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    Jun 17, 2014

    SingTel's mobile flexi-bundle plan

    EVER felt that you do not make enough voice calls, but use too much data and end up paying more?

    SingTel is now offering a new mobile plan that allows consumers to adjust their voice call, SMS and data bundles every month to suit their changing needs.

    Called Easy Mobile, the 24-month contract subscription plan lets subscribers tweak their voice, SMS and data bundles within four tariff plans - small, medium, large and extra large (see table).

    You subscribe to a certain number of units. Each unit gives you a certain quantity of data, voice calls and SMSes. If you think you will be using a lot of data and making very few voice calls, you can allocate more units to data. This allocation can be changed every month.

    The plan uses digital platforms to handle transactions - meaning customers can skip the hassle of signing up for the new plan at the retail shops and, instead, do it online and arrange for a home delivery.

    Changing the allocation of the voice, SMS and data bundles can also be done via the MySingTel app.

    Consumers can also choose to upgrade to a higher tariff plan free of charge, but there is a charge for downgrading plans.

    Yuen Kuan Moon, chief executive of SingTel's Singapore consumer division, said: "We like to customise the food that we order - it could be less salt, more vegetables, less oil. But when we look at tariff plans, we really come up with very structured tariff plans.

    "The Easy Mobile gives us three things: flexibility, control and convenience. We actually allow the end users to select what they want by themselves."

    A SingTel spokesman noted that 16 per cent of customers on mobile data plans exceeded their data bundles between Jan 1 and March 31 this year.

    For a start, this plan is available only to new customers. It will be rolled out to existing customers renewing their contracts in the coming months.

    But Easy Mobile is not necessarily cheaper. For example, SingTel's Lite plan, which gives consumers 100 minutes of outgoing local calls, 800 local SMSes and 2GB of local data, costs $39.90 a month. To get the same amount of local data and outgoing calls under Easy Mobile, the consumer would have to opt for the medium plan, with a monthly subscription fee of $45.

    Some experts believe that this may be a game changer.

    Jake Saunders, vice-president of forecasting at market research firm ABI Research, told My Paper: "The plan's unique and novel. It certainly does respond to realities - with smartphone and the Internet, our messaging behaviour has changed.

    "I suspect that other telcos will quickly follow in the footsteps if they see potential in this service, because mobile operators do tend to go in clusters."

    Chua Hian Hou, M1's assistant general manager of corporate communications, noted that M1 offers a "fully customisable" plan that allows customers to choose the combination of voice, messaging and data they want. But the customer must go to a retail store to get it.

    Michael Chang, StarHub's assistant vice-president of mobility, does "not rule out launching new mobile plans if there is market demand".

    Meanwhile, some consumers pointed out that the Easy Mobile plan is more "value for money" if one subscribes to the plan with higher value.

    Fresh graduate Tan Jing Jiat, 24, said: "The idea of flexibility is good (but) they can probably adjust the value of the plans to make them more attractive."