• Muhammad Aathiq

Telco Special: The Rise of Circles.Life

In Singapore, there are about eleven telecommunications companies (telcos for short). Though there are longtime giants like StarHub and M1, some popular telcos are also emerging, like Circles.Life and TPG.


Let us first take a look at some of these different new telcos in Singapore.


Some new telcos in Singapore


1) Total Peripherals Group (TPG) telecom

Debuting here around December 2018 as a trial, this titan from down under is now aggressively expanding operations and quickly rising as a major telco. In Australia, it is the second largest of the telcos and TPG is hoping to achieve similar success here in Singapore.


TPG is famous in Singapore for its low-cost yet efficient SIM-only plan. Currently by just paying $10 per month of use, you can get 50GB of local mobile data, 300 minutes of local outgoing calls and 30 local outgoing SMS messages.


There is no charge for incoming calls or SMS messages, locally or from overseas. For roaming data, there is 1GB allocated, and excess data after the 50GB results in a $1 fee per GB used.


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A key factor here is that customers are not bound by a contract for a fixed duration, typically two years. It is flexible and allows customers to end the plan anytime.


To continue the setup, all users have to do is to just pay the necessary $10 for the next month for as long as they intend to. For additional features, they just need to top-up extra. This makes it arguably the best SIM-only plan to currently have in Singapore.


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2) GoMo

GoMo is a contract free mobile telecom service provided by SingTel, one of the biggest telcos in Singapore. They offer products like SIM-only plans. It’s main one is the $20 for 20GB mobile data, plus 200 minutes of talktime and 200 SMS messages. Incoming calls are also free of charge.


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Their roaming rates for mobile data are also varying. You can get 100GB for seven days at $14 in Thailand, or 15GB for 15 days at $19 in the Philippines.


Currently GoMo has some promotional offers. One is the extra 10GB of mobile data, 100 minutes of talktime and 100 more SMS messages that is attained with a promotional code (until 10 August 2020).


Another is the 50GB mobile data, 500 minutes talktime and 500 SMS messages for just $30, obtained by another of their offer codes (until 10 Aug 2020).


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The GoMo app available for smartphones also allows customers to easily keep track of their plan. They also pay their monthly bill through the app and can elect to exit the plan at anytime. For extra benefits, they can simply add a 30-day ‘data pump’ of 10GB mobile data, 100 minutes talktime and 100 SMS messages for $10.


It’s wide coverage plus good network speeds, international roaming plans and affordable price makes GoMo a strong option to have.


3) Circles.Life

Circles.Life is a famous telco company in Singapore that was launched in 2016. It is the fastest growing local telco and operates digitally, with support channels via live chat and email.


As the title of the article states, we want to understand why Circles.Life has enjoyed such tremendous success in Singapore. Let us see their rise, impact and success here.


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Rise of Circles.Life

Circles.Life was first to introduce $0 SIM-only plans in Singapore, though it has been discontinued. This was a sensational move at the time as other telcos were offering pricey and ungenerous mobile plans. Circles.Life was also sharp enough to understand how important mobile data is, and based its plans around it.


The unheard of $0 SIM-only flexi-plan consisted of 30 minutes talktime, 10 SMS messages and 1GB mobile data per month. This plan could have lost it’s novelty factor and allure quickly, but Circles.Life foresaw that too.


Hence, they introduced service add-ons; customers could choose extra 2GB mobile data for $15 or extra 30 talktime minutes for $5.


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Success and impact of Circles.Life

Their $0 SIM-only flexi-plan gave a glimpse of their modular, power-to-the-customer type of customizability. Along with the low price, this became game-changing. Circles.Life was experiencing, and still does, a meteoric rise to become one of the major telcos in Singapore due to it’s creative business model.


With great marketing strategies and a business model that was pro-customer oriented, Circles.Life started introducing several other types of plans, such as paid plans and those offering mobile phones. They commissioned the Circles.Life app so that customers could easily select services they want for their plan and paying for them.


Such was the wile success of Circles.Life that other telcos also started changing up their mobile plans to provide more mobile data and more importantly, to focus more toward the customers. Even major telcos like StarHub and SingTel were adopting a similar approach to their mobile plans.


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How does the future of telcos look?

As we have seen with the example of Circles.Life, by identifying customers who have been feeling priced out or being unable to get a good mobile plan deal, and then creating for them and constantly marketing it to the whole consumer base, the telco industry had experienced something akin to a disruption. The creative ideas and plans introduced into the industry by Circles.Life has been adopted and improved upon by the various other telco companies in Singapore.


One can find plans that are bang for the buck with decent features like sizeable mobile data and roaming, but then another plan may be from telcos with great mobile coverage and customer services. This provide ample competition in the industry and great potential for growth in it. This is very beneficial for the industry and it’s consumers as the world enters a new phase of technology.


With more research in place and technologies being introduced, telcos have never been more customer oriented as it is now, and this only bodes well for the future of the telecommunications industry.



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