SINGAPORE - 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.
The three dominant ISPs - 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.
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."
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.
Asked about its competition, ViewQwest's chief executive officer Vignesa Moorthy said: "Imitation is the best form of flattery."
But he criticised MyRepublic's 2Gbps offering for being misleading. MyRepublic's 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 has advantages. For instance, connected devices on the network can share files. A wireless printer can also be hooked up to receive printing instructions from connected smart phones, tablets and laptops.
The prices for 1Gbps services have also come down, with MyRepublic's plan now going for $34.99 a month, down from $49.99 last year. 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.
Welcoming the price wars, civil servant Shawn Hoe, 28, said: "There are so many ISPs now, and if they compete among themselves, then customers like me can get the best deal."