SINGAPORE - Telco StarHub will roll out new mobile postpaid plans that offer free unlimited local data on weekends, but at the cost of not having SMS bundled within the plan.
These plans start from $48 a month for a 3GB data bundle for a two-year contract with a subsidised mobile device, or $24 a month for the same 3GB no-contract SIM-only plan.
Users will get unlimited data use from 12am on Saturdays to 11.59pm on Sundays. Data usage will only be incurred during weekdays.
However, they will be charged 5.35 cents per SMS.
In comparison, StarHub's traditional postpaid plans include a $42.90 per month plan that comes with 3GB of local data and 1,000 free SMSes/MMSes.
StarHub is the only telco to offer such a plan with unlimited data free on weekends. Neither Singtel nor M1 offers plans without free SMS bundled within them.
The popularity of SMS has dropped over the years, as data-fuelled chat apps such as WhatsApp became increasingly popular.
The Straits Times reported in July that the number of SMS sent has been steadily falling since peaking at 9.64 billion sent messages in 2011, according to the Infocomm Media Development Authority.
Last year, only 3.26 billion messages were sent over the mobile networks of the three local telcos Singtel, StarHub and M1.
"Fuelled by more advanced phones and pixel-heavy content, Singapore consumers' appetite for data continues to grow. With our new data-focused plans, we are enabling our customers to do more of what they love on their smartphones freely and at much faster speeds too," said Mr Justin Ang, StarHub's head of product.
StarHub customers will be able to sign up for the plans online, at StarHub Shops, authorised dealers and Comex 2017.