Starhub users who are planning to re-contract, do take note that 4G service is no longer free.
4G connection in Singapore is branded as a Value Added Service (VAS) and would be offered at a “promotional” rate of $2.14 monthly. This started since June this year. This will also apply to Starhub’s OUT OF CONTRACT customers – so if you are thinking of not renewing, well, you would still be subjected to the surcharge. There will be no change for SmartSurf HD customers who will continue to enjoy free 4G Speed Boost as a promotion till 31 December 2015.
You can choose to unsubscribe from Starhub’s 4G Service VAS by the online Account Manager or by calling 1633. By unsubscribing, you would be limited to internet surfing speeds of up to 42Mbps and potentially join the 3G bandwidth jam. Starhub has been charging customers S$2.14 for its ‘4G Speed Boost Value-Added Service’ since June this year.
As for the other camps, Singtel has stated that their 4G VAS will be offered free “until a date SingTel determines”. Their service is also priced at S$10.70. Our telcos have always moved in tandem and we can expect Singtel to start charging for 4G VAS soon, probably at a discounted rate too. If the price does increase to $10 – you might be better off using a prepaid 4G which has no surcharge, only on data consumed and it is at about $7 per gb (Singtel). M1 current 4G VAS plan is also free until 31 December 2014.
Few months ago, when Starhub started the 4G charges fiasco, Singtel had mentioned that “SingTel’s policy with regard to changes to price plans or promotions is that these changes would only apply if customers choose to renew their contract or sign up a new contract.” Hence, there should not be any surcharge for those who stay on their existing plans without recontract. I know a few people who have hang on to their 12gb data plan.
Well, this would be a good opportunity for the rumoured 4th telco to come in and disrupt the Singapore market. I don’t buy the argument that 4G service is an add-on to 3G services, and doing so allows customers more flexibility.