An introduction to telecommunications…in Singapore

There is 3 mobile phone networks in Singapore, by order of popularity :

  1. Singtel
  2. Starhub
  3. M1

They are said to be equivalent, I haven’t really been through a serious study of their prices, I was at Starhub and paid on average 36 S$ per month for ton of sms and quite a lot of phone calls.

Networks here haven’t yet started selling bulk sms and minutes to subcontractors unlike they did in France and many other countries in which you can get a plan from nearly every music recording company or shopping center.

No wonder you have two choices, the prepaid and the plan.

Good thing: The prepaid is not rip-off here compared to France.

Bad thing: In most cases you can get a plan only for 2 years minimum, very few (if not none) 1-year plan.

Random advice:

If like me you lose all your contacts (in my case phone stolen), just go to the customer service and pretend they have overcharged you. To show you wrong, they will have no choice but showing you the whole log of call, from I gently picked up my phone contacts 🙂 I regret logs is not an included service with prepaid SIM cards.

The shocking thing: I got my cellphone stolen recently, when I reported that to StarHub, all they did is blocking the SIM account so that my number cannot be used to make or receive phonecalls. They should have (like in France) taken my IMEI number (the identifier of my cellphone itself) to allow to block its use or find who stole it. But I sadly realised Singapore doesn’t take part of that program. One more expression of how the Singaporean Government gives absolutely no damn about customer rights. Safety here means social safety, not individual.

It seems that M1 and Singtel are better for their Super Top-up prepaid plans. Your pays 30 SGD and you get tons of local minuts and SMS + international calls. I save a lot of money since I changed to an M1 cell with Super Top-up.

Just a word about public phones, there is no monopoly over public phones! StarHub has theirs, Singtel has theirs, and many random phone companies have theirs too!

General Advice:

If you’re using a pre-paid phone card (those with a code and local or green number to call first) go for SINGTEL public phones. Other networks often BLOCK those cards because they don’t want to be used to make profit to another company than them. Such unfair-play business practices should be banned but this country is much too liberal for that.

Final trick, buy Super Top-up and use an international calling card. It works with M1 and since the local calls are cheap you’ll save a lot and have the benefit of international call from a cellphone, which is very practical!

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