Singapore has a well-established telecommunications infrastructure that spans the entire city-state, with high mobile phone penetration and excellent service coverage for most parts of the island. There are 3 main telco operators in Singapore – Singtel, Starhub and M1 (or MobileOne). The mobile and phone services each of these telcos provide are generally the same, with the differences between them being in the structures and pricing of their various plans and bundles.
For mobile phone services, there are 2 main plans to choose from: pre-paid or post-paid.
Mobile pre-paid option: Suitable for those who want a rapid set-up or those who are only intending to be in the country for a short period of time and want freedom from binding contracts. Pre-paid SIMs can be purchased at 7-Eleven stores island-wide, other convenience stores, or at the retail outlets of the network service providers, and conveniently topped up via internet banking, ATM machines, or various retail outlets (e.g. supermarkets and convenience stores).
Mobile post-paid option: Post-paid plans are suitable for those who intend to be in Singapore for an extended period of time. Whether you spend all your time talking on the phone and utilise call minutes, or you’re constantly online and need a huge data package, there are plenty of post-paid plans to suit different needs. In Singapore’s small and competitive market, you will not find large discrepancies in pricing between telcos for post-paid plans in the same tier (tiers range from basic to premium), with no large differences in the call minutes and number of SMS provided in plans either. Where they vary the most is in the amount of data provided so do pay more attention to that if you cannot live without data (it helps to draw up an excel file to make comparisons). To sign up for a post-paid plan, you will need to prepare (though not all of these may be requested for) your passport, employment pass, and proof of address (e.g. utility bill).
To set up home lines, all network service providers have individual packages available. You can also choose from an array of bundled options, which include the set-up of home phone lines amongst other plans such as home broadband and home TV network.
PHONE SERVICE PROVIDERS
Singtel (https://www.singtel.com) – Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel for short) is one of the largest mobile network operators in Singapore. With a mobile subscriber base of over 600 million customers, Singtel is also in the top 30 ranks of largest network providers in the world. Singtel is arguably the fastest data provider in the country with the best coverage.
Starhub (www.starhub.com) – The second fastest data provider in the country with second best coverage, Starhub services close to 2 million mobile customers and has almost 30% of the Singapore market.
M1 (https://www.m1.com.sg) – The third fastest telco in Singapore, M1 has similar coverage to that of Starhub’s range. Also the smallest telco in Singapore, M1 is one of the providers of the 4G pre-paid SIM in Singapore.
Singapore has a high internet penetration rate, with a connectivity across the city-state of over 99%. There are three major service internet providers (Singtel, Starhub, M1) and other growing providers such as MyRepublic. While broadband is readily available across the city, fiber optics may not be available in every residential complex, so be sure to enquire with the landlord if fiber optics is high on your priority list.
Singtel: The largest telco in Singapore, Singtel offers different bundles from home broadband, allowing you to choose home broadband as an individual package, or as a bundle with home phone line set-up, TV packages etc. Singtel offers speeds of up to 10,000mbps (10Gbps).
Starhub: The second largest telco in Singapore, Starhub (like Singtel) offers different bundles that allow you to get home broadband as an individual package, or as a home bundle inclusive of phone lines and TV networks etc. Starhub offers speeds of up to 1,000mbps.
M1: M1 is another major telco in Singapore, offering the widest selection of fibre optic broadband packages amongst all the telco providers, with speeds of up to 10,000mbps (10Gbps).
MyRepublic: The 4th internet service provider in Singapore, MyRepublic does not offer the peripherals and add-ons that the major telcos offer with their bundles (e.g. home phone lines, TV networks etc.). A favourite of gamers, MyRepublic offers crazy fast speeds of up to 2Gbps with their dual fibre broadband packages.
HELPFUL INTERNET WEBSITES
Enjoy Compare – Comparison website for broadband rates, credit cards, loans and other investments and insurance services. The great thing about this site is that it has a range of different filters (superior to those on iMoney SG) that allows you to efficiently compare plans that are most suited to you. Filter by broadband provider, broadband speeds, monthly costs, bundle packages and even contract durations.
iMoney SG – Comparison website for broadband rates, credit cards, loans, and other investment and insurance services. You’ll be able to compare broadband rates and packages by broadband providers and level of internet usage (light, moderate, heavy, extreme). Layout of the website makes it easy for you to compare more deals on a page with less scrolling. iMoney also covers packages with extreme download speeds (e.g. 1Gbps).