StarHub to charge for 4G usage

Prepare to cough up S$2.14 more per month from June
StarHub will charge you for 4G usage

Bad news for StarHub customers – be prepared to fork out more cash on your mobile bills.

The telco has announced that it will be charging its customers for 4G value-added services with effect from June, following the end of the complimentary 4G upgrade promotion introduced in September 2012.

Users on the SmartSurf Lite, Value, Premium, and Elite plans hoping to keep the 4G Speed Boost service will have to pay a promotional rate of S$2.14 a month for the service, up till it starts charging the hefty full rate of S$10.70 at a later unspecified date.

Those of you already on the plans will be offered the chance to revert to a 3G plan, while StarHub will be readjusting its marketing collateral for new and re-contracting customers.


Why the revision?

too much mobile data use

StarHub assistant vice-president of mobility, Tian Ung Ping, told TODAY the ever-increasing mobile data use is what led to the charge.

“We have been investing heavily in our 4G and 3G network upgrades, for example, through ongoing installation of additional base stations across Singapore. We are also upgrading our 4G network to offer Voice over LTE and maximum mobile broadband speeds of up to 300Mbps this year.”

Obviously, the change has caused much discontent amongst some customers (especially those that recently re-contracted), who claim they were ill informed of the looming price hike.

But StarHub maintains its stance that the promotional period has been available on its website, brochures, and at point of subscription.

Telco price wars

Telco price wars

StarHub is the first in Singapore to make the move, but it's just a matter of time before the others follow suit – though M1 and SingTel have yet to make any amendments.

SingTel says its 4G value added service will be free until a date it determines, while M1 claims its 4G service will remain free until December.

We’ll find out soon if this move is a worthwhile gamble as StarHub stands the risk of losing customers to the other players in the short-term.

[Source and image from: TODAY online]

Read more: Opinion: Would you pay more if SingTel charges Whatsapp and Skype for its data services