When traveling abroad, it can be quite frustrating if you don’t have internet access. If you’ve visited a destination several times, the experience might make it somewhat bearable. However, when visiting a new destination, the need for internet access becomes even more urgent. Without internet, you can’t use Google Maps, making navigation a challenging task.
“Using Mobile Phones & Internet in Singapore”
There are three main ways to use phone or internet services abroad: using your home country’s roaming service, purchasing a local SIM card, or renting a pocket WiFi device.
- Using Roaming Service
- Purchasing a Local SIM Card
- Using Pocket WiFi
For my recent trip to Singapore, I chose the option of “purchasing a local SIM card.”
“Major Telecom Companies in Singapore”
Just as South Korea has “SK Telecom” and “KT,” Singapore has “Singtel” and “StarHub,” which can be considered counterparts to SK and KT, respectively.
These telecom companies provide “SIM cards” for travelers. While the details of what each company offers may vary slightly, I purchased a SIM card from Singtel, and below are the details based on that.
“Singtel’s Tourist SIM Card, Hi! Tourist Card”
Among the SIM cards Singtel offers for travelers, there is one called “Hi! Tourist SIM Card.”
This card has two main options: one for $15, providing 4GB of data for 5 days, and another for $30, offering 14GB of data for 10 days.
When you purchase a local SIM card, it not only enables internet usage but also allows for local calls. However, as I rarely needed a local phone number, I didn’t pay much attention to that aspect.
“Singtel’s Hi! Tourist Card”
- $15: 5 days usage / 4GB data
- $30: 10 days usage / 14GB data
Although there are two types of cards, even if you choose the $15 option and find the duration insufficient, you can extend it by adding $3 per day, making it a flexible solution for those uncertain about the duration of their stay.
“Where to Get Singtel SIM Cards”
Prepaid SIM cards are readily available. Once you arrive in Singapore, you can easily find booths selling SIM cards, even at Changi Airport, the first place you’ll encounter. Convenience stores under the local brand “Cheers” also offer these cards, and since Cheers is found throughout Singapore, purchasing a SIM card is convenient in the city center as well.
“Using Phones Compatible with Singtel SIM Cards”
Using a SIM card is simple. After purchasing a local SIM, you can immediately replace your phone’s SIM card and start using it. Usually, the places selling SIM cards also provide a small pin to assist with the card exchange. In some cases, the phone may display the local telecom name “SINGTEL” or even show your home country’s carrier name, such as “SKT.” Despite such cases, calls, texts, and internet services work seamlessly. Personally, I experienced this discrepancy, with “SKT” displayed throughout my trip, yet all services functioned perfectly.
By keeping the original SIM card safe, you can later switch back to it upon returning home. Successfully changing the SIM card at Changi Airport, I could effortlessly use the internet in Singapore. Thanks to this, I could start my Singapore journey in earnest by searching for real-time information, including on Google Maps.