There are 3 main suppliers of Internet, TV, landline and mobile services in Singapore – SingTel, StarHub and M1. Apparently, M1 is the last of the 3 in terms of everything, so this really leaves the choice between Singtel and StarHub. There doesn’t seem to be much between them price-wise, but I’ve heard that SingTel is pretty good (and I used their prepaid mobile services previously). Haven’t said that, StarHub is more of a cable supplier, rather than SingTel who use the telephone line to supply their Internet broadband services (similar to Sky versus BT in the UK, respectively). StarHub also seems to have the BBC channels and a few more of the movie and although SingTel had obtained the non-exclusive rights for the UK’s Premiership footie matches, so I think SingTel has the edge.
We visited both shops in the Plaza Singapura shopping mall in the Dhoby Ghaut area, and whilst StarHub was slightly cheaper by a about 5-6 dollars a month (and had the BBC News channel), the waiting time was about 10 days, whilst SingTel was about 7-8 days – and the guy at the store was far more supportive.
Ideally, I wanted to get a quad-package, home-line, broadband, TV and mobile – ideally, I could forego the home-line, but knew it came as default and in most cases was a prerequisite for the broadband, but the two suppliers generally bundled (and were pushing for) the TV, home-line and broadband set, versus the alterative (and more costly) home-line, broadband and mobile set. I think it’s because they were promoting offers to push their TV services, so without this, there was limited incentive and as such monetary benefit to forego the TV service. So I decided to play-ball with them and go with TV, home-line and broadband – with mobile as an additional service – the beauty is that you get a discount on the mobile service subscription too, so it worked out okay in the end.
I got the cheapest handset possible, Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 – it is a Google Android handset, my first Android device, and seems okay. I just have to get used to it, I guess, having had iPhones for the past 4 years. Either way, it only cost me S$18 as I received a S$50 discount from SingTel. If I don’t like the phone, I can always switch the SIM card to my unlocked iPhone 4S, and then use the Samsung one for my UK SIM – which I will only check to see if there are any messages received I will see how it goes…hehe!
The good news is that SingTel are giving the 4G (LTE) service upgrade for free on new mobile contracts, the challenge is I don’t have the phone that can receive it (boo-hoo)…BUT I get a S$300 free upgrade after 12 months, so can make the 4G plunge then.
At least I have a local number and can stay in touch with family friends and work colleagues using a local Singapore mobile now!!