CirclesLife, the cheapest telco in Singapore with the most data?

Mar 11, 17 CirclesLife, the cheapest telco in Singapore with the most data?

Posted by in Featured, Reviews

  So my Starhub mobile contract just ended. The first thing I did? I went to CirclesLife. While the 4th Telco in Singapore has been a highly talked about topic, most people do not know that there is actually a virtual operator run by Liberty Wireless. How this is done is that Liberty Wireless leases M1’s mobile network on a wholesale basis in order to provide their own coverage. In the USA, and even in Australia, virtual operators are a common place. By making use of reliable infrastructure, operators can provide unique offerings in order to target a niche market segment. In this case, CirclesLife is aiming straight for the younger generation who don’t need sms, and lots of data. Another appeal is that there is no mobile contracts! With the proliferation of affordable phones such as Xiaomi, it just makes sense! Starting at just $28/month for the base plan, you get 4GB of data and an additional 2GB if you port in a number. On top of that, there’s free caller ID. Comparatively, my previous Starhub plan was $42.90 a month for 3GB of data, and I had to pay $5.35 for caller ID. That’s a total of $48.25 per month. Now, with a 24 month Starhub plan, you could buy a mobile phone on contract. But how much does that actually cost you? Not taking into account the extra data, unmetered whatsapp, and ease of adding additional data when you are about to bust, Starhub would have cost you $1158. CirclesLife would have been $672. That is a differential of $486. Without a contract, the Samsung S7 Edge costs $1048 (as of 8th March 2017). On Starhub’s contract purchase, you get various price points. On my earlier example, you can get the phone at $548. That would be a savings of $500, vs a contract differential of $486. Thus, the 2 biggest factors to your decisions would be 1 -> Do you need a bigger data package? 2 -> What phone do you use? In my...

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My thoughts on private sharing apps in Singapore

Oct 02, 15 My thoughts on private sharing apps in Singapore

Posted by in Featured, Musings

So after Minister Khaw took up his post as Minister of Transport, one of the biggest news to come out was that the Ministry would be looking to review the private car sharing apps. However, if you just read the headlines and the news excerpt, it doesn’t say much. You would need to read Minister Khaw’s blog post to understand better. I feel his views are actually rather balanced. However, he seems to lack in-depth knowledge about how private sharing apps work and hence, the lack of detailed thoughts. 3rd party booking apps is a complex problem by itself. On one hand, it helps alleviates our current taxi congestion issue, on the other hand, there might be insufficient checks and balances on both the corporates (uber and grabtaxi), as well as on the drivers. Taxi services in Singapore is quite a unique one. Compared to most developed cities, taxi is actually decently affordable for the masses. Then you have the big confusing surcharges and what not. Another interesting characteristic of the taxi service in Singapore is that it is largely driven by people who tend to be older and more likely semi retired. The result of this is there is a mismatch of supply and demand at various times. During our peak hours, there is high demand, and although the supply is high, it seems to be insufficient. After all, if there are 100 passengers that need a ride at 8am, and there are only 80 vehicles, then it goes to say that 20 passengers would have to wait for a vehicle to complete a trip before they can get a ride. Given that peak hour demand tends to be directional (ie, from suburbs to town areas in the morning, and town to suburbs in the evening.), it is a tough incentive for a driver to want to drive from Raffles Place all the way back to Woodlands to pick a passenger at 8am, particularly when he could get a passenger at Outram or...

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How to be a UberX driver in Singapore?

May 21, 15 How to be a UberX driver in Singapore?

