Zero1 virtual mobile telco offers unlimited mobile data plan

Zero1, Singapore’s third mobile virtual network operator, is offering unlimited mobile data plan at an incredibly low price. But there is a catch, you enjoy full 4G network speed for your first 3GB and mobile data speed gets throttled afterwards until the end of your bill cycle. You can use as much as you like as long as it is considered fair usage. No problem with Spotify and YouTube at the throttled speed as long as you don’t stream high (or extreme) quality.

The other mobile network operators

The other mobile network operators are Singtel, M1, Starhub, Circles.Life and Zero Mobile with the last two being mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) as well.

MVNO Lessor of Mobile Network
Zero1 Singtel
Zero Mobile Singtel
Circles.Life M1

Zero1’s mobile plan offering

Zero1 launched their unlimited mobile data plan at an introductory price of S$19 (usually at S$29.99) for quite a decent package.

Zero1 Unlimited Mobile Data Plan
Data Unlimited
First 3GB at full 4G network speed and throttled after that
Talk time 200 mins local outgoing (6 secs block)
Unlimited incoming
SMS 200 local outgoing
Unlimited incoming
Caller ID Free
Contract No contract
Price S$19 (usual S$29.99)

How does Zero1’s mobile plan compare to others?

In fact, paying S$29.99 for unlimited mobile data isn’t a bad deal too. I was using M1 mySIM plan previously and hopped over to Zero1.

M1 mySIM20 Singtel SIM Only Starter Zero1
Data 5GB 3GB
+ 2GB Singtel WiFi
3GB to unlimited
Talk time Free to 3 M1 numbers
100 mins outgoing
Unlimited incoming
No free outgoing (S$5.35 for 200 mins)
Unlimited incoming
200 mins outgoing
Unlimited incoming
SMS 100 outgoing
Unlimited incoming
No free outgoing
Unlimited incoming
200 outgoing
Unlimited incoming
Caller ID S$5.35 monthly Free
Contract No Contract
Price S$25.35
(with Caller ID)
(with Caller ID & 200 mins outgoing)

How does Zero1’s mobile network perform?

Zero1’s mobile SIM card.

In terms of signal coverage and call quality, I don’t really feel any difference. I was a M1 mobile subscriber and now with Zero1 (on Singtel’s well established mobile infrastructure) so things shouldn’t get worst.

Using My Singtel app to view my Zero1’s mobile data usage.

One interesting thing I tried was to use “My Singtel” app to manage the plan. I was surprised that I can actually login to the app (via mobile data) and view my data usage. And nope, Singtel OnePass doesn’t work. Why did I even try this? Because I actually received SMS from Singtel informing of my porting in date and regarding successful porting into Singtel.

You get SMS notifications on managed speed

SMS notification informing you that the 3GB of full network speed is almost depleted.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any apps to track your mobile data usages. You will actually receive SMS notifying you when you used 90% of your bundle and when you finished 3GB of mobile data.

Seriously. Does the data limit limit you in anyway?

But the difference is that I used to have 5GB worth of 4G network speed (before I get charged for excess data) but now I only have got 3GB worth of 4G network speed before I get throttled to a paltry 1Mbps. The managed speed averaged out to be 1Mbps and 1.35Mbps for download and upload respectively.

Zero1 mobile’s managed speed is approximately 1Mbps.

Zero1 Speed Test #1 #2 #3 #4 Average
Upload (Mbps) 1.04 1.96 1.14 1.25 1.35
Download (Mbps) 1.02 0.98 0.92 1.09 1.00
Ping (ms) 20 30 22 25 24.25
Jitter (ms) 5.6 7.4 3.9 9.2 6.53

So what can I do with the throttled speed?

  • Stream YouTube at 480p
  • Stream Spotify at normal (and sometimes high) quality
  • Netflix at non-HD quality
  • Whatsapp
  • Twitter
  • Instagram (images takes longer to load)
  • Browse Internet (images takes longer to load)
  • Write this entry
  • And alot others too…

Generally, you will notice the effects of throttled speed with image intensive activities (e.g. browsing photos, meme).

Am I able to tether or hotspot?

Most people are eager to find out if they can share their Zero1 mobile data to other devices via tethering or wireless hotspot. Well, they did not put in anything to prevent you from tethering or hotspotting but do use this feature responsibly. I got to remind you that Zero1 have a clause (in the terms and conditions) with regard to fair use. So don’t cry when Zero1 terminates your contract when you breach this clause.

Yes, you will be able to use Zero1 on your mobile WiFi like the Huawei E5786 and share the Internet connectivity out.

How does Zero1 throttles mobile data speed?

Zero1 seems to employ application traffic shaping instead of throttling speed wholesale (for all application traffic). I will need more time to test.

It appears that the managed speed or throttle is applied wholesale across all application protocol or traffic.