As of now, I am sure you would have heard something about Circles.Life. Overnight, they have become our 4th Telco (actually to be exact, a Virtual Telco as they are riding on M1 infrastructure or aka MVNO) and ready for business (actually they announced their plan last July). Based on their website (which is very bare now except to ask you to register), they have big plans to disrupt the current pricing structures with our current Telcos. But what does this means for the consumers?
What They have for Consumers
At the moment, they have only one pricing plan for consumers. In general, it is a S$28 plan that comes with 3GB worth of data, 100 minutes talk time, free caller ID and unlimited WhatsApp. Some might not be impressed because if you do the calculation and comparison, other Telcos already have similar offers (e.g. SIM-only plan).
To understand their point of view, I talked to one of their founders, Rameez, yesterday during the launch event. In general, Circles.Life is data and customer-centric. They know that consumers are consuming a lot of data nowadays and Circles.Life is making sure that it can address to that. According to Circles.Life, current Telcos are tying customers with contract with fixed plans that might not be attractive to consumers.
If you are data-centric and do not wish to be tied down with a contract, start exploring Circles.Life.
Of course, consumers like myself are hard to please. I dug further to understand more about their current Pricing Plan.
Here are the key features of Circles.Life Plans:
Circles.Life has built a platform and the first offerings and plans include the following:
- Boost – customers need not worry about their data limits, paying excess or overspending on data. Our analytics engine keeps a check for the customer so there is always the choice to add more data capacity in 100MB, 250MB or more as and when customers need it.
- Bonus Data – instead of long contracts and penalties to keep customers on-board, our loyal customers will be rewarded for being on our network or when they help us spread the word.
- Plus: Unlimited Whatsapp – One of our first Plus’ include unlimited talk and chat on WhatsApp that does not take away from your data allocation. We believe this is a basic right and it should be part of your basic subscription. Circles.Life will continue to bring new innovative Plus to the market.
- Digital experience -Seamless four-step purchase of your Circles.Life SIM card with a real Circles.Life happiness expert available anytime on the web or on-the-go on mobile live chat. You can port your existing number over to Circles.Life or get a brand new number – all with a click of a button.
If you know, you will realized that the above are copied from their PR. To break it down, here is my interpretation: -
- Boost - If you need just that 100MB or 200MB to pull through the month, this is the exact help you need. For current Telcos, they will charge you by a fixed price per GB. However, in most cases, you just need a few hundred Megabytes. Why pay for something you don’t need. Boost allows you to choose the exact “boost” you need.
- Bonus Data - This is what I call customer-centric. On different occasions, Circles.Life will reward customers with Bonus. Currently, I believe they have a 2 GB bonus for early birds who signed on to their network. And I have verified that this bonus is for life (until you choose to leave Circles.Life). We love bonus, don’t we? There are also bonus for referral. From my understanding, standard bonus is around 500MB.
- Plus – This are like add-ons provided most Telcos. They are giving it free for now – Unlimited WhatsApp. As more and more people are consuming data on messaging service, this is really nice, especially for Singapore when most of us are on WhatsApp.
- Digital experiences - I love this. Everything can be done online and fast. For example, you can tweak your Pricing Plan using their app and they will reflect the changes immediately. There is no need to call someone or wait a few days for confirmation. And if you choose to register with them, the SIM card (or phone if you want to buy one) will be sent to you via courier service. There is no need to queue up long hours to get them done. What is more is their support. They have basically three types of support – Live Chat, WhatsApp, Email.
What You Really Need to Know
Is Circles.Life the Telco for you? This is a tough question but these information might help you to decide.
- Currently, their data roaming plan is based on per use basis. They do not have single day data roaming plan or M1 DataPassport-type of plans (yet) – This means that if you are a frequent traveler, this might impact you.
- Their 100 minutes Talk Time is based on incoming and outgoing. There is NO free incoming calls. Some Telcos might provide free incoming but not Circles.Life.
- Their plan did not include SMSes. You will need to pay to get SMSes (S$4 per 100 SMSes)
- Their additional 1 GB data plan is just S$6/month.
- If you are a control freak, their app will help you to analysis your usage and you can adjust the plan according to your needs.
- You are riding on M1 network but you will NOT be getting any benefits that M1 has offered to their customers.
- There is no subsidized handset because you are not on contract. However, you can still buy the handset (full price) and pay with installment plan.
- Their registration fee is super cheap right now (S$4).
- They are new in the market, which is good and bad. You can imagine how they will provide freebies to their loyal customers, right? (only my speculation and my own opinion, not theirs )
Here is How You Can Connect with Circles.Life
Follow them on:
- Facebook : www.facebook.com/CirclesLifeSG
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/circleslifeSG
In summary, in my opinion, Circle.Life is good for 1st time user who are not tied to any plan. It is also appealing with its flexible and low cost plan, especially to the younger crowd since they can control the cost effectively. But since payment is via credit card, the parents might have to be involved.
If you are a frequent traveler that consume a lot of data overseas, you might need to consider carefully or wait for their future announcement. Currently, they are not very forward with their roaming data plan cost. If you are now tied to a plan to any of the Telcos, you can expect a price war or some changes (maybe?) coming soon.
Circles.Life Launches A New Era of Customer Experience
for the data savvy telco consumer
Singapore, May 5, 2016 – New digital telco, Circles.Life, announced today that it will be introducing an exciting 4G mobile experience for the data savvy consumer segment in Singapore. The game changer offering by Circles.Life centres on innovative data-centric plans and is driven by the passion of the local founders to change the regional digital telco landscape to give more power to the customer.
At the heart of this new customer experience that breaks the mould of how consumers have been sold telco services (a basic need today), is the fervent belief of the Circle.Life’s team that the Singapore customer deserves more. Circles.Life’s simple digital experience brings the focus back to the individual and offers real choice so you only pay for what you want (rather than what the telco has on offer): the amount of data, minutes, SMS and add-ons, the choice of a phone, the payment method and plan – all delivered online and through your mobile in a seamless way. Circle.Life’s intelligent software and data analytics engine delivers new capabilities including better customization of services, on-demand control, real-time usage monitoring, all designed to improve the digital experience of the customer.
Circles.Life is the first telco to take its service for the customer fully digital through the creation of a leading edge software-led platform that focuses on the network intelligence layer and the customer interface. This platform allows Circles.Life to deliver on its promise of simplicity, choice and happiness to its customers. It also allows Circles.Life to continually evolve with fast changing customer needs and rapidly introduce new products and services.
“We are here to bring the power back to the digital customer. Circles.Life’s innovative platform allows our customers to experience telco in a way they’ve always wanted,” said Rameez Ansar, co-founder of Circles.Life.
“By doing this, we hope we can be part of leading innovation in the telco industry which is characterized by data and analytics. We hope others will join us in the path forward.”
“We support Circles.Life’s vision of delivering a digital telco experience to customers, and look forward to working with Circles.Life to grow the partnership” said Lee Kok Chew, M1 Limited’s Chief Commercial Officer.
Customers can register their interest and subscribe to Circles.Life plans on www.circles.life.
Singapore-based Circles.Life is the consumer brand of Liberty Wireless, a mobile virtual network operator. It is founded by three seasoned executives and entrepreneurs namely Rameez Ansar, Abhishek Gupta and Adeel Najam who had previously worked for Temasek Holdings, McKinsey, StarHub and other companies. Circles Asia is the regional brand and aims to bring a Singapore developed telco model to the rest of the region.