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Singapore ‘disruptors’ MyRepublic and ViewQwest turn the screw on old guard

9 Mar 2016

Singapore fibre broadband provider MyRepublic, which has aspirations to become the city-state’s fourth cellco, and fellow ISP ViewQwest have turned up the heat on established incumbent telcos Singtel, StarHub and M1, with separate offers designed to shake up the status quo. Firstly, MyRepublic has announced that it will offer a mobile broadband plan costing as little as SGD8 (USD5.79) per month for 2GB of data, should it become the fourth carrier – significantly cheaper than the current cheapest plan of SGD20 charged by Singtel (2GB cap), SGD21.45 per month from StarHub (3GB) and SGD30 from M1 (3GB). Further, MyRepublic is seemingly intent on re-establishing unlimited data plans in the market (the big three having abandoned these in 2012 to the dismay of their customers), unveiling a plan costing SGD80 a month. Ramping up the pressure still further, the newcomer will offer existing broadband subscribers a 20% discount on either mobile plan if they sign up by 30 September 2016. It had earlier announced that existing customers would get twelve months of unlimited data plans for free.

In a separate development, ViewQwest – the broadband provider which was founded in November 2001 as a business specialist before it launched a residential Fibernet service in January 2012 – has jumped on the 10Gbps fibre bandwagon with a premium plan costing SGD218 a month (24-month contract). It introduced its first 2Gbps home fibre plans in March 2015, but is now looking to take on rivals in the ultra-high speed segment where Singtel, SuperInternet and M1 have already unveiled 10Gbps plans. Singtel and M1 have set a price point of SGD189 per month and SuperInternet SGD199 (all based on a one-year contract), although ViewQwest adds that it is partnering with local PC builder Aftershock PC to build desktop PCs capable of supporting 10Gbps speeds at a discount of SGD200 per unit. ViewQwest CEO Mr Vignesa Moorthy, is quoted as saying: ‘We aim to … provide a hassle-free end-to-end experience for our customers, from sign-up to after-sales support.’ The 10G-capable computers start at SGD3,000 and connect via Ethernet cable because devices supporting 10Gbps speeds over Wi-Fi are not yet available in the market, he said.

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