After MyRepublic offers their 1 Gbps broadband service at a Super Low Price, I know that many of us might be waiting for a price war amongst the broadband service providers, or at least some counter offers from them.
Today, I received an email from StarHub in regards to their “competitor’s” fibre broadband plans. BTW, no competitor’s name was mentioned in the email though you should know who it might be.
Here is the response from Ms Lin Shu Fen, Head of Home Solutions, StarHub: –
We do not compete on price alone. We believe we still have better hubbing proposition than our competitors as we offer consistent service experience and great bundled content across our fibre broadband plans. All fibre broadband plans come with a free ultra-high-speed wireless AC gigabit router and offer free access to 16 quality StarHub TV channels. There is no hidden fee as service activation and installation fees are waived. We will continue to monitor the market closely to ensure that we remain relevant and competitive in our broadband offering.
Another point that StarHub made is that in order to enjoy high speed download/upload (e.g. 1 Gbps), you will need a Ethernet network instead of WiFi. To me, this is a valid point since most of us will be using WiFi at home (unless you want to run cables all over the house).
We would also like to highlight that for consumers to fully benefit from a 1Gbps broadband connection, they would first have to wire their home for Ethernet networking.
StarHub went on to provide me an example of their HomeHub (200) Fibre package for consumers:
For $68.80 a month, StarHub’s HomeHub 200 (fibre) broadband customers enjoy four essential services – 200Mbps fibre broadband with equal bandwidth for uploading and downloading, up to 65 StarHub TV Channels, 21Mbps mobile broadband, and a home phone line. This hubbing plan also comes with a free high-speed wireless AC gigabit router worth $299 as well as a $6 HomeHub voucher every month for customers to purchase additional StarHub TV content. One-time service activation and installation charges are waived.
What I can interpret from this response is that StarHub wants to position itself as an overall solution to consumers (Fibre Broadband, Mobile Broadband, Digital Home line, StarHub TV). And by bundling them all together, consumers can enjoy a lower subscription fee.
Not Comparing Apple to Apple
These information set me thinking about the offer from MyRepublic. When you compare apple to apple (StarHub 1 Gbps vs MyRepublic 1 Gbps pricing), there is no way you can fight the price with MyRepublic (StarHub S$395.90 vs MyRepublic S$49.99).
We have to be realistic. With the current technology, I would not be able to get such high download or upload speed via WiFi. However, knowing that people will want the best, the fastest at the cheapest price, I want to find out the pros and cons for both.
From the information gathered, we can say that MyRepublic has the lowest cost per Mbps in Singapore. Straits Times did a nice comparison chart on other providers.
However, knowing that there are always terms and conditions, I tried to check both (MyRepublic and StarHub).
The Fine Print
From MyRepublic on their 1 Gbps ULTRA (S$49.99) and GAMER (S$59.99) plans
- Price inclusive of GST.
- Based on a 24-month contract for all MyRepublic fibre broadband plans: 1Gbps ULTRA at $49.99/mth, 1Gbps GAMER at $59.99/mth.
- A one-time standard service activation charge of $58 for ULTRA and GAMER applies under this promotion.
- Free $100 router voucher for use during sign-up only.
- Discount rates are valid for the duration of the contract, thereafter the plan’s Usual subscription price of $89/month for ULTRA and $99/month for GAMER applies after contract plan ends.
- Only available to new customers who are not on an existing contract without a Contract Buyback promotion, and who do not have outstanding bills with MyRepublic. Existing customers may upgrade to this promotion.
- Only valid for National Broadband fibre-ready premises.
- Free subscription to MyRepublic Teleport included in this offer until June 2014. Opt-in Teleport subscription at $5/month available thereafter.
- If not an existing Home Voice user, Home Voice usage requires a one-time equipment and installation fee of $49.
- Free Home Voice features include free Home Voice subscription and free 30 minutes of IDD calls monthly to 20 select destinations at 8c/min listed until June 2014 on www.myrepublic.com.sg/add-ons/ or equivalent monthly IDD credit of $2.40/month per customer until June 2014. Home Voice will be charged at $2.88/month after June 2014.
- One-time charges may apply. See: List of One-Time Service Charges.
- Available for the first 10,000 customers or at the discretion of MyRepublic.
- Specific terms and conditions apply as advertised.
