Singaporean ISP ViewQwest is ready to launch the country’s fastest fibre network next year in the island state, offering heady speeds of up to 2Gbps – making Singapore only the second country in the world to launch a 2Gbps residential fibre network.
ViewQwest, which its own CEO Vignesa Moorthy admits has the smallest user base among local ISPs, is set to launch its 2Gbps residential fibre network to the public in the first half of 2015. While it hasn’t yet revealed pricing details on its blazing fast network, the ISP is ready to begin user trials to between 20 to 30 of its customers ahead of its launch next year. ViewQwest’s latest 2Gbps plan is second only to Japanese ISP So-net, which launched its ultra-high speed network last year.
Nevertheless, there is virtually no way for normal consumers to fully utilise such high bandwidth. Even this package requires the installation of an industrial-grade router that costs around SG$500 to SG$800 (around RM1290 to RM2065) that can handle the connection. On top of that, a connected PC would also require two Network Interface Controllers (NIC) to connect two gigabit LAN cables.
Gigabit fibre Internet networks have actually been introduced in Singapore for some time already, as the city-state easily has the best network infrastructure in the region. Every one of the major ISPs in Singapore already offer 1Gbps broadband Internet, with even the cheapest broadband plans offering 150Mbps download speeds. What’s making things interesting is the price war going on in Singapore, involving the smaller players against the more established providers.
Just in January this year, start-ups MyRepublic offered its 1Gbps Ultra broadband package at just SG$49.99 (about RM130) a month, at a time when major players were charging up to SG$499.95 (about RM1290) per month for their respective plans. Naturally, prices began falling after that. Currently, M1 and MyRepublic are offering gigabit Internet broadband for only about SG50 per month, while StarHub has stopped selling its SG$395.90 broadband plan as it prepares to announce a more competitive plan.
Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the country’s biggest ISP, Telekom Malaysia currently offers its Unifi fibre broadband packages that max out at 20Mbps for RM249 a month, while Time Fibre broadband packages offer a 100Mbps package that costs a RM179 a month, but with limited service coverage and a usage quota of only 100GB.
(Source: CNET; Featured image: Aloysius Low @ CNET)