Bring or Buy Mobile Phone?
So you’ve got this great phone that you love. Is it better to bring it with you to Singapore, or buy a new phone once you get there? Well, it depends on where you come from, and what your phone is like …
You can use your phone as long as it is not “locked” in your home country. In some countries, people buy phones on a monthly payment plan, and then they cannot be used with a SIM card in another country. You can get your phone unlocked in Singapore, but it can cost several hundred dollars (and it’s probably illegal).
If your phone is not locked, no problem. Just buy a prepaid SIM card at the airport, or anyplace else in Singapore (like at 7-11 stores everywhere).
If phones are really expensive in your home country, you can easily buy one in Singapore. Go to Mustafa Mall in Little India, which has cheap electronics. I found that phones there cost about the same as in Syria and Iraq. You can go to Sim Lim Towers, where they advertise cheaper phones, but you won’t know for sure if the sellers are honest or if you’re getting the best price. I’d say stick with Mustafa (open 24 hours, by the way, and really easy to get to on the MRT, which is the subway system).
Most post-paid phone plans in Singapore require a two-year contract. You’ll only be there for 8 months, so this doesn’t make sense. Just get a pre-paid SIM card and top it up when you need to. Again, you can do this at 7-11 stores, which are everywhere.
Here is info on something called a OneSIM Card. You get free inbound texts and inbound calls. But outbound calls are $.75 a minute. Ouch! https://www.onesimcard.com/cell-phone-rates/singapore.
There are three phone companies in Singapore for buying cellular service: SingTel, StarHub and M1. SingTel works great on campus, and you can top it up anywhere.
Tip from Rhys, USA, BBA14: Honestly, I found it quiet easy to bring a phone from my home country and buy a SIM card like from Singtel in Chinatown. Buy large amounts of minute plans rather than $10 dollar amounts because of the bonuses offered in the larger packages.
~ Mohamad Alduker, BBA14 student from Syria