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Circles.Life ups its customer referral perks ahead of overseas expansion

MORE than one-quarter of telco Circles.Life’s customers sign up after being referred, the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) has revealed, without giving the exact figure.

The company cited that customer stickiness as it announced a revamped referral programme on Tuesday, giving subscribers one month of unlimited data for each referral, for up to five months.

Meanwhile, newcomers who join by referrals will get three months' unlimited data right off the bat.

“This upgrade provides the best referral scheme in the market because it celebrates both new and existing customers,” Circles.Life said in a statement, while asserting that its rivals’ schemes “focus solely on acquiring customers while disregarding existing customers”.

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Circles.Life previously offered its customers 200MB of data for hooking fresh subscribers, while the new users would get S$20 off their registration fees.

Mobile data has led to a mad scramble in Singapore’s cut-throat market, with Circles.Life offering an unlimited data add-on for S$20, on top of its base plan of S$28 for 20GB of data.

Other industry players have also dangled the same bait: StarHub dropped excess data charges with an add-on of 50GB for S$20 that was launched in February, for instance, while its MVNO partner MyRepublic also waives excess data fees under its “boundless data” plans.

The catch is that all the telcos practise rate-throttling - they cut wireless connection speeds after a certain amount of data has been used, under a so-called “fair use” policy.

The latest bid to win over more customers comes as Circles.Life gears up to roll into new markets in 2019. The management confirmed in February its plans to set up shop in Taiwan and Australia in the coming months, after snagging funds in a round led by venture capital bigwig Sequoia India, and The Business Times understands that a foray into Indonesia is also on the cards.

Company co-founder Rameez Ansar added in the latest statement: “Customer happiness is what keeps us going, and we intend to keep on innovating and leading by example.”

Circles.Life had previously said that it was on track to bag 5 per cent of Singapore’s post-paid mobile market by end-2018 - or roughly 264,600 subscribers, based on telecom industry figures at the time.

But the MVNO is consistently tight-lipped about its exact customer count, which is booked under its network host’s numbers in M1’s quarterly reports.