Over 19 million people visited Singapore in 2019, which is an incredible number for a city-state with a population of 5.6 million.
What is even more impressive that such a small country had 68.3 million passenger movements at their airport, Changi Airport.
Many people like to transfer in Singapore for other flights to Europe, Asia, or Oceania. However, many of them have a stop-over in Singapore so that they can see the city for a few hours or even a few days.
I cannot blame them because there is so much to see and to do in Singapore. From the Marina Bay to Sentosa, from seeing the Merlion to Universal Studios Singapore, you certainly will not be bored when exploring Singapore.
You definitely want to share all your Singapore experiences online. However, roaming with your provider can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers prefer to buy a local SIM card, like a Singaporean one.
When I was in Singapore, I decided to test the 3 leading operators – StarHub, M1, and Singtel. Let's see if Singtel is any good.
Original publication: 17th of April 2020. Last updated: 18th of February 2023.
Table of Contents
Telecom Providers in Singapore
Before I tell you more about Singtel, you need to know about the operator situation in Singapore. If you have read my Buying a SIM Card in Singapore Guide, then you know that Singapore has 3 telecom operators: Starhub, M1, and Singtel. There is also a 4th operator, called TPG Singapore, that launched in 2020. However, they do not offer their services to travelers (yet).
There are also many Mobile Virtual Network Operators, such as giga!, MyRepublic, Zero Mobile, Circles.life, and more. However, they are only available to those with a National Registration Identity Card (NRIC), which travelers do not get.
Do note that 2G shut down on the 1st of April, 2017, meaning that you need a 3G or 4G/LTE capable device when visiting Singapore.
Now it is time to introduce you to Singtel.
Singtel is Singapore’s largest-operator with a market share of around 45% and more than 4 million subscribers.
Singtel is not only active in Singapore. Optus, an Australian operator, is owned by Singtel, and Singtel has minority shares in various operators around the world, such as Axiata and Airtel.
Sometimes, the largest operator is also the most expensive one, but that does not always have to be the case. Does this apply to Singtel? We will have to find out.
In this review, I will go over everything you need to know about Singtel and my experience with them. After reading this review, you will know whether Singtel is a good choice or not.
What Frequencies does Singtel Use?
Singtel uses Asian/European frequencies, which are:
- 3G: 900 Mhz & 2100 Mhz
- 4G/LTE: 900 MHz (Band 8), 1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
Because Singapore has no 2G network anymore, it is crucial that your device at least supports the 3G frequencies if the 4G/LTE ones are not supported. If it does not, you may be able to buy a travel phone while in Singapore. To see if your device is compatible with the Singtel network, check out this site.
How do I Buy a Singtel Prepaid SIM Card?
You can buy Singtel SIM cards, called hi!SIM card, in official Singtel stores, from authorized resellers, 7-Eleven, select supermarkets, SingPost branches, and at Changi Airport. You can order your Singtel SIM card online and pick it up at a location close to you.
The hi! SIM card comes in 4 variants, and there is also a hi! Data SIM. Below are all the hi! SIM cards you can buy:
|8 SGD||1.5 GB||30 days||10 SGD|
|15 SGD 1||3 GB||120 days||15 SGD|
|20 SGD 2||5 GB||7 days||None|
|38 SGD 3||3 GB||30 days||38 SGD|
|50 SGD 4||7 GB||7 days||50 SGD|
1 15 SGD starter kit: 3 GB data split into 1 GB anytime data and 2 GB nighttime data from 12 AM until 8 AM. Unlimited WeChat, WhatsApp, and Line for 1 year.
2 20 SGD starter kit: hi! Data SIM card – data-only.
3 38 SGD starter kit: data can also be used in Malaysia on the Maxis/Hotlink network. The starter kit also available at Changi Airport.
4 50 SGD starter kit: exclusively available at Changi Airport.
Do note that if you want to buy a SIM Card in Singapore, you need to show your passport upon purchase. It is mandated by law that all prepaid SIM cards are registered to a person. So if you plan on buying your SIM card in the city and not at the airport, do not forget your passport or another form of identification, such as a Work Holiday Pass or a (Singaporean) Student’s Pass.
The following Pay As You Go rates apply:
- Local calls: 0.20 SGD for the 1st minute, 0.18 SGD/min for subsequent minutes. Applies to accepting calls too.
- International calls: variable.
- Local SMS: 0.05 SGD/SMS. Applies to receiving SMS too
- International SMS: to Telkomsel (Indonesia) and Globe (the Philippines) – 0.05 SGD/SMS. To other operators and countries (China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand): 0.15 SGD/SMS
- Data: 0.064 SGD/10 KB
Singapore is one of the few countries that charge you for accepting incoming calls or SMS, which is why I specifically highlight that those Pay As You Go rates also apply to receiving phone calls and SMS as well.
