As part of a charm offensive designed to help it secure the fourth mobile licence in Singapore, broadband provider MyRepublic intends to distribute 1,000 free SIM cards to end users as part of a three-month trial of 4G data services beginning in August. The Straits Times reports MyRepublic managing director Yap Yong Teck as saying that users will be given unlimited 4G data access and the ability to make phone calls via apps such as WhatsApp or Viber, noting that the drive: ‘is to simulate the flat fee, unlimited data plan we want to roll out if we get the fourth telco licence’.
Whilst the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) has yet to award the fourth telco licence, MyRepublic has been granted a temporary permit to take part in the city-state’s trial of its heterogeneous network plan, or HetNet, which is expected to kick off in the third quarter of this year at Jurong Lake District. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Singapore’s three principal incumbent telecoms service providers – Singtel, StarHub and M1 – along with MyRepublic, will work together on HetNet, which is aimed at allowing commuters to access the internet at ultra-high speed with no fear of service disruption, with each operator rolling out new equipment in common areas at Jurong Lake District, such as bus stations, pedestrian walkways and the Jurong East MRT (metro rail) station. HetNet will allow users to switch between 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networks during disruptions or service slowdowns, irrespective of which company operates them. By the end of this year the government hopes to be in a position to evaluate the multi-operator trial, with a view to ensuring that in the long term it is able to optimise the use of Singapore’s precious radio spectrum resources.