- 1 Basics
- 2 Singtel Mobile
- 3 StarHub
- 4 M1 (formerly MobileOne)
- 5 TPG Telecom (4G-only)
- 6 giga!
Singapore currently has 4 mobile operators from 2019:
Singtel is the market leader, Starhub is in second position, M1 is in third and TPG is in fourth. Coverage and speed is excellent in the city on the three major networks. No 2G is available (see below), 3G on 900 and 2100 MHz, and 4G/LTE has started on all three providers on 1800 MHz (band 3) and 2600 MHz (band 7). 900 MHz (band 8) and 2500 MHz (band 41) were later added, and from 2019 spectrum on 700 MHz (band 28) is added for 4G/LTE.
5G trials have been started by Starhub in August 2020 on 2100 MHz (n1) and by Singtel in September 2020 on both 2100 MHz (n1) and 3500 MHz (n78), and is expected to start commercial operations on the three major operators in early-2021 when 3500 MHz (n78) is also expected to be added for 5G for Starhub and M1, but is not expected to be available for prepaid upon launch.
The coverage and speeds in this city state are supreme by all three providers. 4G/LTE covers all of the city outdoors and the MRT (= metro, subway). Note that for Singapore you'll need to bring a 3G/4G device as 2G is switched off (see below).
In 2016-2020 new providers have started: MyRepublic, Zero Mobile, Zero1, Gomo, Giga and Circles.life resell the major networks. Most of them remain inaccessible to non-residents as they require a local National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) number, which is only issued to Singaporean residents. Circles.life, Zero1 and Zero Mobile are also online-only resellers that are similarly inaccessible to non-residents hence they are also not mentioned any further in this WIKI. The same is so far true to the new 4th physical network by TPG Telecom that was launched in 2019/20 (check lower part of the article for details). A market disruption and falling prices are expected because of the new entrants. We only have added giga! on the Starhub network so far. It's still postpaid and online only, but remains the only new entrant that allows foreigners with the passport only.
2G network switch off
2G/GSM networks of all three providers were shut down on April 1, 2017. There is no 2G coverage anymore. So bring a 3G or 4G/LTE capable device. The sale of 2G-only mobile devices has been banned from January 2017 or retailers could be given a penalty. Licenced dealers will still be allowed to continue selling such devices, but only for export or overseas use.
In 2016, the first MVNO started in the country with Circles.Life on the M1 network. In 2018, new MVNOs were starting up with Zero Mobile and Zero1 (both on Singtel network) and MyRepublic (on StarHub network). They all started a price war in the city state, but are only selling rolling contracts so far and are not accessible to foreign visitors and to foreign residents only under certain conditions mentioned at the end of this article.
In Singapore you have to show a photo ID to purchase a SIM card for registration - for foreigners that means your original passport (a photocopy is not acceptable). Each subscriber is permitted to have a maximum of three active SIM cards registered to his or her name at any given time. This can be done at any 7-Eleven or Cheers branch and takes some minutes. Be aware that you will be charged for incoming calls too in Singapore, like in the US, if they aren't included in your plan. Mobile hot spot sharing is not available across all networks whether you use your phone's own personal hot spot feature or you use a pocket wifi device.
The lowest priced starter packs of the three providers for S$5 or S$8 are hard to find. You won't certainly get them at the airport where only their S$30+ packages are offered, and they are rarely sold downtown. The best place to find a S$5-S$8 starter is in Little India district in the small shops along Serangoon Rd. and around Mustafa Centre, where they are always 'on promotion' and heavily marketed, or in Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, where you'll have to specifically ask for them. As many travellers stay only for a very limited time in town, they might be the better choice for them. You can also pre-order through the internet and pick up the ordered prepaid SIM card at the airport as soon as you arrive. S$12 from Starhub is the cheapest but will not be sold if you do not preorder in the internet
Going to another country in SE Asia, note that all operators offer roaming data in many SE Asian countries and even Australia at the rather pricey Singaporean rates. This might be an option, if you stay only for a short time, travel different countries and don't want to buy a local SIM in each of them, or specifically in the case of Indonesia, where the IMEI registration and associated taxes may outweigh the higher usage-based price of roaming.
