M1 and StarHub launch (more or less) unlimited data plans

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ITEM: Singapore has become the latest battleground for unlimited data plans, with cellcos M1 and StarHub launching competing plans offering customers unlimited 4G data – although the two operators have slightly different ideas of what “unlimited” means.

M1 launched what it claims is Singapore’s first unlimited 4G mobile plan on Wednesday. The mySIM3 98 plan is one of four new data-centric SIM-only plans that range from S$20 for 5GB to S$98 for unlimited data access. (Unlimited talk-time is further available for all plans for an extra S$15 a month.)

However, the fine print specifies that “unlimited” data is still subject to the limitations of M1’s terms of use and traffic management policy – in other words, “reasonable personal use locally, and for non-commercial purposes only”.

StarHub launched its own set of mobile postpaid plans on Wednesday that includes a free unlimited local data option. However, there is one key caveat – customers only get unlimited data on Saturdays and Sundays.

From 12:00am Saturday to 11:59pm Sunday, customers who sign up for the StarHub plans can use as much data as they want. For the rest of the week, they’re limited to whatever data cap their plan specifies – anywhere from 3GB to 15GB.

The move by M1 and StarHub to unlimited data follows similar moves in the US, where cellcos have been competing fiercely (and loudly) to win customers by ditching data caps. But that strategy has not been kind to their bottom lines – which may be why StarHub is being more judicious with its unlimited data offer by confining it to weekends.

Incumbent telco Singtel currently doesn’t offer unlimited mobile data. It will be interesting to see if the M1 and StarHub plans changes that.

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