Mobile carriers continuously try to introduce new products and subscriptions to meet market demands.
Choosing a Sim Only Mobile Data Plan Is Harder Than You Think
As we shift more towards data usage and use less and less traditional voice and SMS services, it makes sense to have a good selection of sim only mobile data plans.
Having multiple choices also begs the question of how to choose the right plan for yourself and your needs.
1. Transfer Speeds
In essence, you have just two choices and need to decide between 4G and 5G. Technically speaking, 5G has the potential to be even 10 times as fast as a 4G network but we are not there yet.
Realistically speaking, you can expect to get around 50 to 100 Mbps from a 4G plan and around 200 Mbps from a 5G plan. These transfer speeds can vary from one carrier to another.
For the average user, 4G is enough since it is reasonably fast and can handle even 4K streaming but that is where the limit may be reached.
If you want to use your mobile phone as a hotspot and share your mobile subscription across multiple devices, 5G should be the logical option.
2. How Much Data Do You Need?
The second aspect worth thinking about is how much data you need over 30 days. There are multiple plans to choose from and besides the pricing difference, how much data is included is also different.
For example, a plan with 20 GB included can be as much as D$50 depending on which carrier you go for. Some are cheaper while others may be more expensive.
There is a tradeoff. Usually, you pay less but you get slower speeds or poorer network coverage.
What you can do to determine your needs is just install an app to monitor your average data usage for the month.
If you have a small amount of data traffic included in your current plan, just monitor your usage for a week or so and multiply that by four.
Coverage is important. While most operators offer decent coverage across Singapore, you will notice that smaller operators and MVNOs that do not own their radio network, have poorer coverage.
The only way to test the coverage is to either get a prepaid sim card and test it out or just look for user reviews. If the coverage is bad, users will not shy away from complaining about it.
The same goes for transfer rates. Testing transfer rates can be difficult and again, existing customers can provide valuable feedback. At the same time, it is worth noting that there is a correlation between data transfer speeds and coverage.
Carriers that have fewer radio antennas, thus poorer signal, also have poorer transfer rates. Their networks may not be able to cope well with a high number of users performing data traffic in parallel.
If you are looking at sim-only mobile data plans, this aspect should also be considered.
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