Singapore’s three telcos may soon follow in the footsteps of most United States carriers and cease offering plans with high or unlimited mobile data caps.
According to a report from financial analyst firm Kim Eng Securities, the country’s three carriers will likely implement usage-based data pricing instead to better monetize their networks and make up for a flat or declining voice and SMS revenue.
The report noted the telcos have largely been unable to monetize burgeoning data growth due to generous data caps offered by the subscribers.
StarHub is currently the only carrier to still offer data plans branded ‘unlimited’, but both SingTel and StarHub offer plans with up to 50GB of bundled data.
Incumbent SingTel last month launched its new LTE network last month priced at S$69.90 ($54.08), which limits users to 10GB of LTE data but offered an additional 50GB of 3G data.
SingTel’s EVP for digital consumer Yuen Kuan Moon told reporters at the launch event that the data caps for its LTE plan were aimed at promoting fairer usage of its network among customers. According to Yuen, internal research from SingTel showed 89% of its 3G subscribers use below 10GB of data per month, with the remaining heavy users accounting for 60% of total data traffic.
SingTel also attempted to better monetize its network last June by implementing a priority pricing model that granted faster speeds to customers on higher-priced plans.
SingTel is not the only one with plans to change its data pricing models.