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CommunicAsia 2012: telcos at the crossroads with network and revenue problems

20 Jun
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Hearing all the problems with telecom operators these days, especially at an event like CommunicAsia, you’d be forgiven for thinking they always had things this difficult.

These days, they are spending billions of dollars upgrading their networks to cope with consumer demand, yet their revenues are being undercut by so-called over-the-top or OTT services like Skype and WhatsApp. In a tight squeeze, their once lucrative, safe businesses seem to be heading towards a scary few years where profits are going to be extremely slim.

Yet, the irony is that not many years ago, these are the very same telcos that had ruled their markets, dominated all comers and decided how the technology roadmap was unfurled. 

Tagged in: broadband, Cellphones, Internet, Singapore, mobile Internet, OTT,  

Commentary: SingTel slashes mobile Internet bundle with “4G” launch, StarHub follows

4 Jun

Singapore’s smartphone users have good reason to be angry with their mobile operators today, after SingTel, then StarHub, drastically cut the amount of Internet data they offer to surf the Web, update Facebook or view photos on the go.

In the afternoon, SingTel had called a media briefing to speak about its “4G” rollouts which promise three times faster speeds throughout the island by 2013. The headlines, however, are now dominated by its other announcement, that it was slashing the amount of data it bundles with its smartphone plans from July.

Tagged in: broadband, Cellphones, cloud, Featured, Internet, Singapore, 4G, data bundle, LTE, mobile Internet, Singapore, SingTel, StarHub,  

Q&A: Mock Pak Lum, StarHub CTO

23 May
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Downloads are never too fast. Webpages cannot load quickly enough, and that YouTube video should have streamed five seconds ago.

If that sounds like a typical day for a smartphone user, it is partly because of the explosion of mobile broadband data in the past few years, which has telecom operators struggling to cope with the demand for more bandwidth.

With users updating their Facebook status every other minute and worse, when machines start “talking” to one another to transmit, say, sensor data of an impending flood, how can mobile networks cope?

Techgoondu had a quick Q&A with StarHub’s chief technology officer, Mock Pak Lum, to find out more. A veteran of the industry, Mock has been the CEO of 1-Net, Singapore’s broadband exchange, and has had stints in Hewlett-Packard and MediaCorp.

He will be speaking at next week’s UNWIRED 2012 conference in a panel discussion on Adding Network Smarts. 

Tagged in: broadband, Cellphones, Enterprise, Internet, Singapore, 3G, LTE, mobile Internet, Mock Pak Lum, Q&A, StarHub, unwired 2012,  

M1 gets S$300,000 fine for outage, appeals immediately

14 Nov


M1 is facing one of the stiffest fines meted out to a telecom operator in Singapore in years, after faulty hardware cards caused some of its users to be locked out from their phone calls, messages and mobile Internet services on May 18 this year.

The “orange” telco had given users a free day of calls and SMSes a week later to say sorry, but the regulators obviously are not as forgiving, instead handing out a S$300,000 fine today to the errant telco for the disruption.

Tagged in: broadband, Cellphones, Internet, fine, IDA, M1, mobile Internet, network disruption, Service Resiliency Code, SMS,