You can also get a Singtel hi!Tourist SIM card, which is their short-term SIM card with 100 GB of data, unlimited data for select social media apps, and roaming data in select countries, local and international minutes, and local SMS.
hi!Tourist SIM cards are sold at any place where regular hi! SIM cards are sold. At Changi Airport, there are several booths where they can be purchased. For some reason, the 15 SGD version was not available at the airport, so I had to go to town to buy that one.
I only tried one booth, but you can apparently also buy them at the Travelex counters in each terminal.
Normally, I am not a fan of tourist SIM cards because they are often much more expensive than regular SIM cards. However, in Singapore, I was a huge fan of their tourist SIM cards, including Singtel’s, which is why I got it.
The Singtel hi!Tourist SIM card comes in 3 variants:
|Price||Data||Unlimited Social Apps *||Local Calls **||International Calls||Local SMS **||Roaming Data ***||Validity ****|
|12 SGD||100 GB||Yes||500 minutes||30 minutes||100 SMS||1 GB||7 days|
|30 SGD||100 GB||Yes||Unlimited||90 minutes||Unlimited||3 GB||12 days|
|50 SGD||100 GB||Yes||Unlimited||90 minutes||Unlimited||5 GB||15 days|
* Social media apps are Facebook, LINE, WeChat, and WhatsApp. Fair-use Limit of 1 GB per day.
** Unlimited local calls and SMS: Fair-use limit of 3000 local minutes and 5000 local minutes for the 30 SGD and 50 SGD tourist SIM cards.
*** Roaming data can be used in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
**** The SIM card will expire as stated. However, the 30 SGD and 50 SGD tourist SIM cards can be extended if you top-up on the hi!App. The tourist plans, however, cannot be extended unless you buy a new SIM card.
Officially, the 12 SGD SIM card is advertised as 15 SGD. However, the card has been on a promotion forever, probably because M1 and StarHub sell their tourist SIM cards for 12 SGD. As a result, I will refer to that SIM card as the 12 SGD one.
How do I Activate my Singtel SIM Card?
Your Singtel SIM card will be activated upon purchase. Just make sure to bring your passport or another acceptable form of identification for visitors, like the Dependent’s Pass, Long Term Pass, or Student’s Pass.
How and Where can I Top Up my Singtel SIM Card?
You can buy a hi! Top-up card online or in various stores. There are multiple types of top-up cards, such as the regular top-up cards, a monthly plan called YAY!, the saver top-ups, (super) hot, and more.
The following 3 “regular” top-up cards are available:
|Price||Credit||Free Incoming Calls|
|10 SGD||11.50 SGD||10 days|
|20 SGD||23 SGD||20 days|
|50 SGD||57.50 SGD||20 days|
There is 1 LocalSaver top-up card you can buy:
- 18 SGD: 2 GB *1 GB anytime and 1 GB from 12 AM until 8 AM), 1000 local calls, 500 local SMS, and 5 SGD credit for IDD 019 calls.
IDD 019 applies to the following countries:
- The Philippines
Hi! Has 1 RedHot plan, which costs 30 SGD, comes with 5 GB (4 GB anytime and 1 GB from 12 AM until 8 AM), 1000 local minutes, 1000 local SMS, and 10 SGD credit for IDD 019 calls.
IDD 019 applies to the following countries:
- Bangladesh – 300 minutes
- China – 1000 minutes
- India – 1000 minutes
- Malaysia – 1000 minutes
- Myanmar – 100 minutes (MPT & Telenor Myanmar numbers)
- The Philippines – 300 minutes (Globe numbers)
There are 2 Bonus top-up cards:
|Price||Credit Local Calls & SMS||Credit IDD 019 Calls|
|15 SGD||30 SGD *||30 SGD *|
|28 SGD||100 SGD||28 SGD|
The HOT$55 top-up card costs 15 SGD and comes with 40 SGD in credit for local calls and SMS, 15 SGD in credit for IDD 19 calls & SMS, and 10 days of free incoming calls.
You also have the ChinaSaver card for 22 SGD that comes with 2 GB of data, unlimited WeChat and WhatsApp, 500 local minutes, 500 local SMS, and 500 minutes of IDD 019 calls to China.
Finally, you have the MyanmarSaver card for 23 SGD that comes with 1.5 GB, unlimited Facebook, Line, and Viber, 300 local minutes, 300 local SMS, and 30 minutes of IDD 019 calls to Myanmar.
If all these top-ups sound confusing to you, then you are not alone. Luckily, Singtel sells more straightforward data packages. Let’s discuss them now.
What Data Packages does Singtel Offer, and How do I Activate One?
Singtel loves offering their customers a lot of choices, so there are plenty of data packs to choose from. You have the short-term plans, monthly plans, plans to be used in Singapore and Malaysia, and ultimate plans. Let’s see what your options are.
