SingTel today announced five new mobile plans that offer subscribers added minutes, SMS messages, and an additional Wi-Fi bundle on top of the mobile data packages that they already have.
Dubbed “Combo” plans, these plans will replace the existing Flexi plans from August 19, with an additional cost of about $3 per plan monthly, but with an additional 2GB of Wi-Fi data, usable at any of the SingTel Wi-Fi hotspots islandwide.
Not to be confused with the existing free public Wi-Fi hotspots, these new SingTel Wi-Fi hotspots will provide typical download speeds of 4-10Mbps, over a secured network that only Combo plan subscribers will be able to access.
A total of 101 hotspots are already available, and SingTel plans to expand this to more than 1,000 hotspots by March 2015, with the aim of reaching 1,700 hotspots by March 2016. These will be placed in high traffic shopping malls and major transport hubs, with an emphasis on areas near F&B hotspots and common waiting areas - in other words, places where you are most likely to be surfing on your mobile.
According to SingTel, connecting to these hotspots as a Combo user will as seamless as switching between a 3G and 4G connection. Simply enable your Wi-Fi connection on your mobile phone at the hotspot and it will automatically connect. The monthly cap for Combo plans stands at 2GB a month, with any excess data use after that charged according to the standard 4G excess data charges (currently $10.70/GB capped at $188/month). However, as a special promotion, all Combo users will enjoy free unlimited Wi-Fi surfing until 31 July 2015. Also, SingTel has made a commitment to waive 4G VAS charges permanently, so subscribers will not have to pay extra just to enjoy the 4G speeds or also otherwise known as 4G value added service (data charges will of course remain as usual).
As you can see above, Combo 1 is essentially the same as the current Flexi Super-Lite, with no change in price and no access to the new Wi-Fi plan, and Combo 4 is a new package created to fill the gap between what used to be the Flexi Plus and the Flexi Value. The recently introduced Easy Mobile Plan will remain as an option for those who don’t need the extra service, while existing Flexi plan subscribers will be allowed to stay on their current plans if they so wish (unless they decide to re-contract, in which case they will have to pick one of the Combo plans).
In an exclusive demonstration for HardwareZone, we were taken to the several hotspots in Raffles City shopping center, and speed tests showed that the Wi-Fi network in place was certainly able to support a 4-10Mbps connection, as speeds averaged 20Mbps with peaks of 60Mbps at certain locations. That certainly augurs well for a better mobile surfing experience, and though the new plans are slightly more expensive, they certainly do offer better value if you send a lot of SMS messages or call people often. Perhaps even more so if you’re constantly visiting areas with these hotspots.
Just as an SMS system alerts you when you’re nearing your mobile data quota now, so too will you receive alerts when you are reaching your Wi-Fi quota. And both of these figures can be easily tracked via the free mySingTel app.
SingTel says that as the roll-out progresses, they welcome feedback from users regarding hotspot locations and this site will be updated with any new locations once they go live.
As a recap, here's a table with the new plans once more: