mySIM(e) 20 (with add-on), Starhub S plan, Starhub XS plan (with add-on) and Circles.Life (ported over). By committing to a 12-month contract with Starhub’s XS plan, you get the lowest average cost of data (S$3.79/GB) to meet your data needs.
If you find yourself constantly on the phone call with someone, you fit into our businessman persona. You might or might not actually be a businessman. But you find yourself calling friends or your other half so frequently that people mistake you for one.
The businessman in you would be more interested in the average cost per minute of call more than anything else. For the businessmen, here are some possible considerations:
- Singtel’s combo 2 to 4;
- Starhub’s S to L plans; and
- M1’s Lite to Max plans
*These plans have an average cost per minute of call lower than S$0.25.
If you are willing to settle for SIM-only plans, then you might be in for even better deals. There are some mobile plans that have an average cost for each minute of call that is lower than S$0.15. This represents a 40% discount to the 24-month contract plans!
The value finder
The value finder is someone who seeks to derive the most value out of anything that he/she is paying for. He/she ensures that every dollar gets squeezed out of a mobile phone plan. The value finder doesn’t just look at a particular aspect of a mobile phone plan, but instead looks at it holistically, from the service provided to the data cost to the call cost.
For the value finders, you will find that contract plans give you the most cost-effective mobile plan. Based on the average cost of per GB of data plan AND per minute of call, M1’s mySIM(e) plans (70, 90, 118) offer the lowest overall cost among 24-month contract plans. Apart from M1, Circles.Life also offers one of the most valuable plans. However, the caveat is that you have to switch over from another telco to enjoy that +2GB per month.
Last, but not least, the youths who are below the age of 24. Being young gets you additional perks with the telcos, be it additional data or SMSes. We shall be making a strong assumption here. Let’s assume that most youths would be more of a “The Ones Who Cannot Live Without Data” persona more than anything else.
Comparing between the youth plans and SIM-only plans, SIM-only plans appear to offer much better data deals. The average cost per GB of data for SIM-only plans is less than S$5 for most SIM-only plans, especially after data-related add-ons. Contrast this to the youth plans where only four are lower than S$5 per GB. In our opinion, SIM-only plans would be the more youth-worthy choice.
Read also: 8 Smart Ways to Save on Mobile Phone Bills