Last week I followed Claire to an event introducing Circles.Life.
Its a new telco.. well, sort of.. its a Mobile virtual Network Operator (MVNO). To be honest, I’m not as well informed as I thought myself. So I did a quick search at our friendly wikipedia to get the following explanation:
A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which the MVNO provides services to its customers. An MVNO enters into a business agreement with a mobile network operator to obtain bulk access to network services at wholesale rates, then sets retail prices independently. An MVNO may use its own customer service, billing support systems, marketing, and sales personnel. ~from wikipedia
Anyways, its different from the 3 mobile network operators we’re so familiar with locally that its plans focus on providing more affordable data and more control on how much your mobile bill costs every month.
Usually, we get free bundled talk time, smses and a miserable amount of data by today’s standards, even have to pay 5 bucks for caller ID which I thought should be a basic service provided in every telco plan. I have been a loyal Shittel customer all my life, I remember they used to offer loyalty perks if you continue to sign new contracts with them, and they used to give us 12gb of data usage for a base plan. Now they scrapped the loyalty perks, must be because our loyal support means nothing to them, and because no matter what shit they throw as us, we still need them.Then the 12gb became 3 or 4gb for a basic plan. Can’t help be feel some similarity with our local politics and them telcos trying to milk every cent our of our pockets. Somemore if you overshot your miserable 4gb of data by say 1mb (1gb has like 1000mbs) you pay $10 + $0.70 (gst…) for the next 1gb block. MILKING IN PROGRESS.
Now comes the next ‘virtual’ telco riding on M1’s infrastructure, offering us much much much more flexibility that suits the current time and age. Check out their price plan:
Please note all the asterisks at the upfront cost are early bird fees.
They don’t offer free incoming calls though, if that’s important to you. But for a basic plan of $28, you get 3gb data and 100mins talktime. But if you stay with Circles.life, they will give you bonus data! Currently they will provide extra 2gb for the promo period. How’s that, 5gb for 28 bucks, sounds like a good deal to me.
To manage your plan, you can download the Circles.life app on your mobile. You can then adjust the amount of data, talktime and sms for your plan. To my limited knowledge, its all cheaper than our usual telco’s offering.
- data at $6 per gb
- talktime at $4 per 100mins
- sms at $4 per 100 smses
Anyways who still uses sms nowadays.. I personally don’t, I use whatsapp with my friends and between with Claire. Now Circles.life have a partnership with whatsapp, whatever you do on your whatsapp is free! be it calling or messaging. The brochure says ‘unlimited whatsapp valued at $8’, I’m not sure what my usage is to be honest, but whatever lah its a nice perk.
Furthermore, if you overshot your data usage despite the constant reminding from the circles.life app, yes they will bug you, they will auto boost by 100mb valued at just $1! No more overshot 1mb and pay $10.70 from shittel. The boost buttons is a nice feature IMO, you can manage the cost of you bill. Like if I got 7 days to go till the end of my bill cycle but already at my 3gb limit, I can simply boost 750mb for $5.50. (I usually use 100mb per day) No need to pay the additional $5.20 for 250mb extra that I won’t be using as compared to the Shittel’s 1gb for $10.70 block. Cheaper right!
The boost comes in 3 categories at
- 100mb for $1
- 250mb for $2
- 500mb for $3.50
Managing my bill feature is handy too, say if I know I will go overseas next month and will be using lesser data, I can just adjust my plan to the lowest possible and pay less next month.
One last thing is, this telco don’t bind you with a 2 years contract! If you really don’t like it, you can quit anytime, no need to tahan till your contract finishes. Really, what’s there to dislike about Circles.life? The other 3 telco please buck up, the times has changed, and its leaving you behind…