Singapore's three big mobile operators – Singtel, M1 and StarHub – have this week cut mobile subscription costs by half as they attempt to stay competitive in the market.
The price war comes on the back of the announcement by MyRepublic, the ISP seeking to become Singapore's fourth mobile operator, that it plans to undercut the three existing operators.
MyRepublic said it will charge as little as S$8 for a mobile plan with 2GB of data, with value added services charged at market rates, and will offer an unlimited data plan for S$80 per month.
Singtel was the first to move on Wednesday (9 March), announcing it would double new and recontracting customers' mobile data allowance at a fixed additional cost of S$5.90 a month.
Both M1 and StarHub quickly followed suit, with M1 matching Singtel's offer, while StarHub offered an extra 3GB of mobile data for a promotional rate of S$3 per month, rising to S$6 from April.
The telcos' moves have essentially cut the prices of their popular plans by up to half.
"The current moves are a clear warning to potential new entrants that incumbents are prepared to slug it out to protect their customers," Ramakrishna Maruvada, telecoms researcher from Daiwa Capital Markets, told AsiaOne.
A mobile airwave auction will take place in the third quarter of this year and the fourth telco could make its services available as early as April 2017.
As well as MyRepublic, a unit of Consistel, which set up the Singapore Sports Hub's wireless systems, are said to be keen on claiming the fourth operator spot.