Use your M1 local data bundle even when you’re overseas

Update 06/11/15: Data Passport has been extended to European destinations

M1 users won’t have to worry about unused local data when they’re traveling.

Its new Data Passport value-added service introduces a new way to utilise your data, even when you’re overseas. For a monthly fee of S$10 (with a S$2 activation fee), any data you use while you’re overseas will be counted towards your local data usage.

Essentially, if you’re a frequent traveler, this valued-added service will mean you won’t have to pay any additional daily rates or purchase an additional line to use at your destinations. And even if you’ve busted your data bundle while you’re overseas, Data Passport will count the excess usage based on local data charges of S$10.70 per GB, capped at S$188.32 per month.

In short, the biggest billl shock you’ll get will still be under S$200. That’s a far cry from the massive few hundred dollars you might see if you were using data roaming without Data Passport, or even the S$15 daily rate that gives you unlimited data usage in 10 countries.

Data Passport, however, only applies to six countries and specific networks in each of the six countries for now. The current list includes

  • Indonesia - XL
  • Japan - Softbank
  • Malaysia - Celcom
  • Saudi Arabia - Etisalat-Mobily
  • Sri Lanka - Dialog Axiata
  • United States - T-Mobile

Update 31/08/15: M1 has added five more destinations that support Data Passport. On top of the countries and networks listed above, you can use your local data in the following destinations

  • Bangladesh - Robi
  • Cambodia - SMART
  • Hong Kong - SmarTone
  • Macau - SmarTone
  • Taiwan - Chunghwa Telecom

Don’t worry about roaming on non-partner networks though, because M1 has also announced a new free Network Lock feature. By dialing *123#, your phone will only connect to M1’s partner networks when you’re signed up for any of its roaming services. This service includes the earlier six countries, and adds 10 more destinations including Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

Update 06/11/15: If you're visiting Europe, good news, because Data Passport is extended to European countries. However, the Europe Data Passport costs S$50 per month, but that gets you coverage using your local data bundle in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Of course, one other way to avoid those nasty bill shocks is to adopt some basic rules when you’re data roaming.

Or, just go off the grid and enjoy your holiday.