The operators heavily advertise data roaming on Singapore Airlines and some other airlines in-flight mobile networks. Unfortunately, this is available only to postpaid customers and hence not accessible to foreigners and therefore not mentioned any further.
It has a coverage of 99% for 3G and 4G/LTE: Singtel 3G 4G coverage map. 2G/GSM has been shut down in April 2017. 4G/LTE is on 900, 1800 and 2600 MHz, bands 3, 7 and 8.
Their prepaid product is called "hi!card" and sold in very different start-up packs which are now all on 4G/LTE too. They are available at retailers like Singtel stores (locator), 7-Eleven, Sheng Siong Supermarkets, Cheers, SingPost and other authorized dealers, except those SIM cards mentioned below, that are only sold at Changi Airport.
- S$ 8: with S$ 10 credit valid for 90 days and 1.5 GB for 30 days - see remarks in the Basics section
- S$ 15: with S$ 15 credit valid for 120 days and 1 GB data (all time), 2 GB (12am-8am), unlimited WeChat, WhatsApp and Line for a year
- S$ 20 data card: with 5 GB of data valid for 7 days, in mini, micro and nano size, no voice ore text included
- S$ 38: with S$ 38 credit valid for 180 days and 3 GB valid for 30 days capable to roam in Malaysia Maxis network,in mini, micro and nano size, available at Changi Airport and retailers
- S$ 50: with S$ 50 credit valid for 180 days and 5 GB data valid for 7 days, in mini, micro or nano size, available exclusively at Changi Airport.
You may notice that you can't get the best deals at the airport (their outlet is at RHB Bank Currency Exchange counters), better go to a Singtel shop in town Singtel Store Locator or a postal office or for the best promotions around at Little India. The SIM card is valid for 4 months after activation without top-up.
Top-ups can be made with hi!top-up cards sold all over town in the stores mentioned above and at 7-Eleven, Cheers, Sheng Siong Supermarkets, Shop N Save, Caltex service stations, SPC, AXS Stations, DBS, POSB and OCBC ATMs (with local cards only), iNETS Kiosks, Kopitiam food courts. SAM, SingPost among others. You can check your balance by dialing *139#. These top-up cards are available:
- S$ 10, value S$ 11.50 valid for 90 days, free incoming calls for 10 days
- S$ 20, value S$ 23 valid for 180 days, free incoming calls for 20 days
- S$ 50, value S$ 57.50 valid for 120 days, free incoming calls for 20 days, available only at Changi Airport and SingTel shops
- S$ 15 bonus card, value S$ 30 for calls and texts only, no data, valid for 30 days
- S$ 22 datatalk card: value S$ 12 international calls, 250 MB data, 120 local minutes voice, free incoming calls and 500 local SMS valid for 30 days
- S$ 28 superhot card: value S$ 28 for internat. calls and texts and S$ 100 for local calls and texts, valid for 50 days
Alternatively, Singtel offers top-up through any of their pay phones with minimum top-up at S$2. Prepare exact amount of coins. Top-up instructions are stated on top of their pay phones.
Enter *100*1# to check your card balance and expiry.
Default data rate
Their standard data rate outside of packages is 5.4c per 10 KB if you've started with a S$ 8 hi! card and 2.7c per 10 KB if you've started with a more expensive hi!card. It is recommended to buy data packages.
Data feature packs
Singtel features normal data plans and app specific plans. To activate any data plan dial *100#, call *363 for free or access http://www.singtel.com/hi (free). Laptop users send an SMS with '1' to 727050. The plans don't renew themselves automatically and you have to resubscribe. If you don't (re)subscribe to a plan or used all your included data you pay the default rate (see above).
|2 GB||24 hours||S$ 7|
|6 GB||3 days||S$ 16|
|10 MB||7 days||S$ 1|
|100 MB||S$ 2|
|1 GB||S$ 8|
|1.5 GB||S$ 10||750 MB 12am-8am|
|15 GB||S$ 30|
|1 GB||30 days||S$ 10|
|1.5 GB||S$ 13||750 MB 12am-8am|
|3 GB||S$ 20|
|4 GB||S$ 25||750 MB 12am-8am|
The following social data plans allow you to use data trough a specific app or website. All plans end at midnight of the running day. Don't forget to resubscribe.
