Mobile Broadband Price Comparison in Singapore

July 1, 2009 · Posted in Anything 

Mobile Broadband in Singapore

As a tech-savvy person, it is quite unbelievable (even for myself), not to be really mobile with Information Technology. The mobile broadband frenzy has captured Singapore market over the last 2 years, yet I have not done anything, such as subscribing to the services here.

I have experienced the mobile broadband services in other countries, such as Republic of Ireland (ClearWire) and China (Mobile China), and both have pretty disappointing results. For example, the transfer rate was way below acceptance level and there are frequent dropped connections that it can make everyone so frustrating.

Whilst I am skeptical of mobile broadband services, I am still keen to try out Singapore’s broadband services. There are 2 local service providers in Singapore: Mobile-One (M1) and StarHub. I’ve been very observant over the 2 service providers over a period of time, and so far the feedback that I have gathered has exceeded the expectation, as compared to my past experience with Clearwire and Mobile China. Deciding that it might be a good time to start my mobile broadband frenzy, I’ve given a summary breakdown of its cost comparison below.

Mobile-One (M1)

Mobile-One’s mobile broadband plan comes under 2 categories: short-term 6-month plan and long term 2-year plan.

Under the 6-month Plan

Mobile Broadband Plans 1Mbps 2Mbps 4Mbps 7.2Mbps
Monthly Subscription $22.42 $38.72 $51.36 $69.30
Download Speed up to 1Mbps 2Mbps 4Mbps 7.2Mbps
Upload Speed up to 512kbps 512kbps 1Mbps 2Mbps

Under the 2-year plan:

Mobile Broadband Plans 1Mbps 2Mbps 4Mbps 7.2Mbps
Monthly Subscription $22.42




Download Speed up to 1Mbps 2Mbps 4Mbps 7.2Mbps
Upload Speed up to 512kbps 512kbps 1Mbps 2Mbps
Device Free Vodafone Mobile Connect USB Stick

As it can be seen, there is a 30% discount for the 2-year plan, and the device comes free-of-charge. On the other hand, users like myself may have to be really careful of its Quality of Service (Qos). My past experiences tell me that there is no guarantee to the QoS for wireless broadband, unlike wired broadband. Therefore, commitment is one important factor that I need to take into account of.


One of the 3 main Telecommunication Service Provider in Singapore, StarHub as grown from strength to strength. There are basically 3 standard plans from Starhub: MaxMobile SurfLite, MaxMobile Ultimate and MaxMobile Prepaid.

Value-Added Service Data Pack
MaxMobile Plans MaxMobile Lite MaxMobile Value MaxMobile Premium MaxMobile SurfLite MaxMobile Ultimate
Monthly Subscription Pay as you use $5.35+
(U.P. : $10.70)
$19.90 $38.72 $72.76
(50% OFF for MaxOnline customers)
Bundled Data N.A. 10MB 1GB Unlimited Unlimited
Excess Charges 1.07 cents/KB 0.32 cents/KB N.A. N.A.
Maximum Data Charges Capped at $94.16 Capped at $36.38 N.A. N.A.
One-time Registration Fee N.A. FREE**
(U.P. : $10.70)
$10.70 $10.70

For MaxMobile SurfLite: Perfect for light users. 2Mbps download speed mobile broadband plan. Price: $38.72 w/GST per month.

With download speeds of up to 2Mbps and upload speeds of 512Kbps, MaxMobile SurfLite is a great mobile broadband value plan for light users.

For MaxMobile Ultimate: High speed mobile broadband service on the go. Download speed of up to 7.2Mpbs. Price: $72.76 w/GST per month.

MaxMobile Ultimate offers you high speed internet mobile broadband with download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1.9Mbps. It is ideal for large email downloads with attachments and fast internet surfing.

For MaxMobile Prepaid: Surf the internet on the go with no contracts or monthly fee with MaxMobile Prepaid.

What we see above for Starhub is mainly standard subscription charges; there are still additional charges, which are not included yet. See below:

Other Service charges
SIM Card
Installation fee (per computer connection)
Delivery fee (per trip to the same service address)
Service call (per computer connection)

These one-time charge will amount up to about $170, excluding the monthly charges!

