SingTel is the first telco in Singapore to implement a customisable mobile plan for its customers. Dubbed Easy Mobile, the flexible plan is great if you’ve noticed that you are more heavily reliant on a specific feature.
For example, if you’ve been streaming way too much YouTube videos, but spend less time on the phone, you’ll definitely want more data than outgoing call minutes.
Easy Mobile is based on the number of units you’d want to use per month. Each unit equates to 50 minutes of local outgoing calls, 500 SMS/MMS or 500MB of data.
From the surface, it makes absolute sense to customise your plan based on your needs. But, there are a few rules that you need to take note of before you can customise your mobile plan.
You need at least one unit on every segment
That means you’ll definitely have to purchase three units to get 50 minutes of local outgoing calls, 500 SMS/MMS and 500MB of data. No matter how you wing it, you can't eliminate your SMS units to get another 500MB of data to watch more kitty videos on YouTube or send more memes to your friends on WhatsApp.
Flexibility limited by the different tiers
Even though Easy Mobile promises some form of flexibility, you are locked down to four different tiers - S, M, L and XL grant you four, 10, 16 and 26 units, and cost S$33, S$45, S$65 and S$105 per month respectively.
In short, you are still tied down to a fixed number of units. The flexibility kicks in on a monthly basis, when you can re-allocate the units if you realised you’ve been overspending on data usage.
A two-year contract is required
Yes, that means you’re stuck with SingTel for two years. Not a problem if you intended to sign up with SingTel to get the Samsung Galaxy S5. Which, by the way, costs S$688 if you wish to take the S$45 per month Easy Mobile M plan. Speaking of which…
Slightly higher subsidised handset prices
This will definitely be a sore point if you’re going to get a handset along with the two-year contract. Taking the Samsung Galaxy S5 as an example, you’ll be paying S$100 more for the Android smartphone with the Easy Mobile plans, compared to the existing Lite plan which costs S$39.90 per month.
The only upside is that with the Lite plan you’re getting 100 minutes (two units), 800 SMS (more than one unit) and 2GB (four units), which totals to less than the 10 units you get from the M plan.
In short, you’re paying more for the handset and on a monthly basis to get slightly more units with Easy Mobile.
It’s only available for new line subscribers (for now)
The Easy Mobile plans are only available if you’re a new SingTel subscriber. Existing SingTel customers won’t be left in the lurch, the option will be available at a later unspecified date.
The usual penalty still applies
The different tiers work in the same way as existing plans - upgrading your plan won’t incur a penalty fee. Downgrading from a higher tier plan, however, means you’ll have to reimburse SingTel, based on the number of months remaining on your two-year contract. So if you've made the wrong choice from the very beginning and have way too much units that aren't used at all, you'll be paying, in the most literal sense, for your mistake for the next two years.
Numbers-wise, HardwareZone did a detailed breakdown of the price plans, which points to better cost-savings over a period of two years for the L and XL plans.
However, consumers generally go for the entry level to mid-range plans. Theoretically, you are getting more talk time, SMS or data (depending on your allocation) than the existing plans. But note that you’re paying more for the handset and monthly bills too.
Plus, with the need to sign a two-year contract and a limit to the number of units you can get per plan rather than purchasing more units whenever you need to, SingTel’s Easy Mobile plans aren’t exactly revolutionary. Still, one man's meat is another man's poison, though we'll most likely not take up this offer.