Singtel 30-Day Plans
Singtel has 4 30-Day plans:
- 10 SGD: 1 GB
- 20 SGD: 3 GB
- 25 SGD: 20 GB
- 30 SGD: 40 GB
You can activate a 30-Day plan on the hi!App, online on your hi!Account, the My Singtel App, in Singtel stores, or at n authorized prepaid retailer.
Singtel Short-term plans (5-day/7-day)
Singtel has 2 short-term plans, which are:
- 2 SGD: 100 MB for 5 days
- 8 SGD: 1 GB for 7 days
You can activate a short-term plan on the hi!App, online on your hi!Account, the My Singtel App, in Singtel stores, or at n authorized prepaid retailer.
Singtel Value+ Data Plans
The Value+ Data plans come with a data allowance and unlimited data for select apps. They come in 2 variants:
- 10 SGD: 1.5 GB anytime data and 750 MB from 12 AM until 8 AM and unlimited social data
- 13 SGD: 1.5 GB anytime data and 750 MB from 12 AM until 8 AM and unlimited social data
Unlimited social data applies to the following apps:
- Smule Sing!
- Me Radio
You can activate a Value+ Data plan on the hi!App, online, My Singtel App, at Singtel shops, or at an Authorized Prepaid Retailer.
Singtel SG.M’Sia Data Pass
The Singtel Singapore-Malaysia data pass can be used in both Singapore and Malaysia, as the name implies. It is sold in 1 variant only:
- 10 SGD: 1 GB for 28 days
You can buy the SG.M’Sia data pass on the hi!App or online.
Singtel Ultimate Plans
You also have the Singtel Ultimate Plans that are their short-term plans with a lot of data. They come in 3 variants:
- 7 SGD: 2 GB for 1 day
- 16 SGD: 6 GB for 3 days
- 30 SGD: 15 GB for 7 days
You can activate an Ultimate plan on the hi!App, online, My Singtel App, at Singtel shops, or at an Authorized Prepaid Retailer.
Besides regular data plans, Singtel also has data packs for select social apps. Let’s see what your options are.
Singtel Facebook Plans
The Facebook plans come with unlimited data for Facebook. The 7-Day and 30-Day plans also come with hi!Music, which includes unlimited data for Spotify, Smule Sing!, KKBOX, MeRadio, and Saavn:
- 1 SGD: unlimited Facebook for 1 day
- 5 SGD: unlimited Facebook for 7 days
- 9 SGD: unlimited Facebook for 30 days
You can activate a Facebook plan on the hi!App, online, My Singtel App, at Singtel shops, or at an Authorized Prepaid Retailer.
Singtel WhatsApp Plans
Singtel offers unlimited data plans (messages, images, and videos – no VoIP) to its customers:
- 0.50 SGD: unlimited WhatsApp for 1 day
- 3 SGD: unlimited WhatsApp for 7 days
- 6 SGD: unlimited WhatsApp for 30 days
You can activate a WhatsApp plan on the hi!App, online, My Singtel App, at Singtel shops, or at an Authorized Prepaid Retailer.
Singtel LINE Plans
LINE users can take advantage of Singtel’s LINE plans that come with unlimited LINE data (including images, videos, video calls, and voice calls):
- 1 SGD: unlimited LINE for 1 day
- 6 SGD: unlimited LINE for 7 days
- 12 SGD: unlimited LINE for 30 days
You can activate a LINE plan on the hi!App, online, My Singtel App, at Singtel shops, or at an Authorized Prepaid Retailer.
Singtel WeChat Plans
Big WeChat user? Then you can take advantage of Singtel’s WeChat plans:
- 0.50 SGD: unlimited WeChat for 1 day
- 3 SGD: unlimited WeChat for 7 days
- 6 SGD: unlimited WeChat for 30 days
You can activate a WeChat plan on the hi!App, online, My Singtel App, at Singtel shops, or at an Authorized Prepaid Retailer.
Can I Roam for Free with Singtel?
The Singtel SG.M’Sia Data Pass (10 SGD for 1 GB of data for 28 days) is the only plan that comes with free roaming in general. However, this data pass can be used in Singapore and Malaysia only.
The hi!Tourist SIM cards come with 1 GB, 3 GB, and 5 GB roaming data for 12 SGD, 30 SGD, and 50 SGD, respectively, in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Besides those, Singtel has ReadyRoam, which are their roaming plans. Some of them are affordable, which I will mention below.
Single destination ReadyRoam Plan
If you are going to Indonesia, Malaysia, or Thailand, you can get a single destination ReadyRoam plan, which will cost 5 SGD per GB. The plan is valid for 7 days.
If you plan on going to 2 or all those 3 countries within 7 days, then you are better off with one of the upcoming plans, because the single destination plans can only be used in one destination (or you have to buy it twice or thrice).
