Singapore was the first Asian destination I visited solo (in 2016).
I went to the Philippines a year earlier, but that was a work trip (way before Phone Travel Wiz was a thing… but I was already into researching the best local SIM cards best then!).
And… I was in awe – I truly loved Singapore!
I felt the positive feelings I had when I entered the United States again.
While Singapore is not representative of what Southeast Asia stands/is known for, it ignited my love for East- and Southeast Asia (which is still strong to this day).
Since then, I have been to Singapore four times – I still love it, but it is not special anymore.
Mostly because it is a small city-state, and I have seen and done the must-see/do attractions already 🤣.
In January and March 2023, I revisited Singapore.
I mostly spent time testing 17 (new) SIM cards and eSIMs.
This resulted in me spending about 237 SGD (≈ 175.80 USD) for my Singapore SIM card and travel eSIM review series – yeah… I went all out for you 😎.
In the past, I used to say that Singapore has the best tourist/airport SIM cards in the world.
Mostly because you could get 100 GB of data for as little as 12 SGD (8.90 USD).
Then I went to Taiwan, where the mobile operators offer truly unlimited data… which outdoes 100 GB 🤣.
Unlike most mobile operators, Taiwan's definition of unlimited is genuine. I used 100 GB – 200 GB of data on some SIM cards, and my speeds were never throttled. Amazing!
But when you can get so much data for such little money, is it even worth using a travel eSIM like Airalo?
It can be because you do not have to deal with SIM card registration requirements (which are stringent).
One limitation to be aware of is that you can only have three active prepaid SIM cards in your name in Singapore.
For most… this is not an issue. But for some crazy people who wish to test four SIM cards… it could be 😏.
So, is the Airalo Asialink eSIM a good option (when it can be used in Singapore again)? Is it cheap compared to the local options and its travel eSIM competitors? How is its reception? And is it fast?
I will answer all those questions in this review. Let's do this.
Original publication: 10th of June 2023. Last updated: 19th of September 2023.
Table of Contents
Which Phones are Compatible with Airalo eSIMs?
Before discussing the Airalo Asialink eSIM to be used in Singapore specifically, you must know whether your phone can even support Airalo's eSIMs.
Sure, your phone may support eSIM, but the local mobile operator and travel eSIM provider, like Airalo, first needs to certify a phone before the users can use their products.
As of August 2023, the phones shown in the infographic below are compatible with Airalo eSIMs:
With that out of the way, let's talk more about the Airalo Asialink eSIM!
You can get the Airalo Asialink eSIM for as little as 5 USD for 1 GB of data (7 days) and up to 185 USD for 100 GB (180 days). The eSIM can be used in 14 Asian countries with six options: 1 GB/7 days, 3 GB/30 days, 5 GB/30 days, 10 GB/30 days, 50 GB/90 days & 100 GB/180 days.
Below is an overview of how much each Airalo Asialink eSIM costs:
- Asia/Asialink 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 5 USD
- Asia/Asialink 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 13 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 20 USD – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 37 USD – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- Asia/Asialink 50 GB eSIM for 90 days, costing 100 USD
- Asia/Asialink 100 GB eSIM for 180 days, costing 185 USD
Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in September based on data up to the 7th of September (2023 data only).
Regardless of the currency used in your country, Airalo will always charge you in USD (US Dollar).
If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.
Their fees are MUCH lower than banks and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).
I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Australian Dollars and Euros, my main currencies, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards.
Moreover, regardless of which Airalo Asialink eSIM you choose, you can always top it up for the same amount of data and prices as listed above.
For example, suppose you buy the 5 GB Airalo Asialink eSIM (30 days, costing 20 USD) but realize you need more data.
You can top it up with the 3 GB top-up (30 days, costing 13 USD) or the 100 GB top-up (180 days, costing 185 USD).
Many eSIM providers out there do not allow you to top up or extend the validity of your eSIM, so it is cool that Airalo allows you to do so.
The Airalo Asialink eSIM can be used in 14 countries in Asia, mostly in East- and Southeast Asia, which are Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand & Vietnam.
With the Airalo Asialink eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit.
So if you plan on visiting multiple East- and Southeast Asian countries, getting the Airalo Asialink eSIM will be convenient AND will save you a lot of money too.
