PacNet-Compaq promotion a hit

At least one hundred people have registered for Pacific Internet Ltd's Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) service from its promotion at Suntec City's Galleria Foyer over the weekend.

SINGAPORE--Pacific Internet Ltd's weekend promotion with Compaq at Suntec City has attracted many to subscribe to the former's Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) service.

The promotion, which bundles together a Compaq Presario 5000 and PacNet's unlimited broadband access for S$99.90 a month over 36 months (plus an initial deposit of S$399) appears to represent total savings of about S$980 over the period.

Purchased separately, the cost of the PC--with Intel Pentium III 900Mhz processors, 64MB memory, 20GB hard disk space and a 15-inch monitor--would be about S$1,883 (inclusive of GST) while PacNet's unlimited broadband access would cost S$85.90 per month.

The three-day promotion, which started on June 1, has been extended to June 10 due to "overwhelming" response, a PacNet spokesperson said in an email response. As at March, the Internet Service Provider's (ISP) total broadband subscribers stood at about 2,700, noted PacNet deputy director of Consumer Marketing Low Chin Yong.

The offer is part of the ISP's plan to "sign up as many (users) as possible to drive our ADSL subscriber number", Low added. However, he could not reveal PacNet's target for the promotion.

According to him, the offer is also available at Compaq resellers in Funan the IT Mall and Sim Lim Square, although "we have not gotten (included) the numbers from the Compaq dealers".

When approached, Singapore Cable Vision said it has "no plans" to bundle its broadband access service (MaxOnline) with PCs. However, it is already bundling its cable TV services with unlimited broadband access, pointed out Tham Loke Kheng, SCV senior vice president (Sales and Marketing). SCV is also the island's sole cable TV operator.

Specifically, MaxTV subscribers can access MaxOnline for S$66 a month, as opposed to the current rate of S$76 per month for broadband access only.

Bundling receives thumbs up
IDC Asia Pacific analyst for Telecommuncations Research Grace Yeo believes that the bundling of broadband access with PCs, PC peripherals or mobile devices is the "way to go" for driving up consumer take up rates, at least for this year.

"PacNet would not have signed up 100 subscribers in three days without the promotional offer," observed Yeo.

Moreover, she noted that bundling is "a value-for-money proposition, and does not impact (as much on the) broadband service providers' profit margins (as) compared with a price war".

On the latter, Yeo believes that access fees will not drop drastically until the cost of international bandwidth comes down--something to be expected as more undersea cable networks like the Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN-2) and City-to-City (C2C) begin operation.

Yeo estimates that broadband prices could be lowered by almost one-third by early 2002 as a result of the increased bandwidth availability.

Note: This article has been amended since first published. Pacific Internet had earlier said that at least 100 people registered for its ADSL service during the three-day joint promotion with Compaq. Pacific Internet now says that the figure is inaccurate and has since retracted its earlier statement.