Every year we get phones with more storage, faster networking abilities (soon 5G). While the amount of data available on plans has grown from 1-2GB to 20-30GB, even a 10x increase isn’t keeping pace with data internationally.
Last night I landed in Singapore and will spend the next few days here. While the hotel has WiFi and there’s a Starbucks around the corner, what I want is to be connected and avoid crazy data costs while travelling.
I’m a Telstra customer and in 2019, their international roaming is still pretty bad, especially compared to someone like Vodafone who lets you pay $5 per day and access your data cap back home. Telstra’s Day Pass gives you a tiny 200MB to use each day, for $10.
Like many of you, I love to share my experiences with the world on Social, so between upload and download, the With my usage on social, I’d blow that in minutes. For perspective, a typical non-travel month I consume close to my cap which I currently pay A$49pm for 30GB and that works well, until I travel internationally.
My best option was to grab a local sim, so this morning I headed to a 7-Eleven and bought a sim card that had 100GB to use in 7 days, for just $12 Singapore dollars.
Having more than 3x more normal monthly allowance is incredibly freeing, it lets me have piece of mind that I can use my phone to capture, share and backup my photos and video without fear of spending a single dollar more. That’s fantastic and amazingly cheap and the average Speedtest results in around 15Mbps-20Mbps down and 50Mbps up.
Based on today’s exchange rate, that 100GB cost me just A$12.42. When I posted on Twitter earlier, it was pointed out that Singapore has a much smaller challenge in terms of network build, thanks to a smaller geographic coverage being required.
While that’s definitely true, Singapore is smaller than Australia, as a customer, especially a temporary one, I’m less concerned with the return on investment for the mobile telcos and much more concerned with what we pay for data.
Another offer spotted around Singapore was to upgrade your monthly mobile plan to unlimited data for just SGD$20. While Australia is starting to see ‘virtually unlimited’ data plans, we’re a long way off them being this affordable.
With 5G set to land this year, it’s the biggest opportunity for a reset on how we pay for data, especially if everything from our car, to our watch, to our Go Pro, to our baby monitor will need a 5G sim card and be consuming data.