iPad 2 data plan, mobile phone plans with multi-sim & microsim cutter – which is better? | Singapore Mobile Data Plans Review | IT Gadgets

When iPad 2 first launched in Singapore, practically within the first day, most of the stocks in the retail shops were totally wiped out.

20110525 - M1 Data Price Plans - Pic 1

Good news came when the 3 Telcos in Singapore – namely SingTel, M1 and Starhub, announced that new iPad 2 data plans whuch also came with discounted iPad 2 sets. But is it really worth the subscription?

Within this post, I am putting forth a quick analysis using M1 as a reference (which its plan offerings are very similar to the other Telcos, subscription prices excl gst, updated as of 24th May 2011):

20110525 - M1 Data Price Plans - Table 1

Prices for iPad 2 (Singapore Retail price):

a)iPad 2 16GB 3G – S$848

b)iPad 2 32GB 3G – S$978

c)iPad 2 64GB 3G – $1108

Prices for iPad 2 (Discounted price if you subscribe to M1 iPad 2 Unlimited data plan):

a)iPad 2 16GB 3G – S$399

b)iPad 2 32GB 3G – S$499

c)iPad 2 64GB 3G – $599

Scenario 1:

If we are focusing on getting iPad 2 64GB 3G with an M1 iPad 2 Unlimited Data Plan, the total cost for 24months = S$1559 (excl gst) with is $451 premium against the original retail price (nett paying $18.79 for the 24months data service).

Scenario 2:

However, if you are iPhone Extreme mobile plan (for same unlimited data usage), you can subscribe to M1 multi-sim service for additional $10/mth (excl gst) and thus the total premium will only $240. You maybe charged (around $20 one-time) for the issue of the new micro-sim card if your first Voice Sim is not micro-sim. To convert a regular Sim to micro-Sim, you will need to cut it manually or borrow a micro-Sim cutter (which costs S$45).

Micro-SIM-Cutter Scenario 3:

Last option is to subscribe to a regular Mobile Broadband 7.2Mbps service which will cost a total of $997.92 (excl gst). The bundled free K367 USB mobile stick will cost around $350 and thus the actual premium = $640. This is additional to the retail purchase of iPad 2.

Among all these permutations, there are some pros and cons which is also dependent on your current subscriptions with M1 and intended data usage:

1) If you are already having 2 mobile lines & not on any corporate plan:

You can consider getting the M1 iPad 2 Data Plan which will add to the line count & qualify you for the additional 25% savings on your total mobile line subscriptions. You will just need to have your total mobile plan value at $36/mth to enjoy a 25% savings of $9 square-off the $ differences between Scenario 1 & Scenario 2

2) High data usage and not on unlimited data plan:

No point upgrading your current mobile plan + multi-sim service just to get unlimited data plan. You might as well get a separate iPad 2 Unlimited Data Plan. That said, a normal leisure mobile user will hardly use more than 5GB data/mth just on normal website surfing, email, or even light game over internet. But if you are watch Video, downloading magazines / newspapers, accessing cloud storage (DropBox, Google Docs), you have to watch out for your monthly data usage.

This is to give you some quick figures to aid your cost calculation and hopefully you are able to work out the best plans combination before signing & commit for a longer term subscription. If you have other creative combination, please feel free to share/comment after the posts.

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