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Roaming in Singapore: Rates and how to avoid it

Get to know everything related to roaming in Singapore and the best options available for people to use there!

Julio Osuna

March 6, 2023

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Around the world, there are different places you can visit and enjoy the wonders and scenery around. A clear example of that is Singapore, a place where you can visit for work or for vacations; it’s up to you! But to travel with ease and not run into many issues, you need to know how to stay connected abroad, whether it is with roaming Singapore services or with a different alternative.

So if you intend to travel to Singapore anytime soon and you want to know how to stay connected there, you’ve come to the right place as you will learn everything about roaming in Singapore and the alternatives you can use while being there!

eSIM for Singapore

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What is a roaming service?

For those who haven’t used roaming services before, let’s talk a bit about this first. Roaming is a service offered by many different cellular carriers worldwide. It allows customers to use their domestic cellular services while traveling, which means users can send text messages, make phone calls, and even stay online and connected through data.

But the thing with this service is how expensive it can be. For many, using roaming in Singapore, it’s not the best idea due to the high costs and rates. Of course, prices vary from one operator to the other, but that’s something that must be kept in mind.

As for now, there are cellular operators charging from $0.10 per text message to up to $0.50 per message sent. But that’s not actually so important because what’s actually expensive is cellular data, which can cost from $1 to $10 per consumed MB while visiting Singapore. So, what are the alternatives available?

(You may also be interested to know about roaming in New Zealand.)

Comparison of roaming rates in Singapore

To make things simpler for travelers, let’s make a comparison of the different roaming alternatives available. On this table, travelers will find different rates and prices of carrier services when traveling to Singapore. It can either be through a cellular operator, an international eSIM, and some others!

Cellular provider – RateCost (in US dollars/MB)
Holafly eSIM card$21/Unlimited Data for 5 Days
AT&T$2.05/MB
T-Mobile$70/5GB
Verizon$2.05/MB
Vodafone$6 per day
Three$5 per day
Rogers$15/10MB or $15 with Roam Like Home
Table N°1 Comparative table of roaming rates in Singapore by the cellular provider and Holafly data eSIM.

As we can see, there are different alternatives for people to use. Of course, not all of these are so easy to come by. So, let’s get to the part we are eager to know more about, the details of these alternatives.

Roaming in Singapore by Mobile Provider

Up to this point, now that we have information regarding some cellular providers from different countries, it’s time to tell the details about what they offer. So, if you want further information, let’s take a look at the roaming details they are offering.

Roaming in Singapore with AT&T

For AT&T, we will focus on the pay-per-use rates. These are the most commonly available, so let’s focus on the rates that this company offers.

  • Calls: $3 per minute.
  • Send texts: $0.50/message
  • Send pictures and videos: $1.30/message
  • Internet: $2.05

How to activate it

The activation process of the AT&T roaming service is pretty easy. People have to call AT&T’s International Customer Service department or call directly to 611 to activate the service.

Remember that to use cellular data when traveling; you need to activate the roaming service on the “Mobile/Cellular Data” menu among the settings on your device.

Buy your digital chip or Holafly eSIM for Singapore and enjoy your data.

Roaming in Singapore with T-Mobile

T-Mobile is one of the alternatives people can rely on while using their domestic local data plan. For example, those who have a MAX or Plus plan can use up to 5 GB in over 215 countries, but these are pretty expensive. Let’s take a look at their roaming rates. 

  • Calls made: $0.25/min.
  • SMS: $0.50 per text.
  • Internet: $60-85/data plan.

How to activate it

There are two things people need to do. First, they need to dial #RON# on their phone or device to activate the roaming from T-Mobile. Secondly, the roaming option must be activated on the device as well!

Roaming in Singapore with Verizon

Verizon keeps things pretty simple on what they offer, so let’s see the roaming rates they have available:

  • Calls made: $1.79/minute
  • SMS: $0.50.
  • Internet: $2.05/MB.

How to activate it

To activate the roaming service of Verizon, there’s only one thing to do. People will need to visit the “Mobile/Cellular Data” menu to activate the “Roaming” option. This can also be done from the Verizon website.

Roaming in Singapore with Vodafone

Vodafone is known for being an international cellular operator. As for now, they offer different “Roaming Zones.” In the case of Singapore, which is located in Zone D for roaming, the price is $6 per day to get roaming services from the carrier.

How to activate it

To activate the roaming Singapore from Vodafone, customers need to go on to their “My Vodafone App” first. There, they need to go to the menu and then to the “International Roaming” option. After that, simply choose the destination, and it’s all set!

Roaming in Singapore with Three

Depending on the destination people are visiting, they can either use the “Go Roam” service or their roaming service directly. In this case, Singapore is part of the “Go Roam” destinations, which means consumers can use their UK plans there for $5 per day!

How to activate it

When traveling, as soon as the roaming becomes available, the device will connect immediately! 

Roaming in Singapore with Rogers

The last option we have in mind is Rogers. This provider is for sure the one that has one of the highest roaming rates, so let’s check them out, so those interested know what to expect from them.

  • Call: $3 per minute
  • Text: $0.75 per text
  • Data: $15 per 10 MB or $15 per day with “Roam Like Home.”

How to activate it

Just like it happens with other alternatives, people need to activate the “Roaming” option from their phone or device. It is located in the “Mobile/Cellular Data” menu, and once it is activated, it’s time to enjoy! Easy-peasy!

