SINGAPORE - Local telco M1 announced on Friday (May 17) the launch of a prepaid digital SIM card for tourists using the newer iPhones visiting Singapore.
The digital SIM card, or eSIM, is built into a device like a mobile phone at the point of manufacture and gives users the option of having two numbers on one phone without needing a second physical SIM card.
M1's tourist eSIM will allow visitors to activate tourist prepaid plans on compatible iPhones and use both their overseas SIM and M1 prepaid eSIM on one device.
The eSIM plan is an extension of M1's existing prepaid tourist SIM offering, which features options with seven-day, 12-day and 14-day validity.
But eSIMs will be available only under the seven-day plan for now. The plan costs $12 and offers 100GB of local mobile data over seven days, as well as 500 and 20 minutes of local and international talktime respectively.
Inbound tourists can purchase the eSIM card from any Meet & Greet counters, selected Changi Recommends counters and Cheers convenience stores located at Changi Airport, as well as all M1 Shop outlets.
"Visitor arrivals to Singapore hit a record high of 18.5 million last year and this is an important segment we serve through our prepaid cards. The eSIM enables us to give tourists an easy way to buy our prepaid service without having to handle a physical SIM," said Ms Wang Li-Na, M1's marketing director.
M1 is the first and only mobile network operator to support eSIM plans on iPhones in Singapore to date.
The supported iPhone models are the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max, while the eSIM card is also compatible with the 11-inch iPad Pro and third generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Usage of eSIMs in Singapore had previously been limited mainly to wearables such as smart watches but has become more widespread after Apple rolled out eSIM capability across its latest line of phones last year.
Last June, the Infocomm Media Development Authority released a public consultation paper proposing to extend its "no SIM-lock" policy to eSIMs.
This rule would forbid telcos from locking eSIMs to their own network, and forcing consumers to buy new devices if they switch telcos.
M1 is Singapore's third-largest mobile operator, after Singtel and StarHub.
It was delisted from the Singapore stock exchange on April 24, after the completion of the acquisition by Konnectivity, a Keppel Corp-led joint venture with Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes The Straits Times.