Mobile network operator M1 Limited (M1) has decided to waive a value added service (VAS) charge it imposed on its fledgling 4G service, following similar moves from rival SingTel Mobile. CNET Asia writes that had it continued with the
Surcharge, it would have had the most expensive 4G tariff plans in the city state. The pair’s other rival in the Long Term Evolution (LTE) market segment, StarHub, has opted to keep its Speed Boost service free of additional charges at least until the end of next year, the report read.
Earlier this month M1 announced that its fourth-generation network will go live nationwide on 15 September, making the carrier the second player – behind SingTel Mobile – to offer the service commercially in the city state. The city state’s third player StarHub, meanwhile, has since announced an LTE launch on 19 September, ramping up pressure on M1 to reconsider its surcharge plan. At the time of its launch announcement, M1 said it intended to charge its subscribers an extra SGD10.70 (USD8.59) per month if they want LTE speeds. As such an M1 ValueSurf+ plan would have cost SGD39 per month for 120 voice minutes, 600 SMS and 2GB of data for a 3G connection, or SGD49.70 for the full-blown LTE service. An ‘unlimited’ MaxSurf+ plan costs SGD208.70 per month for unmetered voice calls, 2,000 SMS and 12GB of data. By way of justification, M1 said that its 1800MHz/2600MHz 4G network covers more areas than its competitors but it stopped short of saying whether or not the extra levy would be reduced once its rivals caught up. However, it now appears to have distanced itself from a move that appears to have been commercial suicide in a potentially cut-throat market.