New round of broadband battle begins

MyRepublic's Comex booth at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre saw a steady stream of customers yesterday.
MyRepublic's Comex booth at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre saw a steady stream of customers yesterday.ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

2Gbps service sees steepest price cut, with ViewQwest slashing cost of plan as MyRepublic launches its package

Consumers stand to get high-speed home broadband packages at lower prices, amid a price war between Internet service providers (ISPs).

The biggest price cut was seen in packages for 2Gbps broadband service, the fastest Internet speed available for home users.

Yesterday, ISP MyRepublic unveiled its 2Gbps plan for homes for the first time, at $59.99 a month, at the Comex IT and consumer technology exhibition. Rival ViewQwest, which launched a 2Gbps plan for home users in March, has now slashed the price of this plan from $89.95 to $65 a month. All these prices are for 24-month contracts.

The three more established Internet providers - M1, StarHub and Singtel - do not offer 2Gbps plans for home consumers. Their home plans are all capped at 1Gbps.

MyRepublic and ViewQwest acknowledged fierce competition is driving down broadband prices.

  • 2GBPS PLANS

  • MYREPUBLIC

    $59.99 a month

    VIEWQWEST

    $65 a month (from $89.95)


    1GBPS PLANS


    MYREPUBLIC

    $34.99 a month for first 12 months, and $49.99 for next 12 months (from $49.99)

    VIEWQWEST

    $50 a month (fro m $65)

MyRepublic Singapore managing director Yap Yong Teck said: "The market is finally getting interesting, but we don't just believe in competition - we are the competition.

"MyRepublic led the way last year with a 1Gbps plan at $49.99 per month, and we believe we will do it again with our 2Gbps bundle."

Last year, MyRepublic sparked a massive round of price cuts when it released its $49.99 1Gbps plan, the cheapest such plan then. Rivals quickly moved to match that price.

ViewQwest's chief executive officer Vignesa Moorthy told The Straits Times: "We are flattered by MyRepublic's attempt at launching a 2Gbps service. After all, imitation is the best form of flattery."

But he also criticised My- Republic's 2Gbps offering for being misleading. Its 2Gbps service is made up of two separate 1Gbps lines, and not a single 2Gbps line like ViewQwest's 2Gbps plan.

Having a single network instead of two separate ones is seen to be more functional as consumers can connect their devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, on the same network and the devices can "communicate" with one another to share files and perform other functions.

Besides the 2Gbps offers, consumers stand to get good deals for 1Gbps services.

MyRepublic and ViewQwest have reduced the prices of such plans, with MyRepublic's plan now going for $34.99 a month for the first 12 months, and $49.99 for the next 12 months. It used to cost $49.99 a month for 24 months. ViewQwest lowered its 1Gbps plan from $65 a month to $50. StarHub, Singtel and M1 have 1Gbps plans priced from $39 to $50 a month.

Response to the ViewQwest and MyRepublic offers looked good, with their booths seeing a steady stream of customers yesterday.

Welcoming the price wars, civil servant Shawn Hoe, 28, said: "There are so many Internet service providers now, and if they compete among themselves, then customers like me can get the best deal."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2015, with the headline 'New round of broadband battle begins'. Print Edition | Subscribe