7 virtual telcos jostle for customers as redONE launches services here

(From left) redONE Singapore chief executive Francis Cheang, group chief operations officer Tee Yew Yaw, group chief executive Farid Yunus, and group chief sales officer Ben Teh at the company’s Singapore launch yesterday. The virtual telco’s thr
(From left) redONE Singapore chief executive Francis Cheang, group chief operations officer Tee Yew Yaw, group chief executive Farid Yunus, and group chief sales officer Ben Teh at the company’s Singapore launch yesterday. The virtual telco’s three monthly plans range from $8 to $28, offering up to 10GB of mobile data. PHOTO: redONE SINGAPORE

Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) redONE officially launched its services in Singapore yesterday, bringing the number of MVNOs here to seven.

The Malaysian budget postpaid mobile service provider said it is targeting a one million-strong market segment comprising Malaysians living and working here, as well as Singaporeans who make regular trips across the Causeway.

MVNOs, or virtual telcos, lease physical mobile networks from a parent telco.

redONE Singapore's three monthly plans range from $8 to $28, offering up to 10GB of mobile data.

Customers do not incur data roaming charges if they use their high-speed data quotas while roaming in Malaysia.

redONE's plans also include up to 300 minutes of free calls and 30 SMSes to other local telcos as well as to all Malaysian numbers.

Customers who are heavy social media users can subscribe to the redSocial bundle - a monthly $18 add-on for an additional 20GB of Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp and YouTube data - or redSocial Lite, which provides users with an additional 10GB for $10 a month.

 

redONE Singapore chief executive Francis Cheang said the redSocial Lite option was introduced in response to user feedback from a month-long trial that began in May.

Mr Cheang added that subscriber numbers have exceeded the company's expectations, but declined to reveal the exact figure. There are at least 400,000 Malaysians living and working in Singapore.

redONE leases its network from StarHub, as do MyRepublic and VivoBee. Singtel hosts Zero Mobile and Zero 1, as well as new MVNO entrant Grid Mobile, which launched last week.

The seventh and oldest MVNO is Circles.Life, which leases its network from M1.

redONE group chief executive Farid Yunus was bullish when he was asked about the com-pany's prospects in an increa-singly crowded MVNO market in Singapore.

He pointed to how redONE is one of three virtual telcos to have outlasted the competition in Malaysia since the MVNO boom began there in 2006. At one point, there were 18 MVNOs in Malaysia.

"The same cycle will repeat itself in Singapore. You will see a proliferation of people who think the MVNO business is easy... but they will learn the hard way," said Mr Farid.

"It's not about having the cheapest price, it's about how you service the customers and give value. It's also about under-standing the market and that's where we believe our strength lies," he added.

Customers can currently sign up for redONE plans at 26 locations islandwide, including the Challenger flagship store in Bugis Junction.

redONE wants to expand to 200 locations within two years.

The locations can be found at www.redone.com.sg/support/locate_an_agent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2019, with the headline '7 virtual telcos jostle for customers as redONE launches services here'. Print Edition | Subscribe