Unlike the European counterpart, Eurolink (which I used in 11 countries, by the way), you cannot use 5G NR with the Airalo Asialink eSIM… yet 😏.
I used my Airalo Asialink eSIM throughout Singapore.
As Singapore does not really have cities (in the sense of the Government of Singapore not using them for administrative purposes and only as geographical limits), I could not visit multiple ones as I tend to do.
Before we continue, I do want to let you know how travel eSIM providers like Airalo work.
It is impossible for Airalo, or any other mobile operator, to operate in every country (and do not trust any company saying otherwise), so they set up roaming agreements.
What Airalo does, and basically all (actual) mobile operators do, is partner up with a local mobile operator so that their customers can still stay connected when abroad.
In the case of Singapore, the Airalo Asialink eSIM uses the Singtel network because the eSIM is powered by Singtel directly (so your phone, some apps, or sites you visit may claim you are using a Singtel eSIM instead of an Airalo one – that is correct).
And note that the Airalo Connect Lah! and Airalo Asialink eSIMs are practically the same, although the Connect Lah! eSIM is geofenced for Singapore only.
The network (and partner) may change from Singtel to another one when Singapore is a supported country for the Asialink eSIMs again.
Anyway, just like how I tested the Airalo Asialink eSIM on my Singapore trip, I also tried all the local Singaporean SIM cards excluding the MVNOs (Singtel, StarHub, M1 Singapore & SIMBA Singapore (formerly TPG Telecom)) and various other eSIMs (Airalo (Airalo Connect Lah! and Airalo Discover Global (in Singapore and worldwide)), Alosim, eSIM2FLY sold by SimOptions, Holafly, Mogo, Nomad, Nomad APAC (in Singapore and various other Asian countries), Nomad SEA-Oceania (in Singapore and various other Asian countries), Simify & Ubigi + the 3 (UK) Travel SIM Card by Holidaysimcard in Singapore Review (also used in Australia and Hong Kong)).
Yeah, I went all out 😏.
Because of this, I could also assess how Singtel performed compared to its competitors.
Well, not entirely. Singtel was the only mobile operator allowing prepaid customers to use its 5G NR network (if you get its 30 SGD or 50 SGD SIM cards).
When looking at 4G/LTE availability in Singapore, the four mobile operators cover practically all of the country (mostly because it is a small city-state), with an availability of more than 99.2%.
Surprisingly, Singtel is lacking in terms of 5G NR availability with an availability percentage of 29.1%, behind M1 Singapore (29.4%) and StarHub (32.2%).
In terms of speed, Singtel has the fastest download speed, with a median download speed of 119.66 Mbps, ahead of StarHub (85.88 Mbps), M1 Singapore (51.69 Mbps) & SIMBA Singapore (formerly TPG Telecom – 23.37 Mbps).
The same can be said about upload speeds, where Singtel is leading the pack (20.91 Mbps), followed by StarHub (16.34 Mbps), M1 Singapore (15.41 Mbps) & Simba Singapore (3.57 Mbps).
I did speed tests with the Speedtest app throughout Singapore.
For reference, I consider an average download speed of 25 Mbps and an average of 10 Mbps upload speed fast enough.
Preferably, download speeds should be 100 Mbps+ on 4G/LTE… but we are not there yet 🗿.
But why these averages?
A download speed of more than 25 Mbps is enough to video stream content @ 4k resolution.
Social media sites that allow for live streaming, like Facebook Live, recommend an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps.
So, that is why – but that does not mean that a download speed of less than 100 Mbps excited me 😏.
But Australia spoiled… everything slower than 300 Mbps is slow now 🤣.
Anyway, you will also see that some of the results are in two shades of red, green, underlined, or in italics.
Underlined results are on 5G NR, while results in italics are on 3G.
The green shows that the result was the fastest on the network at said location.
For example, the Airalo Asialink eSIM being the fastest among its competition at a mall.
While red shows that the result was the slowest on the network among its peers at the location.
Okay, that is enough background information – let's compare the Airalo Asialink eSIM to Singtel and other travel eSIMs in Singapore.
But I never found Singapore as crowded as Hong Kong for some reason (you struggle to walk on the pavement because there are so many people around – you will be pushed a few times (unintentionally) 😵💫).
