New entrant will wake incumbents up

Last Friday's report ("Telcos dangle data offer in price war") on Singapore's telcos also featured a table comparing popular mobile plans, which showed mobile and data usage bundles priced rather similarly.

The competition between the existing three telcos is supposed to lead to better services and competitive pricing for end-users.

However, for years, it seems that the telcos only monitor and react to one another's price changes, resulting in mobile plans that are not too dissimilar.

Now, when the threat of a fourth telco looms, the existing players suddenly decide to make their pricing contracts more attractive to consumers, collectively offering bundles that, yet again, do not look very different from one another's.

It seems the only way that consumers can enjoy better value for their contracted plans is for a new player to be given a regulatory licence to operate.

The incumbents will likely bundle their price plans to reflect the new competitive environment and be more innovative, giving consumers more bang for their buck.

Loo Han Woen (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2016, with the headline 'New entrant will wake incumbents up'. Print Edition | Subscribe