Alternatives to roaming in Singapore

Due to the high prices of roaming services, which are so important for those traveling abroad and that also want to stay connected, the need to find other alternatives to be able to use cellular data, make phone calls and even send text messages is a necessity nowadays.

Thankfully, there are different alternatives for people to use in today’s world. Let’s discuss the different alternatives available for digital nomads to use and which is a better option for those using the roaming Singapore service.

eSIM for Singapore

eSIM with unlimited data plans in Singapore
eSIM with unlimited data plan in Singapore. Source: Holafly.

Let’s begin with the eSIM for Singapore. This one is likely the best alternative for people to use when traveling. Digital SIM cards are way cheaper than roaming options, and these allow users to continue working with their apps without needing to worry about changing their number or something along the lines.

Additionally, another perk of this type of service, specifically Holafly, is that this provider has no restriction when it comes to how many eSIMs a single person can buy and for the destination they prefer. If you need an eSIM for Singapore with unlimited data and data sharing, Holafly might be the best option for you as long as you have a compatible device to use an eSIM!

Prepaid SIM card

One option that’s still a thing is international prepaid SIM cards. This alternative is somehow cheaper than other options, especially compared to the roaming rates. The thing is that to use one, you need to have an actual SIM card, the chip, which, compared to the eSIM, happens to be a disadvantage. 

The other alternative is to use local cellular companies. But as a foreigner, it is harder to get a SIM card from these companies!

Free WiFi in Singapore

Nowadays, finding free WiFi is not a surprise for nomads and travelers at all. There are numerous places where people can find a free WiFi connection, such as in the hotel, at a restaurant, or similar, for example.

But it is important for people to keep in mind that these free hotspots aren’t always available. So, as soon as you leave the area, you will lose the internet connection and will remain without being online or disconnected. 

The good thing is there are some apps to help people to find free WiFi near them, which can be helpful here.

Free WiFi in Singapore: Alternatives

As said before, there are some alternatives people can use to find WiFi connections in Singapore. The good thing is that, in a country such as Singapore, there are plenty of available hotspots for people to use to stay connected.

Of course, these hotspots are mostly located among the most populated spots in the cities or big urban centers, so that’s something to keep in mind when traveling there. Apps like WinMap or Wireless@SGx can be quite helpful in this situation.

Pocket WiFi in Singapore

One alternative for people to use when traveling to Singapore is pocket WiFi devices. These are easy to use, and they are mostly rented, but they are also somehow expensive for some bakcpacker’s budget.

The good thing is people won’t have to pay a monthly fee, and these are available basically worldwide, so let’s see what options people have available here. 

Pocket WiFi in Singapore: Alternatives

Nowadays, finding the proper pocket WiFi device might be a challenge, so let’s talk about two options we have in mind.

  • Cello Mobile: Located in the United States, this company provides a WiFi connection for a week for $349.99. The coverage speed is 4G, and that’s good, but there are other things to pay for, such as insurance and shipping, and if the device is damaged, there’s also a penalty fee!
  • Travelers WiFi: For a whole week of usage, Travelers WiFi charges people $72.30 and provides 4G connections. The service is somehow limited, so that’s something to keep in mind. Also, just like with Cello Mobile, people need to pay for the shipping and insurance, which makes the final price higher than just $89.30!

Comparison of alternatives to roaming in Singapore

Up to this point, it is time to show you a comparison chart of the different alternatives there are available for people to use when visiting Singapore.

FeatureseSIMRoamingPocket WiFi
Price$6$2.05 up to $15 per MB+$120
DataUnlimited Data1 GB per day
Free shippingYesNo
Added costsNoYesYes
Can you share the internet with other devices?Yes, up to 500 MB daily NoYes
Fee in case of loss?NoNoYes
User friendly?YesNoNo
Table N°2 Comparative chart – Alternatives to getting internet in Singapore

Verdict: the best alternative to roaming in Singapore

Finally, up to this point, it’s time to decide on which one is the best alternative for travelers and digital nomads to use when it comes to traveling to a place like Singapore. Comparing prices, accessibility, and other features, it is fair to say that the Holafly eSIM for Singapore is a better option than the other alternatives.

Holafly eSIM home
Holafly home website.

It is easier to buy, it won’t take a lot of time once it arrives, and users only need an email address to buy the eSIM or as many as they need. Additionally, remember that an eSIM might be restricted to certain types of services.

But let’s say you want to go ahead and a different service. For example, local SIM cards are harder for people to buy because they’re only accessible to locals, and other alternatives are just far too expensive for people to use. Therefore, the Holafly eSIM remains on top due to the perks and advantages that come with it, like top-ups, data sharing, or unlimited data plans.

Tips for roaming in Singapore

  • Don’t use your roaming cellular data before traveling, and don’t activate it if you are not using it while traveling. As soon as it is activated, it will start charging you a lot of money.
  • Either one is a suitable option, you decide to use. It is advised to use a data consumption alert for you to know how much cellular data you have consumed and how much money you have spent if you continue to use roaming.
  • Try to check out if there are other cheap data plans for travelers offered by others cellular companies that may not be well known. You might even get a discount when going abroad.
  • Remember to check that your device works in the country you are visiting. Either it is for the cellular frequency bands that operate there or simply because the device it’s too basic to work there. Also, keep in mind to check if your device has open bands before traveling!
  • Try to use free WiFi in public places as much as you can. Just keep in mind not to use private apps when using free WiFi connections as thighs might be dangerous.

After everything we have mentioned here, it’s time for you to choose if you want to use the roaming in Singapore services or something cheaper. You have different options available, so take advantage of the one that suits you better!