Friday, 11 March 2016

Telco Price War: The Best Provider For Each Budget?



Everyone knows by now that MyRepublic has plans to become Singapore's fourth telco and snatch a slice of the market share away from SingTel, StarHub and M1. Even their website (https://my4thtelco.sg) boldly claims this vision.

Shortly after it announced that it would give customers unlimited data for just $60 a month, or 2 GB for $6, the other three telcos launched into a price war within hours. The main aim is clearly to prevent those who are in the unique position of switching over to MyRepublic, as the new data offers are mostly limited to new customers or those eligible for a recontract...in other words, the same consumers MyRepublic is trying hard to woo. 



When a price war erupts among the providers, we consumers benefit.

I'm sure the majority of us would be in agreement that the minimum criteria we require in our plans today includes having sufficient data, free outgoing calls and caller ID. Since I happen to be eligible for a renewal (my contract coincidentally just expires in March), I thought I'll compare the different plans to see which provider currently offers the best value for each level of budget with these factors in mind.
If you only have a $50 budget to spare for your mobile phone plan each month, StarHub seems to provide the best value at 6 GB for the lowest price among the rest. The only downside is that you get 50 minutes less of talktime; this can be easily fixed if you sign up for their HappyTalk, which gives you an additional 300 minutes free. 

Winner: StarHub

If you tend to use more data and spend considerable time on phone calls (I know I do), then for a budget of approximately $70, StarHub once again triumphs. This time, there's no competition - StarHub wins hands down by offering the highest data and talktime.

Winner: StarHub (there's no fight here!)


For those who consume a lot of data and talk time each month, for a budget of about $100, it is a tie between StarHub and M1. The main choice you have to make here would be choosing between 50 minutes extra of outgoing talk time vs. 1 GB extra for a mere difference of $2.

Winner: It's a tie between StarHub & M1

Clearly, SingTel takes the cake for being the most expensive in each category without necessarily anything that justifies the higher price. From my experience, I've found their customer service to be extremely slow and unhelpful - this was the exact feedback I gave them when they asked why I terminated my SingTel plan 2 years ago.

Their only saving grace is that if you have multiple family members on SingTel plans as well, you can potentially enjoy a family discount. 



Given how quickly SingTel, M1 and StarHub (in that order) responded after MyRepublic's announcement, it makes me wonder how much our existing telcos have shortchanged us in the past. I've been paying $20 extra each month for consuming an average of 1.2 GB above my plan's 2 GB threshold, so my bills hasn't exactly been friendly to my wallet. It is certainly time for a change.

For those delib
erating on the same, I hope these comparison tables help you decide whether you should stick or switch your telco provider. You can also head to their websites directly for more information on pricing:

Click here for SingTel aka the expensive one
Click here for M1 
Click here for StarHub aka the best value provider

Which telco do you think offers the most value right now?

With love,
Budget Babe

6 comments:

  1. Why Starhub charges caller ID when it is "free" for the other service provider and this feature is rather essential to identify known or unknown calls?

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    Replies
    1. Is it free? I've not used StarHub before so I'm not very familiar, but I had to pay the monthly top up for caller ID when I was on SingTel and M1. Totally wish they would offer it free! It's such an essential tool...

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    2. Maybe it's bundled "free" depending on the plan? I guess it's so essential that's why they're not offering it free...

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  2. Hi BB

    Thanks for the summary here, it makes things easier to compare.

    I'm using the min for Starhub at about $42/month plan and I thought it was well covered with 100 min of talking time and 3 GB of data. To be honest, the talking time is not much of use these days but the data becomes increasingly important to me.

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    Replies
    1. Hi B! Oh great, another StarHub user finally! Can you share how your experience with them has been like? Including your average monthly bill after including extras like Caller ID (is $52 correct?), customer service levels, etc.

      For me, I do use the talktime quite a fair bit, but hey with more data we'll be able to do this via whatsapp calls anyway!

      Delete
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