- MyRepublic reserves the right to replace the free Logitech G400s with an item of similar or equal value.
- Refer to www.myrepublic.com.sg/legal/terms-and-conditions.php for general terms and conditions.
From Starhub on their HomeHub 200 Fibre Broadband plan (S$68.80)
Comes with FREE:
- 3 months’ now Baogu Pack OR CINEMAX
- Wireless AC Dual-band Router worth $299
- Revolutionary wireless 802.11ac for lightning-fast speed
- Dual band interference-free bandwidth
- Built-in high-powered antennas for enhanced wireless coverageCheck out our customers’ reviews of Wireless AC Dual-Band Router
- Installation and activation worth $85.60
- Fibre Termination Point installation^^ worth $481.50
- Number porting for home phone line
- StarHub TV Anywhere
- Up to 30% OFF mobile subscription~~
- Handset upgrade every 12 months~~
- Valid with a 24-month contract.
Typical Speed Range* for 200Mbps plan: 120Mbps – 199.2Mbps.
- For residential customers only. The value of the HomeHub voucher will be credited to the bill monthly as discount to offset selected additional TV charges. Any unused balance will be forfeited. ~~Hub Club Mobile Perks: Applicable for customers who subscribe to StarHub Mobile and HomeHub under the same NRIC/FIN and service address.
- FREE Fibre Termination Point installation is applicable for customers with no fibre point installed within their premises and for up to first 15-metres from point of entry to home.
- Terms & Conditions – FREE 3 months of now Baogu Pack OR CINEMAX:
Valid till 31 March 2014. Now Baogu Pack OR CINEMAX will be credited to customers’ account monthly for 3 continuous months. Thereafter, prevailing rates apply. Not applicable to customers with existing now Baogu Pack OR CINEMAX subscription and not valid with any other StarHub TV discount promotions.
For MyRepublic, there are cost incurred for first time installation and etc. Plus most offers seems to end after June 2014. Not sure if they will extend them or not. And if you check, the earliest installation time for MyRepublic is in March 2014.
How fast can I get my fibre broadband service up?
Due to high demand for our current promotion, the earliest installation date will be 1 March 2014. Towards the end of February 2014, our Order Department will give you a call to arrange for an appointment. Once contacted, it may take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks for your fibre broadband to be activated, depending on how fast OpenNet takes to provision the broadband to your address.
The good point is that MyRepublic provides up to S$200 rebate if you break your contract with the other provider and jump over to them.
For StarHub, they waived away many initial installation cost but fact is fact. You only get 200 Mbps and if you don’t need other services, this plan is definitely not working for you.
While researching this topic, I realized that StarHub has finally match the download and upload speed (except for 1 Gbps). Here is an example (Although the 200Mbps is missing, I have confirmed with one of the media contact from StarHub that upload and download speed for 200 Mbps is the same).
And maybe I am a little slow on this. StarHub has lifted the cap on International Bandwidth and StarHub has also started to allow consumers to use their own routers!!
To use your own router, you will need to call StarHub to request for Direct ONT (Optical Network Terminal). This will disable the current router provided by StarHub and let you use your own Router. Note that this step irreversible.
For MyRepublic, it has stated clearly its download/upload speed. It has the same download (1 Gbps) and upload (500 Mbps) speed as compared to StarHub 1 Gbps plan. However, there is no information on Subscribed International Speed. I digged around for a while and found something about bandwidth speed. In my opinion, it mentions there is no warranty on the speed. You can take a look HERE.
And for the 1 Gbps broadband plan, there is no information or assurance on latency or things as simple as users’ experience. However, I believe people cannot resist the temptation with the cheap pricing and publicity. I am sure they will be able to hit 10,000 users in a short time.
It is a very long post. I think to conclude this topic, it all boils down to what you want. If you just want fast broadband speed, MyRepublic will be your best bet with its speed and pricing.
However, if you are not particular about broadband speed and is tempted to watch Cable TV, have a mobile broadband by your side, do consider StarHub or other offers.
Please read the fine prints and calculate the initial cost plus monthly cost. If the contract is 24 months, add all these cost together and divide by 24. You should be looking at the real monthly cost.
If you wish to voice your opinion, feel free to comment. I would also like to know what else to look out for when I recontract 🙂