In a bid to draw in more subscribers, telcos and Internet service providers (ISPs) are dangling novel offers and cheap deals this weekend at the IT Show, such as cheap mobile data plans and the doubling of mobile data for a flat fee.
From today, Singtel customers have the option of doubling their mobile data allowance at a fixed additional cost of $5.90 a month.
Customers can sign up for the plan at the IT Show 2016, which opens today at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, or at any Singtel retail outlet.
The new add-on plan, DataX2,applies to those who sign up or recontract for two years with the telco. For instance, those on its $62.90 Combo 3 plan just need to top up $5.90 every month to double their mobile data allowance to 6GB. A comparable subscription plan from M1 and StarHub costs more than $80 a month.
At the four-day event, organised by Singapore Press Holdings subsidiary Exhibits Inc, consumers can also indicate their interest in fibre broadband operator MyRepublic's mobile plans.
I.T. SHOW HIGHLIGHTS
IT Show attendees can trade in their old gadgets and appliances for cash vouchers to be used at the show. The trade-in programme covers eight categories: smartphones, laptops, tablets, PCs, monitors, game consoles, used games and small television sets. For more information, go to www.itshow.com.sg/tradein
GAMEX (HALL 605)
The spotlight will be on video games at the Gamex pavilion. Attendees can try out the soon-to-be-released HTC Vive virtual reality headset at the Nvidia VR zone. They can also pre-order the Uncharted 4: A Thief's End Limited Edition PlayStation 4 console bundle.
TECH SHOWCASE (HALLS 405 AND 406)
Visitors can check out the latest gadgets at this showcase. Sony will be launching its new a6300 mirrorless camera, while Asus will be showcasing the ROG GX700, the world's first laptop with a liquid-cooling dock.
MyRepublic said it will charge consumers as little as $8 a month for a mobile plan, should it become the fourth telco here. The cheapest comparable plan in the market now costs about $20.
Its broadband customers will get a better deal, at $6 month. But this plan comes with only 2GB of mobile data and a chargeable add-on SMS and voice service. The price for the add-on has not been determined.
MyRepublic will also roll out an unlimited data plan for $80 a month. Rival telcos do not have unlimited plans, with the larger data bundles of 12GB and more costing more than $100 a month.
A spokesman for MyRepublic said that the move is intended to "provide some insight into the different approach MyRepublic looks to take, should we become successful in our upcoming mobility bid".
But Mr Clement Teo, a senior analyst at market research firm Forrester, said: "It is a bit premature for MyRepublic to announce plans even before they get a telco licence."
Visitors to the IT Show can also sign up for M1's new Smart Activity Monitoring service, which is aimed at helping caregivers keep track of their elderly family members or patients. The telco will install one motion sensor or door sensor and a panic button in customers' homes for a one-time fee of $214. There will be a subscription fee of $14.66 a month for the service, and additional sensors can be purchased at $103.80 each.
The sensors can be used to track activity and to highlight unusual behaviour. For example, alerts can be sent to caregivers when a person with dementia leaves the house, or when someone makes excessive visits to the toilet, which could indicate urinary incontinence.
- Additional reporting by Lester Hio