The recent announcement by SingTel and Starhub to revise its 3G data price
is one that would put Singapore many steps backwards in its status as a global city.
For many years now, Singaporeans had been enjoying an almost unlimited 3G
surfing experience with a minimum 12GB data usage cap for its smartphone plans.
This almost ‘free’ usage of bandwidth had allowed many social applications,
videos and media to capture a foothold in the Singaporean psyche. Today we all
take it for granted. We watch videos on Youtube during our morning commute.
Listen to International internet radio stations while waiting for the bus.
Whatsapp our friends while waiting for the lift. Checkout our friends’ Facebook
while waiting for the menu to be served to you at the restaurant. All this
would be marginally reduced and lifestyles will have to be changed.
By reducing the 12GB cap to a measly 2GB, SingTel, and Starhub had instead dealt
the death knell to applications and future local mobile startups that depend on
the sharing of internet content. It is only a matter of time before the only
other provider, M1 Mobile decide to call it quits and reduce its data cap in
order to remain competitive with its competitors. (I know what you are thinking.
Shouldn’t M1 NOT reduce its cap in order to remain competitive? Not when the
cost of bandwidth in Singapore is still marginally expensive. It would make no
sense for M1 not to reduce its cap as they would make less money by not doing
It is oddly strange that as global cities all over the world are investing and
upgrading their infrastructure to support the exponentially increasing mobile
internet users, Singapore instead is looking the other way and removing access
to fast bandwidth as an excuse for the slow internet connectivity.
Let us not regress technologically. The Government said that it would like
to see Singapore grow into a vibrant and strong entrepreneurial hub. They spend
millions attracting investors into the country to find the next Creative
Well, I say, put that money and investment into the infrastructure instead. You
can’t replace horse and carriages if you don’t build roads for cars to travel on.
Time to put that commitment into action.