“Data roaming” is an extremely scary concept for many. These two words are associated with expensive, complex, confusing and “must remember to turn off when you go overseas”.
So what exactly is Data Roaming? Essentially, it means that smartphone users can surf the Internet without swopping out their home country SIM card for a local one. You can just immediately, upon touching down at the airport, get access to mobile data services by logging on to the foreign operators’ network. So is this expensive? Actually, yes. Prevailing rate for data roaming is SGD 20 per megabyte. This means that you will be charged SGD 20 when you download a 1MB document while connected to a foreign operator’s mobile network.
This is why many telcos link up with each other to offer cheaper alternatives. For example, if a StarHub customer goes to Malaysia and connect to DiGi, his or her data charges will be capped at $15 per day. This means that he or she can enjoy unlimited access to the Internet while connected to a preferred foreign telco for $15 a day. However, please note that if you happen to switch to MAXIS or Celcom, you will incur $20 per MB.
Getting confused? Well, StarHub has a solution for you – RoamEasy. RoamEasy ups the game by allowing you to connect to any mobile operator and yet enjoy only one low data roaming rate of $10 per 50MB. Using the earlier example, you can now connect to MAXIS, DiGi, Celcom or U Mobile and still enjoy the same rate of $10 per 50MB. What’s more? The block of 50MB will stay valid as long as you continue using it within the country. The block will only expire at the end of the day (SGT) or when you leave the country.
This new service looks good on paper and I can’t wait to try out this service soon. Very soon, in fact. If you want to try it out, SMS SIGN ON to 6818. You must be a StarHub customer with a mobile plan though. There is no need to deactivate this service when you come back to Singapore. This service will automatically kick in when you fly off to the participating countries (see below).