Number port on Fri 13th… what plan to choose?

June 11th, 2008 | by Alfred Siew

Finally, full mobile number portability comes to Singapore on this Friday 13th. This means you can switch cellphone operators without changing your old phone number, ie one number for life.

So what’s the best plan and is it time to switch?

From looking at the 3 operators offerings, prices haven’t changed much.. basically, there’re 3 popular plans that people will be interested in (yeah, there’re some less popular ones on the fringes). All 3 operators offer similar plans:

I call them:

1. the lite plan:
-$25 a month
-100 min of talk time, 500 SMSes and of course, free incoming calls.
-who should sign up: students, aunties and people who don’t call much.

2. the “middle” plan
-$48 a month
-300 min talk time, 500 SMSes and free incoming calls
-who should sign up: most of us who worry about exceeding the 100min talktime that the “lite” plan offers. this “middle” plan offers the best balance of price and usage for most people.

3. the “high” plan
-$82 a month
-700 min talk time, 500 SMSes and free incoming calls
-who should sign up: real estate agents, busy execs, towkays and anyone who is a heavy user and needs to contact clients on the road.

There are cheaper plans (SingTel has one for under $20) and more talktime plans (SingTel has a $192 plan), but if you are a mainstream user, you’d likely settle for one of these 3 “common”plans which operators offer the same rates for.

So, which operator? It comes down to more than the cellphone service for many people.

1. Bundle deals with bb and pay-TV
For example, if you are on SingTel or StarHub bb, you can choose a bundle with their services, which can give you up to 15 per cent off.

2. Services
One key feature that is becoming more important is content. Football fans do note: StarHub has EPL live on their mobiles for free if you are a Sports Group subscriber on their pay-TV service. SingTel plans to beam their Champions League on mobile next year too.

3. Sharing plans
All three offer plans which let you roll over unused minutes to your family members. M1 now leads the way with its SunShare plan, which lets you add a number for $12 a month and share unused minutes from a main line. You can do this with 4 additional numbers.

StarHub and SingTel both have similar offerings, but offer deals with fewer family members. SingTel gives parent and child calls for free- up to $160 worth a month, while StarHub lets users share with up to two familar members.

So, in the end, what do you choose depends more than just the price alone. In fact, the prices are very similar for most users. It’s gonna be down to the bundles and the extras like content. Make your choice wisely, before signing up for a 2 year deal!

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