M1 lowers 3G data prices

update Singapore telco ups the ante by being the first in the island-state to lower the cost of unlimited 3G data usage.

update SINGAPORE--Mobile operator MobileOne (M1) has slashed the price of its unlimited 3G data plan by 65 percent, in a bid to spur mobile broadband adoption in the island-state.

According to a statement Monday, M1 announced that from May, its premium SunSurf 100 3G data plan will cost S$68 (US$42) a month, instead of S$199 (US$124). The company hopes that the move will help align the benefits of 3G with that of fixed-line broadband, and make the service more affordable for business and individual users.

Rivals SingTel and StarHub currently price their unlimited 3G data plans at S$208.95 (US$130) and S$105 (US$65) respectively. Elsewhere in Asia, Malaysia's Maxis offers unlimited 3G data plans for RM120 (US$33) a month, while Hong Kong's 3 Hong Kong subscribers have yet to see unlimited 3G data packages from their mobile operator.

Said M1 chief executive officer Neil Montefiore: "The challenge for M1 is to help our customers access information, regardless of time or place. This very economical data plan will make it very convenient and cost-effective for our customers to switch from fixed-line broadband to 3G mobility."

He added: "We want to set a new price benchmark for wireless broadband access and to this end, the attractive rates we are offering should help increase 3G adoption as well as data usage."

Subscribers of M1's Sunsurf 100 3G data plan will receive a free Vodafone Mobile Connect Card (VMCC) that allows them to track data usage.

Montefiore also revealed M1's move to high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA), dubbed 3.5G.

"M1 customers can look forward to much faster data speeds with the upgrade to HSDPA by the end of this year, taking wireless Internet access and the advantages of mobility in Singapore to a whole new level," he said.

Asian operators have been publicizing their HSDPA plans in recent weeks. Maxis expects to launch HSDPA services by year-end. Other countries in the Asia-Pacific region that plan to do likewise include China, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan and Australia.

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