MyRepublic, an upstart broadband provider in Singapore, has upped the stakes in its bid to become the country's fourth telco after Singtel, StarHub, and M1.
It promised that, if it succeeds, it will offer its broadband customers 12 months of free and unlimited local mobile data. The caveat here is "local," which means the data is free as long as you use it in Singapore. But that should keep most people happy.
The other caveat: to qualify, you must sign up with MyRepublic before 30 September 2015 and remain a customer until the launch of its mobile services.
"It's an exclusive offer - our way of rewarding our customers who have been very supportive of our business and our mobility plans," says MyRepublic Singapore managing director Yong Teck Yap.
It looks like a good deal overall, and could be a strategic play to push its bid to the top. It might be counting on its fanbase to whip this into a frenzy, perhaps using consumer demand to convince regulators to give MyRepublic a telco license (they're currently registered as a broadband operator only).
Behind that however, it does promise a key innovation over other operators.
While other carriers have traditionally relied on big, expensive base stations to provide mobile coverage, MyRepublic is using small cells that it says can be cheaply and quickly deployed to provide ubiquitous mobile signals. These smaller base stations can be placed in elevators, vehicles, and narrow corridors.
To succeed though, it may need to improve its customer service, which has been inundated with complaints of being slow and unresponsive. Becoming a telco would mean more customer demands, so dealing with them effectively would be a crucial test.
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