Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

TPG Telecom showing slower speeds, poorer signal than Singtel, StarHub and M1: Study

SINGAPORE — Ahead of its official launch, Singapore’s fourth telco TPG Telecom started a price war in the crowded telecommunications scene here, but its ability to keep a signal and download speeds have not matched up to its incumbent rivals’ standards.

A study found that TPG Telecom users spend 4.5 per cent of the time without a mobile signal. This is far higher than M1’s 1.6 per cent, StarHub’s 1.2 per cent and Singtel’s 1 per cent.

A study found that TPG Telecom users spend 4.5 per cent of the time without a mobile signal. This is far higher than M1’s 1.6 per cent, StarHub’s 1.2 per cent and Singtel’s 1 per cent.

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

SINGAPORE —  Ahead of its official launch, Singapore’s fourth telco TPG Telecom started a price war in the crowded telecommunications scene here, but its ability to keep a signal and download speeds have not matched up to its incumbent rivals’ standards.

This was the finding by international mobile analytics firm Opensignal, which was released on Friday (July 12).

The results are based on data gathered after the Australian telco started a trial earlier this year, as part of an aggressive push to let users try out its service over a 12-month period for free. 

Its commercial launch is slated for later this year.

However, the study found during the trial run that TPG’s efforts lagged behind that of M1, Singtel and StarHub.

In terms of download speeds, TPG came in last place, averaging 26.1 megabits per second (Mbps) from February to May, compared with 42.5 Mbps for Singtel, 39.5 Mbps for StarHub and 36.1 Mbps for M1.

TPG’s upload speeds were also lacklustre during the same time period, clocking an average rate of 5.1 Mbps to M1’s 13.4 Mbps, Singtel’s 12.7 Mbps, and StarHub’s 12.4 Mbps.

TPG users were found to have spent 4.5 per cent of the time without a mobile signal, far higher than M1’s 1.6 per cent, StarHub’s 1.2 per cent and Singtel’s 1 per cent.

Mr Ian Fogg, vice-president of analysis at Opensignal, said in a statement: “While this may not seem like much, when you consider that most people spend large parts of their time at home or at work where they likely have a good signal, these small differences will be considerably more significant when users are moving around Singapore, through its streets, shopping malls and especially on Singapore’s metro where users are accustomed to good mobile service.”

As part of its operational requirements in Singapore, TPG managed to achieve a nationwide outdoor coverage status by the end of last year. 

However, it still has to meet a deadline at the end of this year to have coverage in all road tunnels and inside building areas, and an end-2021 deadline to provide coverage in underground MRT stations and lines.

Recent commentary by telco observers stated that TPG's infrastructure investment in Singapore was not significant enough to attain or leapfrog the standards of the other telcos, making it a likely consolidation target in Singapore's already saturated telecommunications market.

READ ALSO:

The Big Read: Singapore’s big telcos face rude awakening, as the little guys get the last laugh

In a report last year, analyst Sachin Mittal from DBS bank noted TPG’s “abysmal capital expenditure” of S$65.7 million as of 2018, which was less than a third of its targeted S$200 million to S$300 million.

With the present amount spent on infrastructure, Mr Mittal believes that TPG’s network at commercial launch is unlikely to pose a major threat to the incumbents. 

StarHub, for example, is estimated to have spent more than S$600 million on its 4G network since 2013 — almost 10 times the current spending by TPG.

“This would make it difficult for TPG to lure low-end subscribers, who already enjoy much better network quality and coverage through mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that ride on the incumbents’ mobile networks,” Mr Mittal said.

MVNOs here, the smaller players, include Circles.Life and MyRepublic, which lease network capacity from the main telcos.

Mr Fogg noted that while TPG appeared to be behind, the results showed that it had caught up to the three telco giants in one segment — mobile video-streaming experiences.

“The small difference in mobile video experience shows that no operator in Singapore can afford to be complacent. 

“All must focus on delivering a strong mobile network experience for their users if they are to minimise customer churn in the face of a competitor offering a free or low-cost service,” he said.

Related topics

TPG telco mobile phones download speed

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.