This weekend saw the launch of an intriguing new 4G mobile network trial by MyRepublic in the Jurong East area of Singapore.
Intriguing, you ask? Rightly so, because it brings the internet service provider one step closer to joining Singtel, Starhub and M1 as Singapore's fourth telco. Oh, did we forget to mention that if you're one of the lucky trial participants, you get to use unlimited mobile data in the trial area until 20 December?
The trial, which was launched last week, is currently available to 1000 participants for starters. Though, the fact that there were 23,000 applicants shows the public's desire to try other solutions to the current options available. Also, the network only offers coverage to a very specific location, limited to a an area that includes JCube and the surroundings, Jurong Block 102, Jurong East Interchange and Jurong East MRT station (see map below).
1000 testers in a small area. Admittedly, it's a baby step for the company that's aiming to become the fourth telco in Singapore. But these 1000 testers, mostly limited to people who live and work in the neighbourhood, will be stress testing MyRepublic's test network with a brand new Xiaomi Mi 4i. More importantly, during these eight weeks, the 1000 participants will push the test network's capability to provide unlimited data, a mobile plan that the company is planning to offer.
Unlimited data certainly isn't to be sniffed at and could potentially be a huge boon to gamers and fans of music and video streaming. MyRepublic is just as intrigued as us to see how the testers use the service and will be analysing the feedback and usage statistics closely.
As an added bonus they also get to trial MyRepublic's beta version of the MyVoice which allows them to make and receive calls over data to normal mobile phones and landlines through a valid Singapore number. Each participant will get $10 worth of credit which is equivalent to 500 minutes of local outgoing calls.
Of course the real aim of the trial is to demonstrate what MyRepublic wants to offer should they get the opportunity to become Singpore's fourth telco - seamless mobile coverage, support for heavy data usage and the ability to leverage existing infrastructure to facilitate faster national rollout.
They clearly mean business and having recently raised SG$23 million in capital in September and are now looking to raise another SG$250 million to cover the set up of an island-wide network by the end of 2017. Of course that all depends on them being granted a license with the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) still reviewing the proposed plans.
We'll keep you updated on those longer term developments but in the short term Stuff will be testing the trial network and see how the option of unlimited data can help benefit our daily lives. Stay tuned.