|1 day||7 days||30 days|
|S$ 0.50||S$ 3||S$ 6||no voice or video calls, max. 1 GB/day|
|Line||S$ 1||S$ 6||S$ 12||including voice and video calls, max.1GB/day|
|S$ 0.50||S$ 3||S$ 6||no voice or video calls, max. 1 GB /day|
|S$ 1||S$ 4||S$ 8||no voice or video calls, max. 1 GB /day|
For roaming in other Asian countries/regions, they offer these Ready Roam packages, booked through their app:
- S$ 5: 1 GB for 30 days in Malaysia (Maxis)
- S$ 12: 1 GB for 30 days in Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines and Thailand.
- S$ 20: 1 GB for 30 days in Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Tourist SIM card
Singtel released a tourist SIM called hi!Tourist SIM. It comes in three sizes:
- S$ 15: 100 GB 4G data, free use of Facebook, WhatsApp, Line and WeChat (all max. 1 GB), 500 mins local calls and 100 local SMS, 30 mins international calls, 1GB data roaming for Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, all valid for 7 days; plus S$3 EZ-Link stored value for train/bus rides (Save on S$5 card cost!)
- S$ 30: 100 GB 4G data, free use of Facebook, WhatsApp, Line and WeChat (all max. 1 GB), unlimited local calls and SMS, 90 mins international calls, 3GB data roaming for Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, Free Singtel Wifi, all valid for 12 days
- S$ 50: For a twin card (2 SIM cards), allowances will be shared between the main line and the supplementary line. 100 GB 4G data, free use of Facebook, WhatsApp, Line and WeChat (all max. 1 GB), unlimited local calls and SMS, 90 mins international calls, 5GB roaming for Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, all valid for 15 days
Note, that international SMS are not included. They are available at Singtel Shops, exclusive retailers, at all terminals of Changi Airport, at selected 7-Eleven and Cheers and ferry terminals and causeway points. These cards may be extended by accessing Singtel site at $3 per extra day, adding 5 min international calls, 500 MB of data, 100 local SMS, 100 min local calls each day.
- APN: hicard
- Website: https://www.singtel.com/personal/products-services/mobile/prepaid-plans
- Download the FREE Singtel hi!App app to manage your hi!card!
Their prepaid product is called "Happy Prepaid SIM" and sold in these different start-up packs in mini or micro sizes:
- for S$ 8 with S$ 10 credit valid for 90 days and 800 MB data for 30 days - see remarks in the Basics section
- for S$ 15 with S$ 15 credit valid for 180 days and 2.2 GB of data for 180 days, free WhatApp, Line, WeChat
- for S$ 50 with S$ 50 credit valid for 180 days and 100 GB for 10 days and 5 GB roaming data for 30 days, sold exclusively at UOB Foreign Exchange at Changi Airport
Their SIM card is valid for 4 months after activation without having made a top-up. You may need to place a first call to activate data on the voice & data plans.
Their top-up cards are sold all over town in convenience stores mentioned above and direct top-ups at OCBC and POSB ATMs (local cards only) amongst others:
- S$ 10 with S$ 10 credit, valid for 120 days
- S$ 17 with 200 MB, 120 local mins and 500 local SMS, free incoming calls for 30 days,
- S$ 20 with S$ 23 credit valid for 180 days, free incoming calls for 20 days
- S$ 25 with S$ 10 credit, 400 MB, 120 local mins, 500 local SMS, free incoming calls for 50 days
- S$ 30 with S$ 34.50 credit valid for 180 days, 10 MB data, free incoming calls for 20 days
- S$ 50 with S$ 57.50 credit valid for 180 days, 10 MB data, free incoming calls for 20 days
Alternatively, top-up online by credit card or Happy prepaid app. To check balance and to see your phone number dial *113#.
Data feature packs
Default data is 4c per 10 KB.
