Feature Articles

Interview with M1: Not alone in its 5G standalone journey

By Liu Hongzuo - 31 Jul 2021

M1 and customer feedback

Photo by Raychan on Unsplash.

M1 and its consumers

How will M1 meet the evolving needs of consumers as they eventually move on to 5G?

Our new digital platform allows us to deliver hyper-personalised products and services that enable our customers to choose exactly how they want to tailor their mobile plans according to their needs. The new 5G SA services that we are launching will also be available as an extension of this, through a plan that can be subscribed to either online or in-store.

Beyond this, our digital platform will also cater to all our customers’ daily needs, such as gaming, video conferencing, financial services, transport services, entertainment services, and more.

Ushering in this new era of connectivity solutions is also in line with Keppel Group’s Vision 2030, which includes enhancing connectivity for communities.

 

M1 must have received customer feedback about its network technologies and services. What are some of the top priorities M1 will be addressing as it conducts its 5G SA rollout?

When we launched our 5G NSA network in September 2020, we offered our users discounted add-on boosters, enabling them to try the benefits of 5G NSA without any bill plan limitations. This approach worked well with our consumers, and we found that those who had 5G NSA capable devices and bought the booster were consuming twice as much data as average 4G users. 

Thus, we have decided to roll out a similar add-on booster approach for our 5G SA offering as well. 

We are also ramping up our 5G infrastructure rollout to achieve 50% nationwide coverage at launch - 3x of M1’s initial 5G NSA coverage - and are working with leading device vendors to ensure that our 5G SA network is compatible with their existing and upcoming phone models, as we found that the availability of 5G compatible devices a key factor in driving adoption.

 

With our changing consumption patterns of data and how the 5G rollout would be timely for any revamp, what do you/M1 think are the right ways forward in providing consumers with fewer restrictions around data limits?

Data has become like oxygen in the modern era.

Consumers increasingly rely on mobile data for their day-to-day connectivity, work and entertainment needs. The rollout of advanced 5G SA networks offering higher speeds and greater reliability will play a huge role in supercharging mobile connectivity experiences in Singapore. 

M1 is already ahead of the curve for meeting our customers’ specific data and connectivity needs. For example, in the last two years alone, we have seen the amount of data consumption by our postpaid mobile users more than double across various users. 

Thus, our newly launched made-to-measure mobile plans are completely customisable so that users can select each element of their plan — including their data requirements — to suit their specific needs, resulting in over six million permutations and combinations that can be achieved in just a few simple clicks. Introducing this plan gives our users a degree of flexibility and personalisation that has never been seen before in Singapore. We will continue to further this mission with our 5G network.

 

What are some new technologies or processes in place to help reduce/minimise instances of network downtime? 

M1 remains committed to reviewing and strengthening our network and processes regularly to ensure our customers receive the high-quality service experience they deserve. We have taken the proactive approach to boost our broadband network capacity as more people work from home (WFH). We also have a dedicated team of operations and maintenance staff who closely monitor network capacity and operations to maintain high availability, especially during periods of heavy usage. 

We have also made significant improvements to our network strength and resilience with new technologies. For example, in our endeavour to further bolster customer service and communication during downtime, we have invested in a cloud-based call centre platform that can manage increased call loads and lower our response time.

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