Posted by in Featured, Personal finance

In my earlier post about why you should be an UberX driver, the main benefit is that is can help subsidise your cost of car ownership. In fact, in terms of earnings vs a taxi, it might actually be similar on an hourly rate. For me, my experience with signing up with Uber was fairly simple. However, there was just a lot of administrative inefficiencies. Before beginning, you need to decide if you are looking to buy a car, use an existing car, or rent a car. For the steps below, I would be documenting for people who are looking to buy a car or to use their existing car. The very first step is to register a business or company. In Singapore, this is basically a hassle free step that you can even do online. Make sure to include business activity code 49219 into your business. The next step is to obtain a commercial insurance. The most common myth is that commercial limousine insurance is a lot higher than your regular insurance. However, that’s not the case. My car before doing uber, was quoted at $1650 annual premium ($800 excess, no windscreen excess). When I got my insurance for commercial limousine usage, it was only $1499 (however, it was $2000 excess and $100 windscreen excess). All numbers are not including NCD. If you have no accidents or issues, I believe NCD can be transferred to a sole proprietor’s vehicle, but not a pte ltd. After you have gotten your insurance, make sure you call in to cancel your previous insurance. The next step would be to go to LTA. If your car is currently under your personal name, you need to pay a $11 to do a transfer to your business or company. If there is an existing loan, you would also need to contact your bank to refinance the loan under your company. If you are buying a new car, just buy the car directly under your company. Chances are, if you...

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Why you should be a UberX driver in Singapore?

May 20, 15 Why you should be a UberX driver in Singapore?

Posted by in Featured, Personal finance

Singapore has one of the highest cost of car ownership in the world. Yet in per capita terms, we also have one of the most dense car population. So what gives? Most of the time, it is really about convenience and a form of luxury spending. But what if you could subsidise your cost of car ownership? Uber has been in Singapore for quite a while now. For those who are unfamiliar, it is a mobile app based limousine service, where you can essentially book a car to ferry you to your destination. No messy call bookings, and since payment is handled by credit card, there’s also no messy payment transactions. As a passenger, I have used uber almost 30 times. They have the UberExec service, which is essentially a high end luxury vehicle which uses cars such as Mercedes S class, E class, and similar. There’s a minium fare of $40 in this case. Then there’s the UberX service, which is a common sedan, such as Toyota Vios or similar. For UberX, there is a minimum fare of $8 in Singapore. There’s also the UberTaxi and SuperCar, which I shall not elaborate here. In terms of fares, UberX is actually fairly similar to that of a taxi, minus the confusing surcharges that cabs have. UberX uses a base fare plus time charge plus distance charge. During driver shortage periods or passenger excess periods, they may have a surge pricing, which can range from 1.1x. to 3x. This basically means the fare is multiplied accordingly. Quite a smart concept I would say. So why be a UberX driver? As a driver, you would need to register your car under a business or company. So straight up, this means your car can be expensed against any business revenue you might have. Uber basically takes 20% of any fare that you collect using their app. There’s no monthly charges or anything. So what this means is that it allows a person to register themselves as a...

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Essential android apps that I use

Dec 16, 13 Essential android apps that I use

Posted by in General

Smartphones are almost an essential part of our lives nowadays. Even to a point where some people don’t even use their desktop or laptops at home. One of the main reason is the versatility of a mobile phone. In such a tiny device (Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Samsung Note 3 aside), you can watch a movie, surf the net, access facebook, pay your bills, and even do contactless payment. That and a whole lot of other stuff. However, with that power comes a problem. There’s too many apps in the apps store! Be it Apple iTunes or Google Play, there’s probably clones and clones of apps doing the same thing. For me, I’m not much of a gamer, and I never liked filling my phone with tons of apps that I don’t use. However, there are some essential apps that I will always have, and these are some of them. Instagram Instagram is an app we almost can’t do without these days. From using a old school square photo format, to having standard filters that changes the mood of an image, instagram is now the go-to tool for photo sharing. For single images, I would use instagram to take the photo, apply a filter, type a caption and tag the location. Sometimes I would share to facebook, as the process is just hassle free. I do know of people who use hashtag as a way of sharing, but I’m not much of a fan of hash tagging.    WhatsApp WhatsApp is almost synonymous to instant messaging nowadays. It was one of the first contender to the mobile phone IM space, even though you could use msn, skype, etc on mobile phones for a long while. Perhaps it was just the simple feature set and low overheads. Nowadays there are many others such as LINE, Wechat, Kakao, etc.. Each has their own appeal, and honestly, I have all installed. But WhatsApp is still the one to use. I’m a little irritated by the annual subscription,...

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