These data packages are offered:
|30 MB||3 days||S$ 2|
|1 GB||S$ 6|
|1 GB||7 days||S$ 8|
|1 GB||30 days||S$ 11|
|3 GB||S$ 18|
|5 GB||S$ 25|
To subscribe or check balance type *123# and follow instructions. Unlike social media plans, general data plans do not auto renew. Validity of the data plan can be extended by subscribing another data plan before expiry.
Happy Roam: Roaming offer
Starhub offers roaming data in 17 countries for domestic rates called Happy Roam both on voice & data as well as data-only SIM card. You need to have bought a valid domestic (Singaporean) data plan before (see above). Android users may need to change their APN to 'shppd', iOS users need to download here a roaming profile and install it. You may need to activate roaming by *123*333# before.
Thus, you can simply use your domestic Singaporean data package abroad, including the data bonus given for top-ups. The data that comes with SIM card activation doesn't apply. This is the cheapest roaming option in Singapore together with M1 right now.
Check data balance by *123#. If you are using more, you will pay the domestic default rate. Happy Roam normally connects to overseas network with max 3G speed. These countries/regions and networks are covered:
|Australia||Telstra | Vodafone||China||China Mobile|
|Canada||Rogers Communications||India||Bharti Airtel | IDEA | Vodafone|
|Hong Kong||Three (3)||Indonesia||XL Axiata | Three (3) | Indosat|
|Japan||NTT DoCoMo | KDDI||Macau||CTM Macau|
|Myanmar||MPT | Telenor||Malaysia||all operators|
|New Zealand||2degrees | Spark | Vodafone||Philippines||Smart|
|South Korea||SK Telecom | Olleh KT||Taiwan||Far EasTone (FET) | Chunghwa Telec.|
|Thailand||TrueMove | DTAC||UK||Three (3)|
|USA||AT&T | T-Mobile|
Data-only SIM: Prepaid Internet SIM
Furthermore, they sell a data-only SIM called Prepaid Internet SIM in all sizes for data and text only, no voice. Start-up price is S$ 18 with 2 GB data valid for 5 days or S$ 32 with 2 GB for 15 days. Speed is throttled to 7.2 Mbps. These top-ups are available either online or by top-up card:
- S$ 6: 2 GB for 1 day
- S$ 16: 6 GB for 3 days, max. 2 GB per day
- S$ 25: 14 GB for 7 days, max. 2 GB per day
- S$ 28: 2 GB for 30 days
- S$ 32: 3.5 GB for 60 days
Subscription is on your online Internet SIM account. No internatl. roaming on this SIM.
Tourist SIM card
They sell a Travel Prepaid SIM card aimed at tourists in two denominations:
- S$ 12: 100 GB local data, 1 GB roaming data in Happy Roam countries (see above), 30 mins IDD calls through 018, 100 local SMS, 500 mins local calls and unlimited incoming calls for 7 days
- S$ 32: 100 GB local data, 3 GB roaming data in Happy Roam countries (see above), 90 mins IDD calls through 018, 500 local SMS, 3000 mins local calls and unlimited incoming calls for 12 days
Regular top-ups can be added for more volume and Happy Roam packages can be added as well for foreign us
StarHub prepaid customers can only purchase validity extension on their main wallet, by dialing *123*200# and following the on-screen instructions to choose the desired number of days of extension. Multiple validity extension packs can be purchased, as long as the main wallet validity does not exceed the maximum period of 180 days.
|Number of days||Cost|
|30 days||S$ 0.60|
|60 days||S$ 0.99|
|90 days||S$ 1.40|
- APN: shwap /or/ shinternet
- Website: http://www.starhub.com/personal/mobile/prepaid-plans.html
- Manage your plan including topping-up with your credit card with the Happy Prepaid App
M1 has launched its 4G/LTE service for prepaid in 2013 activated on every SIM card automatically or by #100*3*3#. 4G/LTE is on 1800 and 2600 MHz, bands 3 and 7.
Their prepaid product is called "M Card" and sold in different start-up packs in mini, micro and sometimes nano size:
- for S$ 5 with S$ 5 credit and 500 MB of data valid for 20 days - see remarks in the Basics section.
