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Cloud start-up unveils business contact card service
Commentary: StarHub starts charging for 4G
Commentary: SingTel not making money from World Cup? That’s good news
Hands On: Asus Zenfone

Commentary: StarHub starts charging for 4G

17 Apr
1 Comment

Much of the unhappiness with StarHub charging for 4G services has nothing to do with the seemingly small S$2 hike, but the surprise that it brought to customers.

They never expected to pay more for the faster speeds promised over existing 3G services. Like free incoming calls, the new service was not expected to cost extra, despite StarHub quite clearly stating that possibility in its terms when people sign up.

It’s not that consumers are daft, for not reading the fine print. They just don’t expect the cellphone market to be less competitive over time. 

Tagged in: Cellphones, Singapore, 4G, competition, IDA, M1, Singapore telecoms, SingTel, StarHub,  

SingTel: no plans to charge consumers separately for WhatsApp

28 Feb
1 Comment

singtel facebook

SingTel has clarified that it has no plans to charge consumers separately for using the WhatsApp service, as well as for other so-called over-the-top services that make use of the Internet connection it offers.

In several posts on Facebook yesterday evening, the telecom operator explained that a separate WhatsApp plan, announced last year, was aimed at those who want to have unlimited WhatsApp messages at a fixed cost. 

Tagged in: broadband, Cellphones, Internet, Singapore, IDA, net neutrality, service charges, SingTel, WhatsApp,  

M1 fined for poor mobile coverage, SingTel and StarHub pass tests

24 Jan
1 Comment

Nationwide 3G coverage - Q2 2013

M1 has been given a S$25,000 fine for once again failing to provide adequate cellphone coverage in Singapore, while rivals SingTel and StarHub passed the tests conducted by the government regulator in the second and third quarter last year.

In the second quarter, the smallest operator here reached about 98 per cent of places such as housing estates, outdoor recreation centres and train routes above ground, which made it the poorest performer among the three operators. It also failed to reach the 99 per cent required.

Tagged in: Cellphones, Internet, Singapore, coverage tests, IDA, M1, SingTel, StarHub,  

Five ways technology and media can improve in 2014

31 Dec
No Comments

2014 road ahead

There are so many ways to look back at some of the technology and media news headlines in 2013, but perhaps the most practical one is to see how things can improve in the new year.

From the controversial last-minute changes to Singapore’s do-not-call list to the high-profile outages to the country’s telecom networks, 2013 has had its share of reminders that technology should improve things, not make life harder for its users.

Tagged in: Cellphones, Enterprise, Featured, Internet, Singapore, Breakfast Network, cyber defence, do-not-call list, IDA, Netflix, Pay-TV, PDPC, Singapore critical infrastructure, SingTel fire, Spotify,  

Commentary: Singapore’s do-not-call list disappoints with last-minute changes

26 Dec


Just days before landmark privacy regulations are to come into effect in Singapore, the government regulator has suddenly changed its mind and decided it’s okay for companies to continue sending users telemarketing messages as long as they have an “ongoing relationship” with the companies.

Despite already saying no to such messages, phone users will still receive SMSes or faxes, say, to sign up for related services even after January 2, 2014, the day a do-not-call list comes into effect.

Simply put, the say-no-to-spam list that you have signed up this past month is not enough to keep annoying phone spammers away. You still have to unsubscribe individually to each company – just like before the long-deliberated privacy law had been drawn up.

Tagged in: Cellphones, Enterprise, Featured, Internet, Singapore, do-not-call list, exemptions, IDA, PDPC, privacy law,  

OpenNet fined S$750,000 for not connecting users, provisioning services too slowly

20 Nov
No Comments

opennet installer(Source: OpenNet)

OpenNet has been fined a hefty S$750,000 after failing to connect up homes and offices to the national fibre broadband network, as well as not “turning on” a service promptly enough when users sign up for them.

Tagged in: broadband, Internet, Singapore, complaints, failure to provide USO, fine, IDA, OpenNet, slow turn on,  

Commentary: Singapore hacking cases show importance of deep infocomm expertise

12 Nov

Handcuffs 10
(source: posed photo from iStockphoto)

One of them has been charged in court. Another five are being questioned.

The spotlight is now on the suspects for the recent spade of hacking, after a fortnight spent wondering what’s the next website to be hit or whether “planned maintenance” was a cover-up for an embarrassing failure in cyber defence.

Were they highly-skilled hackers? Or just script kiddies, using readily-available online tools?

Perhaps the better question to ask, if we go beyond the sure-to-be-colourful headlines, would be whether Singapore is well prepared for a full-on cyber assault. Who could launch that? Perhaps a large group of hackers, or perhaps even a foreign government.

Tagged in: Internet, security, Singapore, hacking, IDA, infocomm industry, Messiah, Singapore,  

IDA: “routing issue, hardware fault”, not hackers, downed government sites

5 Nov
No Comments

So, in the end, it was an internal problem that caused the alarming shutdown of 19 Singapore government websites on Saturday.

A combination of routing and hardware issues during a maintenance effort was the reason, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said yesterday. It disputed claims that a hacker had broken in after threats of such a cyber attack last week.

Tagged in: Internet, security, Singapore, government websites down, hacking, IDA,  

Commentary: should maintenance bring down government websites for hours?

3 Nov


In a crisis, fear is sometimes as dangerous as the threat itself.

If more than a dozen Singapore government websites had actually been hacked yesterday afternoon, the agency involved in cyber security certainly won’t have helped matters by being so scant with information to the public.

In the end, the reason why the sites, which included ones for the Singapore Police Force and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) itself, went down was because “technical difficulties” resulted in maintenance that took longer than expected.

Tagged in: Featured, Internet, security, Singapore, cyber security, IDA, Singapore government websites,  

So, are Singapore’s telecom networks resilient?

26 Oct

singtel recovery
(source: SingTel)

The answer to that question should be pretty straightforward for users.

Whether you are surfing at home or sending e-mails from the office, the network is expected to be up all the time. When it’s down, it has to be fixed fast, so things resume with minimum fuss.

That’s the crux of the issue when you talk about how resilient a network is.

Yet, it seems completely lost on Singapore’s industry players as they angrily point fingers at one another this week, after the widespread disruption caused by a fire at a SingTel exchange. 

Tagged in: broadband, Enterprise, Featured, Internet, Singapore, IDA, network resilience, OpenNet, Singapore, SingTel, StarHub,