Besides having the world's best airport, in my opinion, Singapore has a lot to offer.
Fantastic food, unique attractions (Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay & Supertree Grove) & even Universal Studios for those who are into that.
And there are many other things to do in the country.
But this is not a travel blog… I review SIM cards and eSIMs instead – you will have to find another blog for travel recommendations 😜.
Let's see how the Airalo Asialink eSIM performed throughout the country:
Blazing-fast speeds with the Airalo Asialink eSIM!
Because many travel eSIMs I used in Singapore used the Singtel network too, I shared the results of the relevant eSIMs in the image above.
And you can see that the Airalo eSIMs (Connect Lah! and Asialink) were the best performers.
But… why is that?
Those two eSIMs are directly powered by Singtel itself.
Airalo buys data from Singtel (and other mobile operators in other regions), which can be used in various East- and Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore.
Meaning Airalo's eSIMs are practically rebranded Singtel eSIMs.
So they act and are treated as native eSIMs on the Singtel network (as if you were a Singtel prepaid or postpaid customer).
Back to the Airalo results, I had an average download speed of 131.32 Mbps and a median download speed of 92.37 Mbps with the Airalo Asialink eSIM: it passed the 4K video streaming test in Singapore (minimum of 25 Mbps).
The same can also be said for the HD live streaming test in Singapore – the Airalo Asialink eSIM had an average upload speed of 19.84 and a median upload speed of 9.50 Mbps, making it pass the HD live streaming test (minimum of 10 Mbps).
At the time of writing, no Airalo eSIM performed this well 🤩.
And yes… this is the best the Asialink eSIM has performed in the countries I have used it in 😳.
But honestly, I do not expect anything less in Singapore with its excellent telecommunications infrastructure 😏.
The result at Gardens by the Bay Station was extreme, with a download speed of 481.17 Mbps.
Honestly… this is a result I expect from 5G NR instead 😳.
Surprisingly, Singtel itself performed worse than the Airalo Asialink eSIM over here (71.51 Mbps on 4G/LTE – not 5G NR like at other locations).
Three other locations had results faster than 200 Mbps ( Gate E22 (Terminal 1) at Singapore Changi Airport (223.23 Mbps) & Wisma Atria (295.06 Mbps).
The results at Bef Outram Flyover Bus Stop and Blk 1 Bus Stop also deserve an honorable mention because they were very close to hitting 200 Mbps too (179.03 Mbps and 188.13 Mbps, respectively).
And although the result at Esplanade Mall is not that impressive (88.81 Mbps – especially compared to 481.17 Mbps 🐆), it made the Airalo Asialink eSIM the fastest among the Singaporean SIM cards and travel eSIMs I tested at this mall.
When looking at upload speeds, there is not that much to say.
If the Airalo Asialink eSIM was slow, like at Marina Bay Sands Lobby (1.18 Mbps), other travel eSIMs on the Singtel network would be slow too.
Except for the result at Fort Canning Park (1.57 Mbps).
Singtel, Airalo Connect Lah! & Holafly Singapore were significantly faster here (49.16 Mbps on 5G NR, 44.88 Mbps on 4G/LTE & 63.66 Mbps, respectively).
You cannot always be speedy, I guess 🐆.
But with an average of 19.84 Mbps, there is nothing to complain about the upload speeds of the Airalo Asialink eSIM in Singapore.
If you wonder why the Nomad eSIMs (Singapore and SEA-Oceania) had such slow upload speeds, Singtel was experiencing issues that were affecting Nomad (JoyTelecom) users.I found this out after reporting it to Nomad, and they (together with JoyTelecom) investigated. As a result, you can also use the StarHub network with JoyTelecom-powered eSIMs in Singapore. You are welcome 😏.
I would recommend the Airalo Asialink eSIM for Singapore, and it would be one of my top recommendations for anyone wanting to buy an Asia travel eSIM (but not if you only visit Singapore).
At least… when it can be used in Singapore again .
While I had a good experience with the Airalo Asialink eSIM, you are better off getting the Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM if you only visit Singapore.
But this eSIM has been “out of stock” for over eight months now 😓.
That is because you pay a premium to be able to use one eSIM in more than ten East- and Southeast Asian countries.
