I have been using the new SingTel Combo Plan for a month now, and here's 3 things that I had learned so far.
Speed is amazing
To find out how much faster the SingTel Wi-Fi is to various alternatives. I was in a Starbucks outlet located at Raffles City Level 1, where i pitted SingTel Wi-Fi to 2 other alternatives - my 4G SingTel data service as well as the free Wi-Fi hotspot provided by Starbucks.
I expected it to blow away the competition, and that's exactly what it did. Just take a look at the evidence below.
The SingTel Wi-Fi hotspot had a download speed that is over 5x faster than that of Starbucks' Free Wi-Fi, which means it does work as advertised. However...
Hotspots were not what I first thought.
Maybe I had misunderstood it, but when I first heard about the 100 hotspots that will be initially available when the SingTel Combo Plan launched 2 months ago, I was thinking entire shopping malls and MRT stations.
It turns out that hotspots are counted by per store/MRT station.
Apart from the 3 MRT stations that are part of the 201 that I counted as of 12 October, the other 198 hotspots are made up of stores and outlets within various malls and not the entire mall which made me slightly disappointed.
This means that one level of a mall can have about 20 hotspots or more depending on the stores enabled with the it.
But come to think of it, SingTel has promised us hotspot coverage for all CapitaMalls shopping centres, which covers the most popular shopping destinations in Singapore, making it really reasonable. With 16 CapitaMalls islandwide, you can expect ease in finding hotspots pretty soon on this sunny island.
But can I utilise the hotspot when moving around the mall?
You could use the SingTel Wi-Fi while standing outside of any of the listed hotspots, but what if you want to move around the mall?
I was able to put this to the test at Raffles City Basement 1, which currently has the largest cluster of hotspots in a single level (51 hotspots).
Here's how I had conducted the test.
- This circuit of Raffles City Basement 1 has 26 SingTel hotspots. (The red circle being a blind spot, more on that later.)
- I walked 5 rounds around this circuit while streaming an hour long YouTube video at 720p. This was done twice with 2 different settings.
- The first setting was only Wi-FI enabled. The second setting has 4G and Wi-Fi enabled.
What I discovered is that the Wi-Fi is reliable enough to switch between the various hotspots without disrupting my usage. However, I would recommend you to turn on the 4G as well as it makes seeking for the Wi-Fi signal and switching to it much faster and smoother.
In fact, the video failed to load in 3 of the 5 rounds when I went past a critical spot of the circuit that seemed to be a blind spot for the SingTel Wi-Fi. (You can this spot circled in red near between points 12 and 13 of the circuit above.
Without 4G turned on, my phone was not able to seek and connect to the next hotspot fast enough to prevent the disruption of my video playing.
So I had learned that the SingTel Combo plan works as advertised, though its coverage seem less impressive than what I initially thought. However, with seamless switching between hotspots, your surfing experience is definitely enhanced by the SingTel Combo plan.
Join me next month as I share some more lessons that I will learn about using the SingTel Combo plan.
Till then, cheers!