Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Singtel 2 GB limit is just an excuse

Recently Singtel has announced that new/re-contract plans starting from 1 July will have the 12GB data limit reduced to 2GB data limit for its cheapest data plan. The extra charges per GB will also be revised up soon. According to Singtel, this is to eliminate data-hogs who log on to the network for a long time and take up bandwidth simply because they know they have a high cap.
Seriously, is reducing the bundled data connection the only way? Of course not. It seems like after trying a priority pass on their broadband which I've written about here, they have given up on using Quality of Service (QoS) to regulate the phone data network.

The 2GB limit will not help Singtel because of the fact that very few of us actually track the amount of data that our phone is using. Period. Who will go into the settings to find out how much data that the phone is using? Furthermore, I believe the problem is more like there are insufficient base stations to service the number of people using smart phones. For those smartphones using AGPS (a.k.a fake GPS), if you can find that your phone is telling you that you're somewhere far away from where you are, most probably the base stations around your area is overloaded and the smart phone is confused on your actual location. Very common to see this if you're in the central area.

Personally, this reduction is a PR nightmare for Singtel and instead, they should try to implement QoS in their network. Put higher priority for connections to websites and email servers and seriously, put out a separate tier for those people streaming or downloading movies and images. It's no use penalising everyone when it's this group of users that are most probably using up your network bandwidth. They should target this group of users and charge them extra if they want the QoS to be removed.

Exodus from Singtel to other telcos? Yes. Definitely. My hope is that the other telcos don't think that this will resolve their problem. It seems that Starhub has followed Singtel and has reduced their data plan cap to as low as 1GB on the same day Singtel announced their changes. Problem is I don't recall seeing this piece of news until it was reported recently. Now I guess M1 is the only one left standing. As I recall, they were the first who introduced the 12GB cap. Let's see it they will follow suit.

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