So if you are visiting multiple East- and Southeast Asian countries, you better go with the Airalo Asialink eSIM because you will be saving quite some money when you do so.
Especially when some country-specific East- and Southeast Asian countries have only one eSIM variant (1 GB/7 days for Laos).
Yes, top-ups are available, but you will end up spending way more for 10 GB of data with nine top-ups: 10 * 9.50 USD = 95 USD for Laos (only 37 USD with the Asialink eSIM).
Okay, back to Singapore specifically, getting the Airalo Asialink eSIM, and any other Airalo eSIM for that matter, is easy and straightforward (even though I did not spend any time on how to install Airalo eSIMs – you will manage… promise!).
Airalo's Asialink eSIM has the most generous data allowance of any Asia eSIM I know of (1 GB, 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, 50 GB & 100 GB).
In Singapore, it uses the Singtel network, which has practically excellent 4G/LTE availability.
The Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM also uses the Singtel network.
Mostly because Airalo buys data from Singtel directly.
So they act treated as native eSIMs on the Singtel network (as if you were a Singtel prepaid or postpaid customer).
This is why I had such a pleasant experience with the Airalo Asialink (and Connect Lah!) eSIM in the country.
In fact, you will have the fastest network experience with the Airalo Asialink eSIM (compared to other travel eSIMs I have used in Singapore.
There was only one Singaporean SIM card, Singtel, that was faster (because I bought the 5G NR-enabled SIM card, which the Airalo eSIMs did not have access to (yet)).
Taking all 20 speed tests into account, I had an average overall download speed of 131.32 Mbps and a median download speed of 92.37 Mbps with the Airalo Asialink eSIM.
When looking at upload speeds, I had an average upload speed of 19.84 Mbps and a median upload speed of 9.50 Mbps with the Airalo Asialink eSIM.
And honestly… I have nothing to add – the results speak for themselves, honestly.
I just hope they can be used in Singapore again soon – they are good eSIMs and very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers.
But the Airalo Asialink eSIM has excluded Singapore for more for over eight months (at the time of writing) due to… operational reasons.
And it seems like no proper progress is being made to re-add Singapore.
In the meantime, comparable Asia travel eSIMs that can also be used in Singapore are Nomad's APAC eSIMs (East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia & Oceania) or SEA-Oceania eSIMs (Southeast Asia and Oceania).
And yes, I used both in Singapore 😏.
By using a near-perfect 4G/LTE network, offering affordable data plans & offering super-fast download speeds, you should have a smooth browsing experience with the Airalo Asialink eSIM in Singapore.
Interested in using the Airalo Asialink eSIM in another country or countries? Read my Airalo Asialink eSIM review (tested in numerous countries and counting).
Other Singaporean eSIM Reviews (Airalo, aloSIM, eSIM2FLY (SimOptions), Nomad, Simify & Ubigi)
As mentioned earlier, I also tried out (other) eSIMs from Airalo (Connect Lah! and Discover Global), Alosim, eSIM2FLY (SimOptions), Holafly, Mogo, Nomad (Singapore, APAC & SEA-Oceania), Simify & Ubigi.
You should read those reviews too.
>>> Airalo Connect Lah! eSIM in Singapore Review | Airalo Discover Global eSIM in Singapore Review | Alosim eSIM in Singapore Review | eSIM2FLY (SimOptions) in Singapore Review | Holafly eSIM in Singapore eSIM Review | Mogo eSIM in Singapore Review | Nomad APAC eSIM in Singapore Review | Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Singapore Review | Simify eSIM in Singapore eSIM Review | Ubigi eSIM in Singapore Review <<<
- Check out my eSIM reviews page if you want to read all the other eSIM reviews I have written, including other eSIM providers in Asia.
I also tried out various local Singaporean cards: Singtel, StarHub, M1 Singapore & Simba Singapore (formerly TPG Telecom) + 3 UK Travel SIM Card (from Holidaysimcard).
If your phone does not support eSIM (but felt like reading this Nomad review in full anyway – awesome) or want to have the best network experience possible, you want to go directly with the local mobile operators instead of roaming on their networks (as you do with travel eSIMs).
So I encourage you to read the Singaporean SIM card reviews too.
Check out my reviews page if you want to read all the other reviews I have written, including other Asian SIM cards.
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