Internet access in Singapore has always been tied to the three prominent service providers, namely SingTel, StarHub and M1. Even with the introduction of the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN), the major telcos still remain firmly in charge while other outfits such as Viewqwest and SuperInternet have also jumped onto the fibre bandwagon.
With fibre broadband being a relatively new entry in Singaprore, it's not surprising to see another player joining in. Co-founded by three veterans in the telco industry, MyRepublic claims that the three major telcos are not taking advantage of the technological advancements offered by NGNBN and remain stuck to the old ways of selling and offering internet access even though the game has changed with the introduction of fibre broadband.
The CEO of MyRepublic, Malcolm Rodrigues, believes that the three major telcos are short-changing their customers by selling their services around a walled garden concept, where they cap the bandwidth of customers, throttle traffic during peak hours and offer plans that do not take into consideration what their customers actually want. Further to that, with the telcos' existing ADSL services still available, it's not hard to see how each company is still hoping to capitalize on their earlier investments.
According to Rodrigues, MyRepublic does not implement any international bandwidth cap, and that’s where they differ from the competition. Though the company wasn't able to specify on a number for the international speeds, it will conform to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore's requirements and publish its theoretical and typical speeds.
Tun Tun Myint, MyRepublic's Senior Manager, Engineering, also shares that their service does not throttle its connections. Instead, package data is prioritized according to the usage pattern, based on the package that customers sign up for. In doing so, customers will be able to enjoy faster access to specific functions such as gaming or even web surfing on specific sites which taps onto a faster upstream channel.
While it seems as though MyRepublic is re-hashing the same offers from its competitors, the company highlights that its main selling point comes from a customer-centric approach, where they listen to feedback and provide a personalized service. In doing so, MyRepublic has come up with three plans that will fully take advantage of what fibre broadband has to offer.
The Pure package is catered to the average Joe who just requires high speed access for streaming media and surfing the Web. MyRepublic will also throw in a free copy of Norton Internet Security software for this plan.
The Gamer package is aimed towards gamers, with MyRepublic offering customers who purchased the Gamer package a private MyRepublic network that is specifically reserved for games. This will result in lower latency for gamers, and Mr Lawrence Chan, MyRepublic’s Marketing Manager as well as an avid gamer, said that a static IP service will be available from the end of March for those with the Gamer package for an additional charge.
He also added that MyRepublic maintains a gamers dedicated customer service team and community manager that will keeps track of the popular games, allowing them to optimize connections and give gamers faster ping and lower latencies across the board. The company aims to build a community that assists gamers by speaking their “language”, while also building an extensive network to figure out what are the concerns for its users.
Lastly, the Tutor package is for parents who wish to enhance their child’s learning, as it offers access to programs like Outreach Lesson, as well as other online tools that are in line with Singapore's Ministry of Education (MOE) curriculum.
Rodrigues mentioned that customers can sign up for the Pure fibre broadband service, without a contract binding them to MyRepublic's broadband service. This offer, which is valid for the first 100,000 customers, allows customers to discontinue the service without any contractual penalty if they feel that it is not up to par with their expectations.
Besides the no-contract promotion, MyRepublic is having a special offer on all three plans. Customers who sign up before 29th February will enjoy the three packages at the following prices:
Do note that the promotion will require a 2-year contract to be signed with MyRepublic, and the promotional prices will be applicable for the first six months, following which it will revert to its original price for the remaining 18 months.
If you’re an owner of a small business or wish to start one, MyRepublic has that covered too. The company has plans to launch packages for SoHo businesses and SMEs in the near future.
MyRepublic also intends to reach out to a larger audience by expanding their current 57-strong dealer group to include 500 dealers islandwide. And it seems MyRepublic is also setting their sights abroad, with Mr Rodrigues revealing that the company is planning to expand their fibre broadband offerings to Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia.