I’m sort of maximizing the utility of my broadband on mobile plan. After SingTel gave me a hard time defending my right to continue my pre-existing Broadband on Mobile plan, I decided that I need to show them how much bandwidth an Internet user can realistically consume in a month. They were telling me that 500MB is more than enough. It sounded like Bill Gates declaring 640KB would be enough at a time when people were having 1MB installed.
I think, very reasonably, a normal user who actively uses data on-the-go for things like web surfing, push email, social networking, maps navigation, photo uploads, occasional tethering, will very easily consume 500MB to 1GB a month. Plans that bundle just 1GB of traffic is cutting it too close for comfort. If you are going to do music and podcast downloads, 1GB of traffic isn’t going to be enough.
I have a rather good deal on my Broadband on Mobile plan that I don’t want to give up just yet. It’s $22.42 for 50GB of data. The only downside is that the bandwidth is limited to 1Mbps download and 384Kb upload. It’s too slow. But it is good enough for mobile Internet access on-the-go. At home, and in the office, I can switch to other speedier Internet access.
This $22.42 for 50GB plan is no longer offered by SingTel. The new Broadband On Mobile 1000, as it is known, bundles only 30GB of traffic. Actually, 30GB is sufficiently generous at this time. The problem with this new plan is that it is not offered as a Value Added Service. Yes, that means you need to get a separate 3G modem dongle, and it leaves your mobile phone without a data plan.
As a value added service on top of your mobile voice plans to use with your mobile phone, SingTel’s closest offer at $19.90 bundles only 1GB of data. At $29.90, you get 10GB of data. These plans come with 7.2Mbps download speed. That’s good speed. But it will be a difficult choice between 1GB data (too little) and $29.90 (too expensive).
M1 also separates their data-only plans (to be used with 3G modem dongle) and their Value Added Service data plans (added on top of mobile voice plans). The highest end plan costs just $16.05, but only 1GB of traffic is bundled. Download speed for this plan is 7.2Mbps.
At StarHub, the best data plan you can get as a Value Added Service costs $19.90 with 1GB of traffic bundled. Download speed for this plan is 7.2Mbps.
It seems like the Value Added Service data plans from all three telcos are almost the same. Yeah, talk about differentiation and healthy competition to give customers more choices.
The best plan is if you are already signed on to some old plan. I’d have expected that as time goes on, the mobile broadband will get cheaper and cheaper. On the contrary, it seems it has now become more costly than before. What is up with our three telcos?