A new Internet race may be on in Singapore, after M1 started rolling out fibre broadband plans that promise 10Gbps to Singapore homes today.
Coming within a month after Singtel unveiled the first such offering here, the new service will also cost the same at S$189 a month.
M1 had provided 10Gbps speeds to corporate users last year, but is now upping its game to consumers as well.
The competition among telecom operators seems to be heating up again this year, after slower 1Gbps plans have become commonplace with prices under S$40 a month today.
M1’s move to match Singtel could force others to follow suit, despite questions regarding the technology’s maturity and adoption.
Equipment for this GPON (gigabit passive optical network) technology is still expensive for mass rollout to homes. Plus, the massive amounts of bandwidth require users to run Cat6 network cables, when Cat5 is the norm today.
They also need speedy PCs with supporting network cards, plus solid state drives (SSDs) instead of regular hard disks to maximise the potential of a 10Gbps link.
Nonetheless, M1 seems keen to meet Singtel head-on in what could be a preview of future battles to come. As part of a promotion, it is throwing in a free mobile broadband service as well as activation and setup for the fibre service.
What do you need 10Gbps for? Possibly the same reason why many people are using 1Gbps plans now. Yes, you can get 1Gbps downloads today (see our guide).
One day, it won’t be surprising to get 10Gbps game downloads as well. Or, if you can’t wait, you can always set up a server farm at home, or host your friends’ backup servers at home. After all, you could well have more bandwidth than an entire office building.