When I reviewed the SingTel Combo plan last month, my main focus was its usability and testing it's claims. I found that it was blazing fast and hotspot switches were a breeze when transitioning between them.
However, one thing I also learnt that while there will be 2000 hotspots by 2016, this may not be as wide as the number would suggest given that one shopping mall may have dozens of them.
Currently, Raffles City Basement 1 has the most hotspots in a cluster - 51 of them to be precise. (This was also the venue where I did my hotspot switching test, you'd want to find out what my conclusion was if you are planning to switch to SingTel's Combo plan)
Which leads to the question, just how wide will SingTel's reach be?
Putting 2000 hotspots in perspective
2000 is a big number, but it's time to put that in perspective.
Here is a map of Singtel's current Wifi roll-out.
- As of 22 November 2014, SingTel's Wifi roll-out has reached 255 hotspots, covering 12 CapitaLand shopping malls, 3 MRT platforms, 10 SingTel retail shops and the F1 Pit Building - just in case if you ever need to go there.
Now here is a map of SingTel's potential reach by March 2016.
- This map points out all 18 CapitaLand shopping malls and the 24 MRT stations that were announced to be covered. 16 of which are part of the Nouth-East (Purple) Line.
- 18 CaptaLand Shopping Malls: Bedok Mall, Bugis Junction, Bugis+, Bukit Panjang Plaza, Clarke Quay, Funan DigitaLife Mall, IMM, ION Orchard, JCube, Junction 8, Lot One, Plaza Singapura, Raffles City, Rivervale Mall, Sembawang Shopping Centre, Tampines Mall, The Star Vista, West Gate.
- 24 MRT Stations: Bishan, Boon Keng, Buangkok, Buona Vista, Chinatown, Choa Chu Kang, Clarke Quay, City Hall, Dhoby Ghaut, Farrer Park, HarbourFront, Hougang, Jurong East, Kovan, Little India, Orchard, Outram Park, Paya Lebar, Potong Pasir, Punggol, Raffles Place, Sengkang, Serangoon, Woodleigh.
- 5 Others: 313@Somerset, Changi City Point, F1 PIT Building, Orchard Central, Toa Payoh HDB Hub.
- Those in bold are places that already has SingTet's Wifi hotspots.
There will be at least 48 places with SingTel hotspots, though the number of hotspots available at each place varies.
In comparison between now and 2016, SingTel's roll-out of its Wifi hotspots is definitely commendable and is considerably more than what is currently available to us. And the map that I have done is just limited to what has been officially announced.
With places like the F1 Pit Building, 313@Somerset (by Lend Lease),Changi City Point (by Frasers Centrepoint Malls) and Orchard Central (by Far East Organisation), I'd expect more buildings to be equipped with SingTel's Wifi hotspots in the coming months.
After 2 months of using SingTel's Combo plan, I feel less strangled by the data cap that many of us in Singapore face.
I feel more comfortable watching videos and using social media while dining out and walking about the city center where most of the hotspots are currently available.
The switching between 4G to Wifi is seamless, which is a fundamental plus point that makes this ambitious roll-out that much feasible.
Sure, it can be seen as a minor compensation to those who enjoy unlimited data in other countries, but regardless of their reasons, that fact that our data is capped will not change any time soon, at least in my opinion.
SingTel's innovative solution to break the deadlock in the seemingly stale battle for supremacy in Singapore's Telco industry is a breath of fresh air and evidence that healthy competition will benefit consumers in the end.
The success of SingTel's Combo plan as a paradigm shift will depend on how fast and wide their roll-out will be. And if they do it right and well, you may find yourself in a position to switch and find no reason to switch back (even if you are still using the 3G 12 GB plan).
Let me know what you think of the SingTel Combo plan over at my twitter handle (@OKJDiscoveries). I might be able to answer some of your queries you may have on the plan or on my experience using it.
Until then, cheers! =)