Sharing one's mobile data allowance with loved ones can be aggravating when supplementary line users deplete the shared data pool unannounced.
StarHub will roll out a new value-add service today giving control back to the main account holder. Dubbed DataShare, the new service lets customers specify on demand how much data to allocate to any post-paid line under his account - via the My StarHub app or through StarHub's My Account web portal at www.starhub.com/ myaccount
Such control is not new in the industry although StarHub is the only telco that allows line-only customers to share their mobile data.
For instance, Singtel's MobileShare Supplementary Plan allows the user of the main line to specify the amount of data to allocate to supplementary lines. But the MobileShare Supplementary Plan is applicable only to customers who sign a contract.
Ms Wang Li-Na, StarHub's head of segment and marketing, said: "We recognise that usage patterns even within families are diverse, with some having more than enough data and others in want. With DataShare, our customers will be able to choose when, with whom and how much to share."
The amount to be shared can be adjusted in 1GB denominations up to 12GB - with no limit on the number of adjustments every month. DataShare users can share their mobile data allowance with any number of mobile lines under their accounts. StarHub's DataShare value- add service is available for a promotional rate of $2.14 a month on top of the standard mobile subscription. Its usual price is $10.70.
The shared pool of mobile data includes the main account holder's upsized data allowance. For instance, a subscriber of a $51.45 monthly line-only StarHub plan with 6GB of bundled data can add 15GB of data for an extra $10 a month. Of the total 21GB of bundled data, he can share up to 12GB with his family members with the DataShare add-on by topping up $2.14 a month. He pays a total of $63.59.
Meanwhile, Singtel has the largest bundle for sharing - at 50GB. However, Singtel's DataMore add-on costs more than its normal add-ons that allow users to bump up their data allowance. Under DataMore, subscribers pay $8.56 a month for an additional 1GB of mobile data, or $321 for 50GB of add-on data. (All the above prices include GST.)