- for S$ 15 with S$ 15 credit and 2 GB of data valid for 120 days
The S$ 15 is sold at M1 shops (M1 shop locator), their exclusive distributors, authorised money changers and retailers, 7-Eleven, Cheers, Fairprice Xpress, SingPost among others. The S$ 5 SIM card can be found at small one-man mobile booths in places like Chinatown and Little India. Their SIM cards have the longest validity of all Singaporean providers. It will be valid for 180 days from the day of activation without topping up. To extend validity, they offer add-ons for 60 days at S$ 0.99, for 90 days at S$ 1.40 and for 180 days at S$ 2.40 by *100*6*2#.
For data to work, you need to place a first call for activation after putting in the new SIM or go to *100*3# and activate.
Their top-up cards are sold all over town in convenience stores mentioned above and electronic top-ups at AXS stations and SingPost with a bonus amongst others:
- S$ 5 valid for 60 days
- S$ 18 with S$ 21 value, free incoming calls within 20 days, valid for 180 days
- S$ 19 with 1 GB data, S$ 5 for IDD calls, 500 mins, 500 SMS, free incoming, valid for 30 days
- S$ 30 with 3 GB data, S$ 10 for IDD calls, 1000 mins, 1000 SMS, free incoming, valid for 30 days
Check balance with #100*2*1#.
Data feature packs
Standard rate outside package is 0.7c per KB. Their data packs are called 4G data plans:
|100 MB||3 days||S$ 2|
|1 GB||S$ 5|
|10 MB||7 days||S$ 1|
|1 GB||S$ 7|
|2 GB||S$ 10||+|
|300 MB||30 days||S$ 5|
|1 GB||S$ 10|
|2 GB||S$ 14||+|
|4 GB||S$ 21||+|
|6 GB||S$ 28||+|
(+) = these plans include free incoming calls for the duration of the package
To activate type *100*3*1# or do it on your online account. Packages don't auto-renew. Multiple subscriptions are allowed and the remaining data will be rolled over as long as another subscription is made before the current plan expires. Maximum data balance for prepaid plans is up to 4 GB at any given time. Any data usage in excess of the bundled data will be charged at the default rate.
Roaming offer for SE Asia
Like Starhub M1 offers cheap data roaming at domestic rates without surcharges, but in fewer countries/regions so far:
- in Hong Kong, Macau (both SmarTone), Indonesia (XL Axiata), Malaysia (Celcom), Taiwan (Chungwha):
- 1 GB for 3 days: S$ 5
- 1 GB for 7 days: S$ 7
- 1 GB for 30 days: S$ 10
- additionally in Australia (Telstra), Bangladesh (Robi), Cambodia (Smart), Sri Landa (Dialog), Thailand (dtac), UK (Vodafone), US (AT&T): 2 GB + 10 mins for 10 days: S$ 15
All purchases are deducted from your M Card balance. To activate package dial *100*3*1#, to activate a net lock to the discounted networks dial *100*8*1#
Tourist SIM Card
Their prepaid tourist card is sold in 3 different offers:
- S$ 12: including 100 GB data, free incoming calls, 20 mins international. calls, 500 mins local calls and 100 local texts, all valid for 7 days
- S$ 30: including 100 GB data, free incoming calls, 50 mins intern. calls, 3000 mins local calls, 5000 texts and 3 GB roaming data, all valid for 12 days.
- S$ 50: including 100 GB data, free incoming calls, 50 mins intern. calls, 3000 mins local calls, 5000 texts and 5 GB roaming data, all valid for 14 days.
It's available in mini, micro and nano size at any M1 shop (see shop locator above) or in all three arrival halls at Changi Airport. Roaming data in the S$ 30 and 50 plans are for use in Hong Kong (SmarTone), Indonesia (Indosat/XL Axiata), Macau (SmarTone), Malaysia (Celcom) & Taiwan (Chunghwa Telecom) only.
In 2019 M1 has launched the M1 Prepaid Tourist eSIM card for tourists visiting Singapore. Customers who activate the M1 Prepaid Tourist eSIM card will on compatible iPhones will be able to use both their overseas SIM and M1 prepaid eSIM on one device without the need to change physical nano-SIM cards.
