Expats will have no problem keeping in touch in Singapore. Mobile phone networks, internet and postal services are all of a high standard. English television channels and online news sites are also readily accessible.
The three leading providers of phone and internet services in Singapore are StarHub, Singtel and M1. Expats should compare the pricing of their available options before choosing a service provider.
Singapore's technological infrastructure is one of the most advanced globally, ensuring that expats can stay connected seamlessly, whether for work or leisure. The city-state's robust telecommunications networks provide reliable and high-speed services, ensuring that communication, both within Singapore and internationally, is efficient and hassle-free.
Internet in Singapore
With the fastest internet speeds in the world, Singapore is well-connected, and expats will have no trouble finding WiFi in public hotspots throughout the city-state. Wireless, fibre and broadband options are available. Most packages come with a contract ranging between 12 and 24 months, and breaking it will result in penalties.
That said, expats who don't want to be locked into a 12- or 24-month contract can get a no-contract plan with MyRepublic, which is currently the only provider offering this option. While this is ideal for expats who may not stay in Singapore long, a penalty will still be charged if they terminate the contract within the first three months.
They will have to pay a monthly subscription and router and installation fees, which would typically be free with a contract. Expats should therefore weigh up all their options and potential costs before making this decision.
To secure a contract, expats must submit a range of documentation with their application, including proof of address, proof of identification and their original employment or work permit pass. These documents must be valid for at least six months.
- For detailed information on internet service providers and packages in Singapore, visit the official Infocomm Media Development Authority website.
Mobile phones in Singapore
In Singapore, expats have access to a range of mobile phone service providers. The major operators, Singtel, StarHub and M1, offer both 4G and the latest 5G services. These providers offer various plans, including prepaid services and contract plans, which are competitively priced to suit different needs.
For expats, SIM-only plans are often the most practical choice, especially if they already have a mobile phone in good working condition. These plans are typically postpaid and may require documentation such as a long-term visa or work pass, a residential address in Singapore and confirmation of employment and residential status from the employer.
Besides the major operators, several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like Circles.Life, MyRepublic and Zero1 are available, offering competitive data packages at more affordable rates. When choosing a mobile plan, expats should consider their specific needs in terms of data, call minutes, costs and any additional benefits that various providers might offer.
- See the official websites of Singtel, StarHub and M1 to learn more about mobile plans and contracts.
Censorship in Singapore
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) regulates and ensures local print media, radio, television and internet adhere to the law. Numerous websites are blocked, and visitors trying to access the site are usually greeted by an IMDA message alerting them that the site is forbidden. Although the IMDA does monitor foreign content, expats shouldn't have any problem accessing international news sites and social media.
Postal services in Singapore
Mail services in Singapore are provided by Singapore Post Limited (SingPost), which is a subsidiary of Singtel. Local mail typically takes one to two days, and international mail depends on the destination. Additionally, there are numerous courier companies independent of SingPost that deliver both locally and internationally. Some of these also double up as delivery services for heavy shipments.
- For more details on postal services, visit SingPost's official website.
English-language media in Singapore
There is plenty of English language media in Singapore, including print and broadcast. Mediacorp, a state-owned free-to-air network, offers a variety of channels in English and Malay, both on TV and radio. Channel 5 also offers round-the-clock entertainment in English. Paid services include StarHub cable TV and Mio TV.
English books are readily available at all big bookshops. There are also several local English newspapers, as well as many international publications available from newsstands.
- To learn more about English-language media, visit Mediacorp's official website.
►For info on financial matters in the Lion City, see Banking, Money and Taxes in Singapore
Are you an expat living in Singapore?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Singapore. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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