SingTel Launches Singapore's First 4G Service for Smartphones
|Flexi Lite||Flexi Value||Flexi Plus||Flexi Premium|
|Local Outgoing Mins||100||200||500||2,000|
|Local SMS||800 (previous: 550)||900 (previous: 650)||1,000 (previous: 700)||2,500 (previous: 2,000)|
|Local Data Bundle||2GB (previous: 12GB)||3GB (previous: 12GB)||4GB (previous: 12GB)||12GB (previous: 30GB)|
SingTel today rolled out the country's first 4G service plan for smartphone users. The new Flexi and iFlexi plans with tiered data bundles will be available to all new and re-contracting customers from July 1, and will replace existing 3G Flexi and iFlexi plans.
According to SingTel, its 4G service is able to provide mobile Internet access that is up to five times faster than existing 3G-based services, but with one-fifth of the network latency. Users who sign up for the 4G service can enjoy theoretical download speeds of up to 75Mbps, with typical download speeds between 3.4Mbps and 12Mbps. In comparison, its 3G network offers typical download speeds between 1.4Mbps to 3.7Mbps.
A Priority Pass traffic feature for the 4G service will be introduced next year to provide subscribers with priority for their data traffic when the network is loaded so as to ensure smoother streaming and downloads. Users will get higher typical download speeds between 8Mbps and 10Mbps.
Besides higher data speeds, the new 3G and 4G plans also offer more SMS bundles and have revised charges for data usage beyond the bundled allowances. For example, a Flexi Lite user who exceeds the 2GB data bundle will be charged S$0.01 per 2KB of data, up to a maximum of S$5.35 per GB block. Previously, consumers have to pay S$2.76 per MB, which is 500 times more expensive. After this promotional period (from January 1, 2013), 4G subscribers will have to pay S$10.70 per GB. SingTel has also introduced a S$88 per month (S$94 if you factor in GST) data cap across the new plans, up from the current S$30.
Another glaring difference is the amount of bundled local data. The existing plans come with free 12GB data, with the exception of Flexi Premium, which has 30GB. Come July 1, the four plans will have data bundles between 2GB and 12GB. It's important to note that these revised plans are applicable even if you aren't at all interested in getting a 4G handset and subscribing to a 4G plan.
"We need to break away from the traditional one-size-fits-all approach, which is not sustainable in the long term. Today, 64 per cent of mobile data on our network is consumed by 10 per cent of our subscribers. This prevents the remaining 90 per cent from enjoying the full benefits of the network. With our tiered pricing model, subscribers will pay for what they use, and this ultimately allows us to keep prices for our plans the same over time despite rising network costs." said Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, SingTel's CEO Consumer Singapore.
At the moment, SingTel's 4G service covers 50% of the island, which includes Woodlands, Jurong East, Tuas, Bukit Timah, Orchard, City Hall, Shenton Way, Ang Mo Kio, Punggol, Pasir Ris, Bedok and Changi. In areas where 4G has not yet been deployed, SingTel states that its users will be able to enjoy 3G connectivity with theoretical download speeds of up to 42Mbps with typical download speeds between 1.7Mbps and 4.8Mbps.
The coverage will increase to 80% by December this year when Admiralty, Chua Chu Kang, Jurong Island, Alexandra, Telok Blangah, Sentosa and Marina Parade are included. Islandwide rollout of SingTel's 4G network is expected to be completed in early 2013 when Yishun, Lim Chu Kang, Pioneer and Thomson are covered.
From 5 June 2012, customers can purchase any of the 4G-enabled Android smartphones, the HTC One XL, LG Optimus LTE (exclusive to SingTel) and the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE. Their respective prices with a two-year contract are as follows:
- LG Optimus LTE: $398 (Flexi Lite), $198 (Flexi Value) and $0(Flexi Plus/Premium)
- HTC One XL: $468 (Flexi Lite), $318 (Flexi Value) and $168(Flexi Plus/Premium)
- Samsung Galaxy S II LTE: $448 (Flexi Lite), $298 (Flexi Value) and $148 (Flexi Plus/Premium)