Singapore has perhaps one of the highest uptake of mobile phones and plans in the region that is South East Asia.
However, with such a high penetration, we still have problems with our telcos as well as their plans. Of course, I’m writing this from a personal standpoint so don’t take my word for it.
Still, its interesting to note that the 3 telcos avaliable here to consumers, Singtel, StarHub and M1 all have their little quirks. Chief of which is common amongst them is still perhaps the lack of expansion into the area of mobile data plans.
Singtel is well known for their excellent call quality. Having the most number of base stations around the island helps. But of course, you are charged a premium for such quality. Their mobile plans are generally more expensive of the lot with a medium to high pricing on mobile phones.
In my opinion, M1 has always been struggling. But recently, with their introduction of their HSPDA (High Speed Packet Downlink Access), namely 3.5G plans, they might just have found the sweet spot to put their foot print down firmly in the market. They usually charge very little for their mobile phones, but their mobile voice plans would probably kill you.
StarHub is the latest contender in this realm of mobile services. They have cheap phones and cheap plans. And of course, quality is not something near M1 or even Singtel. They are perhaps the only network that only uses the 900Mhz band for their mobile services. M1 and Singtel are effectively dual band.
Sad to say, 3G adoption here has been lacklastre. This comes as no surprise by just looking at the cost of unlimited data plans here. Still, here’s hoping with M1’s entry into the 3.5G market would push the other 2 telcos to actually buck up.
True number portability might come next year. Lets hope the telcos see some light in making the consumers wants first.