StarHub overhauls mobile plans to defend market share as TPG Telecom's launch nears

The new plans, which will be available from Dec 6, 2018, range from $25 to $80 a month for data and talktime, with caller number display and international roaming included.
The new plans, which will be available from Dec 6, 2018, range from $25 to $80 a month for data and talktime, with caller number display and international roaming included.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Telco StarHub has streamlined its mobile plans from 10 to three, offering large data bundles in an attempt to defend its market share which may be under threat with TPG Telecom's imminent entry.

The product overhaul is StarHub's first since its new chief executive Peter Kaliaropoulos took the helm in July this year.

From Thursday (Dec 6), the telco will only be selling three new SIM-only mobile plans:

- $25 a month for 13GB of mobile data and 100 minutes of local talk-time;

- $50 a month for 40GB of mobile data and 300 minutes of local talk-time; and

- $80 a month for 70GB of mobile data and 500 minutes of local talk-time.

These plans comprise a bonus data of 10GB, which will expire after the first 12 months of signing up.

In comparison, consumers now paying $50 a month are only getting 8GB of mobile data, with unlimited talk-time and unlimited weekend data.

All current plans at StarHub will be scrapped from Thursday. Current subscribers will retain their existing plan.

Rival Circles.Life, a mobile virtual network operator, currently offers 26GB of mobile data and 100 minutes of talk-time for $48 a month.

In a statement on Wednesday (Dec 5), StarHub chief of consumer business group Johan Buse said: "We hate to admit it, but people do not rate telcos highly. This is a regrettable reality, and we are determined to earn back customers' trust and be the telco that they deserve."

Mr Buse was referring to the incumbent telcos being seen as slow in innovating to meet consumer needs.

One common complaint is that the telcos' complicated plans have consumers jumping through hoops to figure them out.

Mr Buse said that the mobile plan overhaul is just the beginning, with more product revamps to come.

With the revamp, caller number display and international roaming add-ons will be free by default for the first time for customers not on contract.

This means immediate savings of $15.35 a month.

StarHub, which has 2.22 million subscribers as at September this year, is also scrapping all one-time administrative, activation and SIM card fees.

Customers who wish to get a discounted mobile phone pay an extra $25 a month. The discounted phone price varies depending on phone models.

TPG Telecom, the fourth telco here, is expected to launch its service by the middle of next year.