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Singapore - Telephone
Mobile telephones are very popular and one of the first things you’ll want to do is ensure that you have a way to be contacted by employers, friends, family, and schools. If you are already employed by a company, check to see if they have any corporate discounts that might be available to you. If there are, then when you go to apply for your mobile phone you’ll need to take your employment pass and passport with you, along with your company ID.
In most cases, you’ll need to pay for your handset separately from your service contract, although there might be promotional situations in which your phone is free with new service. Pre-paid phone cards and phones are another option. If you are keeping your phone you’re your home country then a pre-paid plan might be ideal until you get settled and need something more permanent.
It is estimated that Singapore currently has more than 6.5 million mobile phone subscribers. The three main providers are SingTel, Starhub, and M1. All of these offer different packages and subscription plans. What you get will be dependent upon your budget and your needs. If you want free promotional phones and other perks you can generally expect to have to sign a contract with your new service. This can last for 1-2 years in most cases. You will have to take your passport and employment pass with you when you apply for a service plan.
Pricing varies, although you can generally expect to pay what you probably would in your home country. Basic services start at around $20 per month, although the cheaper options can sometimes be to get unlimited data and talk time for $150 per month or more, depending on how much you depend on your phone. All three companies provide international services. To pay your bill, you can pay online or select one of the other payment options. M1 customers, for instance, can also pay their phone bills at the post office, 7-Eleven stores, or by mail.
Customer service: 6734 1330
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If you want a fixed line service then Singtel is your main option. It offers “landlines” through traditional telephone systems. Starhub also offers residential lines if you subscribe to their cable services. You can apply for SingTel through their retail shops or through a SingTel mobile authorized dealer. When you apply, you’ll need to take your employment pass, original passport, and a minimum deposit of S$300. In most cases, you can expect to get your residential service set up in about 6 business days.
Number portability is now possible – you can to switch mobile phone services from one service operator to another while keeping your mobile telephone number. If you have signed an existing contract with one particular service provider and would like to change service providers, you can be charge heavy penalties for early termination.
Despite the fact that mobile phones are so popular, public phones can still be found throughout Singapore. You can generally use coins, credit cards, or pre-paid phone cards to call out of them. Most payphones take 10 cents for a 3 minute call. Pre-paid phone cards come in $3, $5, $10, $20 and $50 limits and can be purchased at a variety of places, including convenience stores and supermarkets. The green public payphones are owned by StarHub.
Calling in (and out) of Singapore
Singapore’s country code is 65. If you are calling internationally from Singapore, you’ll need to first dial the access code. They are as follows: 001 (for SingTel), 002 (for M1), and 008 (for StarHub).
Next, you’ll enter the country code of the country you’re calling, the area code, and your party’s telephone number.
If you are in another country and need to call Singapore before you arrive, you will first dial your country’s exit code (for the United States that number is 011), then Singapore’s country code (65) and then the number.
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