Validity extension of the prepaid main balance, can be purchased via the M1 Prepaid App, M1 Prepaid Portal or by dialing #100*6*2#.
M1 is the only telecoms network provider within Singapore, which permits the purchase of validity extension directly though the network provider's mobile app (iOS or Android).
|No. of Days||Fee (deducted from Main Balance)|
- APN: sunsurf
- Website: https://www.m1.com.sg/personal/mobile/prepaidmobile/mcard
- Download the app to manage your M Card! https://www.m1.com.sg/personal/mobile/prepaidmobile/prepaid-account
As per the terms of the licence award, TPG Telecom will be required to utilise the allocated frequencies to provide nationwide street level coverage for 4G within 18 months from the start of the new spectrum rights, with road tunnels and in-building service coverage within 30 months, and coverage for MRT underground stations and lines within 54 months from the start of the new spectrum rights.
In 2019 TPG Telecom started their trial phase offering free mobile service for a year for the first 200,000 people who register their interest on their website.This is just days before the deadline from the regulator of having to reach 95 % outdoor mobile service coverage by the year end.
In October 2019 TPG has gathered 300,000 users for its trials. OpenSignal found that TPG’s average network download speed was 26.1 Mbps, significantly slower than Singtel (42.5 Mbps), StarHub (39.5 Mbps) and M1 (36.1 Mbps), and TPG users spent 4.5% of the time without a signal – considerably worse than the range of 1.0%-1.6% for the established trio.
In 2020 their first payable plan was issued: the SIM-only plan. This plan is not accessible for most visitors, but only to Singapore citizens, permanent residents, employment and long term pass holders aged 16 years old and above. That's why it's not featured here.
Luckily, they've also released a similar Prepaid Plan which is a price breaker in the country:
- 50 GB domestic data, 1 GB for roaming in India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan, 300 mins local calls (through VoLTE) and 30 local SMS for S$ 10 per 30 days
When data is depleted, you can renew your plan ahead of the month.
Note that outgoing international calls and SMS are not supported, you need to have a device capable of LTE bands 8 and 40 that is VoLTE-enabled to receive data and make calls.
Foreign visitors can buy the Prepaid Plan by showing a passport that is at least valid for another six months at the point of purchase. It's so far only available at one location in Orchard: 181 Orchard Road, #04-28 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896, daily from 11.00 am to 8.00 pm. Queue cuts off at 7.00 pm.
- APN: TPG
- Website: https://www.tpgmobile.sg/
As an exception to our rules this provider is listed as it reflects the growing and very competitive SIM-only market in the city state. Be aware that giga! is postpaid billed to your credit card and needs to be cancelled after leaving. Because it's online-only, it might not be so convenient for travellers, but remains an option for longer stays. Of the many new operators, this is still the most accessible for foreigners.
To order their SIM card you need to first download their app available without restrictions in the Google Play and Apple App stores. Then you need to launch the app and create an account. There you can order you SIM card delivered to any Singaporean address in one working day for a S$ 2 delivery fee. Upon delivery, the recipient simply needs to show a screenshot of the authorization confirmation email from giga, your original ID used to purchase this SIM and the recipient's original ID
Giga! is available for sign up by anyone above 18 years old, locals and foreigners alike. All you need is a valid NRIC, Passport or Employment Pass, and a Mastercard/Visa debit or credit card. It is still postpaid and your credit card will be charged unless you cancel the contract which can be done on a daily basis online on your account.
Giga! only offers one monthly plan of 25 GB, 1000 domestic SMS and 1000 domestic minutes for S$ 25. Unused data can be rolled over for a max. of two months. Additionally, giga has several add-on packs to further customise your mobile plan.
- Data pack: + S$ 2 monthly for 1 GB local data
- WhatsApp pack: + S$ 1 monthly for 1 GB WhatsApp data
- Insta ‘n’ FB pack: + S$ 1 monthly for 1GB Instagram & Facebook data
Giga’s roaming pass is S$ 5 for 1 GB valid for 5 days and can be used in 14 countries (Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam).
- APN: giga
- Website: https://giga.com.sg