9 Destinations ReadyRoam Plan
Going to Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, or Thailand within 30 days and do not feel like buying a local SIM card in those destinations? Then you can get Singtel’s 9 Destinations ReadyRoam plan that costs 12 SG per GB and can be used in all those countries, unlike the single destination plans.
18 Destinations ReadyRoam Plan
Exploring more of Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania after Singapore? Then the 18 Destinations ReadyRoam Plan may be interesting. You will pay 20 SGD for 2 GB of roaming data, which is valid for 30 days. The plan can be used in the following destination, and you do not have to buy a new plan if you go to another eligible destination:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- The Philippines
- South Korea
81 Destinations ReadyRoam Plan
The last ReadyRoam Plan is valid in 81 destinations around the world. You get 3 GB for 40 SGD, which is valid for 30 days. Depending on where you are heading too, it may be much cheaper to buy a local SIM card instead of using this roaming plan. In other destinations, however, this roaming plan will be cheaper.
I will list the eligible destinations below, but be sure to check my local SIM card page to find your destination and see whether a local SIM card will be cheaper or not.
- Burkina Faso
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- The Philippines
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Timor-Leste (East Timor)
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
In the future, I will have an article related to roaming with Singtel.
What Speeds will I get with Singtel in Singapore?
Are the speeds with Singtel any good? It is time to find out.
Normally, I do 3 speed tests with the operator I test. Sometimes, I do fewer tests because the speed test app will consume more data if the speeds are high or because my data allowance is low.
Because I bought the Singtel Tourist SIM that comes with 100 GB data, I decided to do 5 speed test throughout Singapore (which I did with M1 and Starhub too). One was at my Airbnb in Little India, another in a McDonald’s in Lucky place. Another one inside Orchard mall, one in Santosa, and the last one at the airport.
Those are some fast speeds! Those speeds are good enough for watching YouTube videos or Netflix without any lag, and uploading posts to social media should be a breeze too.
For some reason, I was expecting much higher speeds with Singtel with speeds over 100 Mbps. Sadly, I did not experience that. The highest speed I got was 72 Mbps in a McDonald’s in Lucky Plaza. Certainly fast, but not the fast I was hoping for.
I was also impressed with the speed in Orchard Mall. This mall has 14 floors, and I was on the lowest floor when I did the speed test. I did not expect any reception down there, but I was proven wrong. I even got fast speeds down there!
Even then, coverage with all the Singaporean operators, including Singtel, is excellent (not hard when the country is not large), so you should not have to worry about coverage.
So you can expect good speeds with Singtel in Singapore.
Do I Recommend Singtel to Travelers Visiting Singapore?
I recommend Singtel to those visiting Singapore. If you have read my Buying a SIM Card in Singapore Guide, then you already knew that I was a big fan of the tourist plans offered by the Singaporean operators because they give so much value for the money spent.
I would also recommend you to get a hi!Tourist SIM card if you plan on buying a Singtel SIM card. However, if you are staying in Singapore for more then 15 days, getting a regular SIM card will be better for you, even though you can extend your SIM card with a regular top-up. You would still have spent 50 SGD.
The 12 SGD tourist SIM is affordable. The 30 SGD one is alright, but the 50 SGD one is a bit expensive in my opinion, especially because you do not get more local data compared to the 12 SGD and 30 SGD ones.
Plus, if you want to maintain a Singaporean number for the next time you go to Singapore or for other reasons, then the tourist SIM cards would be a bad option.
I do like and dislike how there is so much choice in terms of top-ups and data packages. Sure, you can select the perfect plan for you, but it can be confusing to find the perfect plan because there is so much choice.
Besides that, getting your Singtel SIM card is easy, the coverage with Singtel is close to perfect, and the speeds you get with them is great too.
As a result, Singtel is a good option for those visiting Singapore, which is why they deserve their 5-star rating.
How does Singtel Compare with StarHub and M1?
Now that you know everything you need to know about Singtel, you may be wondering whether Singtel is the best for you or not. I made a Singaporean SIM Card comparison article where I go through Singtel, StarHub, and M1 more in-depth, comparing their packages, speeds, and coverage.
It is a good read where I take certain scenarios into account that may apply to you (such as spending a certain amount on data packages like 10 SGD, 30 SGD, and 50 SGD, wanting to call and text abroad, speeds, and who has the best tourist SIM card).
Be sure sure to check out the Best Singaporean SIM Card comparison post.
The video above is a long video that goes over everything covered in the Best Singaporean SIM Card comparison post. If you do not have that much time right now, add the video in your Watch Later playlist. For now, watch this video below that briefly introduces you to Singtel, StarHub, and M1 tourist SIM cards, and I do a speed test with them at the end.
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