Rationale behind trend towards such packages

A commuter using his mobile phone at Bishan MRT station on Feb 23, 2017.
A commuter using his mobile phone at Bishan MRT station on Feb 23, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

High uptake of smartphones, comprehensive 4G coverage and competitive pressure are the key reasons why telcos around the world are shifting from a data-quota bundle to unlimited mobile data, said Mr Avinash Sachdeva, market research firm Frost & Sullivan's Asia-Pacific industry principal (digital transformation).

And, for Singapore, competition, especially from new entrants, is likely behind the introduction of the unlimited plans here.

"These unlimited data bundled plans are not new and have been offered by MNOs (mobile network operators) across several countries, including the United States, Britain, Germany, South Africa, India, Malaysia and many more across all regions," said Mr Sachdeva.

"Singapore MNOs have picked up cues from the recent shake-up in the Indian mobile market, and are preparing in advance for new competition from TPG Telecom and MyRepublic over the next few months. We may also see other incumbents follow this in a bid to fail the new entrants," he said.

India's Reliance Jio disrupted the Indian mobile market with its unlimited data and voice bundles, taking 10 per cent market share within 10 months of launching in September last year.

M1 and StarHub rolled out their unlimited mobile data plans about two weeks ago. When asked if it will be following suit, Singtel said its Singtel Circles customers who subscribe to all its mobile, fibre and TV offerings already enjoy free unlimited data on Sundays. It added that those who have only a Singtel mobile subscription have several options to boost their data packages, including a new SIM-only plan with 55GB of mobile data.

Vincent Chang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2017, with the headline 'Rationale behind trend towards such packages'. Print Edition | Subscribe