Singapore

Circles.Life offers $0 a month plan – with conditions

Amid a mobile price war, a telco is offering consumers a free SIM card as well as free 1GB of mobile data, 30 minutes' talk time and 10 SMS every month.

So what is the catch?

Circles.Life, which rolled out its $0/month Flexi Plan yesterday, said consumers need to buy a service add-on once every three months to keep their line.

For instance, the latest version of its CirclesCare app offers 30 minutes of talk time for $5 (this is the cheapest service add-on), a 1GB of mobile data add-on for $8 a month or a 2GB add-on for $12 a month.

Consumers can also keep their line and the freebies that come with it as long as they use it as a primary number, said Circles.Life, adding that proof of this is when consumers port over an existing mobile number or when they receive one-time passwords for online banking and shopping via the line.

The line and its maintenance come at a cost to Circles.Life. So if it is not actively used, it may be terminated after three months - similar to the industry practice for prepaid phone lines.

Said Circles.Life co-founder Rameez Ansar: "We believe in empowering people by making digital access more available to everyone... with no strings attached."

The $0/month Flexi Plan is aimed at the elderly and users who want to get a line for their second mobile device.

Consumers need not sign a service contract for this plan.

Circles.Life is what is dubbed a virtual telco, which does not build its own physical mobile networks but leases them wholesale from an existing telco. - IRENE THAM

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