TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Telco war heats up even before TPG enters fray in Q4

M1 and Starhub stand the most vulnerable to TPG Telecom.

Singapore’s telco war is heating up as new mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) are aggressively outdoing each other even before TPG rolls out its mobile services on a commercial basis, according to UOB Kay Hian.

TPG Telecom’s network deployment has progressed smoothly and is on track to launch as the city state’s fourth mobile network operator by year-end. It is trying to gain traction by charming tech-averse senior citizens through offers of 3GB data and unlimited, free local calls for a two-year period,

“New entrants in the form of mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) have been trying to outdo one another in offering the most attractive service plans to consumers,” observed analyst Jonathan Koh.

M1 and StarHub stand the most vulnerable ahead of TPG Telecom’s commercial launch, he added, due to their reliance on the Singapore market.

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Zero1, for instance, is offering unlimited mobile data at $19/monthly for the first 3,000 pre-registering customers. It comes with 200 minutes of local talk time and 200 SMS. The first 3GB of data would be supplied at 4G LTe speeds.

“Zero1 plans to differentiate itself by offering free voice roaming to call and receive calls from any Singapore mobile or landline number via its Zero1 app, which is scheduled to be launched in June,” said Koh, which is achieved as the company leverages on call-forwarding technology embedded in its Qongle device.

Circles.Life has also rolled out its new Flexi Plan which provides 1GB of data and 30 minutes of local talk time, 10 SMS and caller ID for free in May 19. Customers need only pay to upgrade to $28/monthly base plan that provides 6GB of data, 100 minutes of local talk time, caller ID and unlimited WhatsApp. It also offers the option to customise plans in a granular manner.

Also readCircles.Life's $0 plan could slowly erase telcos' wireless revenue

MyRepublic is similarly gunning for greater market share as it leases network capacity from StarHub to offer consumer mobile services. It recently scored US$60m from CLSA Capital Partners 

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