In contrast to M1, there is a clause that states all rental of mobile devices are free:

Once you have subscribed to any one of the M1 Mobile Broadband plan, you can choose which broadband device you want for free (except Built-in Broadband laptops).

To share your broadband, you can rent the 3G Broadband Router at $10.70/mth while rental of the Vodafone Mobile Connect Card (VMCC) is free. For subscribers who already have the VMCC, rental of the 3G Broadband Router is free.

No contract and no upfront payment for rental of devices. You can rent them for as long as you want. Once you decide to terminate your mobile broadband plan, simply return the device to M1.

Except that, M1 sim card needs to be purchased $26.75, in comparison, is still cheaper than Starhub. That is probably as good as you can get out from Mobile (wireless) broadband service.

Is the winner Mobile-One? Or should it be given to Starhub? Well, I’ll let you know when I have more details, after communicating further with the Customer Service representatives.

Additional Reviews
Over the last few days, since I wrote this post, I did my own additional reviews of the 2 most popular wireless (mobile) broadband services in Singapore. Is Mobile-One still the ultimate winner?

My answer is… STARHUB!

Just this week, there is a promotion for Starhub, which actually brings down the MaxMobile SurfLite and MaxMobile Ultimate plan by 50%. The commitment is a 24-month’s contract. The best value for price is the former, which costs $19.36 per month (with Goods and Services Tax (GST) included). The 2Mbps plan may still be about $3 more expensive than Mobile-One’s 1Mbps, but is $8 cheaper than its similar counterpart (2Mbps plan).

Starhub MaxMobile Promotion

On top of that, if you happen to be a StarHub subscriber, you get to receive a FREE (E1550) Mobile Broadband Modem, which costs about $198 retail price.

Specifications of E1550 USB Stick Modem

  • Lightweight & compact
  • Dimensions : 87.5 mm×26 mm×11 mm
  • HSDPA/UMTS 2100 MHz
  • EDGE/GPRS/GSM 1900/1800/900/850 MHz
  • HSDPA downlink 3.6Mbps & uplink 384Kbps
  • Support SMS
  • Plug & Play convenience
  • Support Windows® 2000, Windows® XP, Windows® Vista and Mac Operating Systems

Documentation (for Download):

You might have noticed one very SIGNIFICANT thing about free gifts; that is, the uplink speed is theoretically maxed out at 384Kbps. In other words, even if you have subscribed to MaxMobile SurfLite that provides a 2Mbps download and 512Kbps upload, in actual fact you can only reach a maximum of 384Kbps.

Therefore, it goes the same if you apply for the MaxMobile Ultimate plan from StarHub and receive this E1550 USB stick. You can’t upload higher than the theoretical speed. You can check out the various USB modem stick from here.

Well, my experience so far tells me that, even with 384Kbps, you can still do quite a lot of things, e.g. voice call using VOIP service, such as Skype. Furthermore, StarHub has been voted as the BEST mobile broadband service provider in 2008 (no survey was conducted in 2009). Well done!

New Starhub Product – MaxMobile Elite
MaxMobile LogoI will not hesitate to introduce one of Starhub’s latest product – MaxMobile Elite. This plan incorporates the fastest 21Mbps mobile plan that all have been waiting for. This is excellent for:

  • * high-definition video streaming
  • * high-speed web surfing and media downloads
  • * web conferencing and more!

Currently, new subscribers can enjoy 50% off the original (regular) price of $118 per month. At $59 per month, you get to surf at almost the speed of a wired broadband.

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3 Responses to “Mobile Broadband Price Comparison in Singapore”

  1. […] Mobile Broadband Price Comparison in Singapore […]

  2. […] Evolved High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) smarts, Internet access is now far much better. Check out Starhub MaxMobile Elite for more […]

  3. appletastic Singapore Mac OS X Mozilla Firefox 3.5.3 on September 30th, 2009 11:47 pm

    Hi, I wrote about my experiences with Singtel and M1 mobile broadband services.

    You can take a look and see if it’s consistent with what you think.

    Thank s

    : )