SingTel rolls out new, pricier mobile plans that include access to Wi-Fi hotspot
Published on Aug 12, 2014 4:00 PM
Here is the good news. SingTel's revised mobile subscription plans now come with more bundled data, talk time and SMS. And the not so good news? SingTel's new WiFi & Combo Plans will cost $3 more each month, and the addtitional bundled data is for Wi-Fi, and not 4G.
The red camp is introducing Wi-Fi hotspots that offer smartphone users the option of switching over to a Wi-Fi network. Users have the option of picking a data plan that offers 2GB, 3GB, 4GB, 6GB and 12GB of regular data, and each of the plans will also come with an additional 2GB of data parked under SingTel's Wi-Fi offering.
The revised plans, also known as Combo Plans, will cost $3 more than the existing plans, but also offer more bundled talk time and SMS.
For example, in the old $39.90 Lite Flexi Plan, subscribers received 2GB of data, 100 minutes of outgoing talk time and 800 SMS. The new Combo 2 package, priced at $42.90, offers 200 minutes of outgoing talk time, 1000 SMS, 2GB of data and 2GB of Wi-Fi data.
SingTel has also added a new $82.90 Combo 4 package that offers 400 minutes of talk time, 1,300 SMS, 4GB of data and 2GB of Wi-Fi data. There was no Flexi Plan equivalent of this subscription plan.
All of SingTel's six new plans will continue to offer free incoming calls. The telco also said its 4G as a value-added service will be free from now on.
To enable the use of SingTel's Wi-Fi service, smartphone owners simply have to turn on the Wi-Fi function on their device. The phone will connect to SingTel's Wi-Fi network automatically when in range, and authentication is done via the phone's SIM card, so there is no need for a password.
Currently, SingTel has 100 hotspots in about 15 locations, including Raffles City, Junction 8 and Plaza Singapura. The company is promising a total of more than 1,000 hotspots by March next year, and more than 1,700 by March 2016.
These hotspots are not meant to replace the existing 4G network, so while the service will eventually be available at transports hubs, schools and malls, it will not reach all residential properties. SingTel says its Wi-Fi speeds will be between 4 to 10 Mbps, which is faster than the 2Mbps speeds offered by the free Wireless@SG Wi-Fi service.
The expectation, says Mr Johan Buse, SingTel’s Vice President of Consumer Marketing, is for consumers to switch over, which will in turn ease up on the congestion of its 4G networks.
"We see in some locations that no matter how much gear we plug in, we max out at certain times," explains Mr Buse. "With data growth, people are using more and at more locations. In order to make sure the experience is good, we need to offer Wi-Fi offload."
The new Combo plans will replace the existing Flexi plans for new subscribers and those who recontract with the telco. Existing Flexi Plan subscribers will continue with their subsciptions.
Given that some cloud services, like Dropbox and Google+, can be set to upload files only when the device is on a Wi-Fi network, Mr Buse says that SingTel is looking into tweaking its service so that users will not exceed the 2GB Wi-Fi data bundle when these services start running in the background.