Circles offers free 20GB data to new sign-ups as telco competition heats up

Circles.Life, which is planning a service launch in Indonesia by next year, sells mobile plans known as line-only plans, which do not tie consumers to two-year contracts. The firm is confident of grabbing 3 per cent to 5 per cent of market share by 2
Circles.Life, which is planning a service launch in Indonesia by next year, sells mobile plans known as line-only plans, which do not tie consumers to two-year contracts. The firm is confident of grabbing 3 per cent to 5 per cent of market share by 2019. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Competition for mobile customers in Singapore has intensified, with virtual telco Circles.Life giving away 20GB of mobile data a month for free to entice customers to port over their lines from Singtel, StarHub or M1.

The free trial is valid only until Dec 31. The promotion is targeted at users who are or will soon be out of a telco contract.

Come Jan 1, those who have signed up for the free trial will be automatically ported over to the telco's basic 6GB plan for $28 a month - unless they indicate they do not wish to continue with the service. Those who port over will also get 20GB of data for free every month for three months.

"We are doing this because we are confident they will switch to a full Circles.Life plan," said Mr Rameez Ansar, co-founder and director of one-year-old Circles.Life, at a press conference at The China Club in Shenton Way on Monday (Oct 16).

He said that the Singapore firm is confident of grabbing 3 per cent to 5 per cent of market share by 2019. This translates to at least 165,000 mobile subscribers by 2019.

It leases network wholesale from M1 and does not operate its own network.

Circles.Life, which is planning a service launch in Indonesia by next year, sells mobile plans known as line-only plans, which do not tie consumers to two-year contracts.

Such plans have become increasingly popular with consumers as they are cheaper than plans that come with subsidised handsets.

During the first six months of this year, more than 30 per cent of some 20,000 new customers added to M1's post-paid subscriber base were line-only customers. M1 has 1.26 million post-paid customers as of the end of June, and these include Circles.Life's customers.

Line-only plans have been all the rage since July 2015 when M1 offered a 5GB mobile data plan for $30 a month - less than half of what a similar package offered by rivals cost then.

In March this year, Circles.Life upped the ante with its generous 26GB line-only plan for just $48 a month. Now, every telco is bundling more mobile data for less.