Singapore ISPs Launch New Salvos

Singapore’s Internet service providers are back in hot competition again, this time emerging with innovative bundling and
aggressive recruitment schemes to bolster their positions.

Nasdaq-listed Pacific Internet Ltd. fired the latest salvo
by tying unlimited Internet access to a free PC this week, a move
which analysts say is expected to boost its already set pole
position in the domestic market.

The company has launched a scheme to provide unlimited
Internet access together with a free PC in conjunction with local
computer manufacturer Neat Technology Pte. Ltd. New subscribers will just
have to make a one-time, up-front payment of S$1,500 (US$882) and the
unlimited access runs for a period of 15 months.

A company spokeswoman said the offer works out to S$100 (US$59)
per month, which its existing users already pay for unlimited access.
Hence, when they sign up for 15 months, they basically get the PC,
valued at S$1,300 (US$765) , free, she said. The company’s offer starts
Friday (today) and will run for a period of six months.

The deal was approved by Telecommunication Authority of
Singapore
, the country’s regulatory agency.

The spokeswoman added that the latest offer is expected to
boost its subscriber base by another 1,000 users a month, up from the
current run-rate of 800 users. Moreover, the commitment by Pacific
Internet to tie up with other PC makers will make its deals more
attractive and offer users more choices in the coming months, she
said.

Also, the Internet joint venture between Singapore Press
Holdings Ltd.
and Keppel Telecom, which is currently awaiting its
license from the authorities, has gone on a recruitment spree. The
company took out a huge advertisement in the local daily papers
recently, looking for staff in web designing, sales and systems
engineering.

A Keppel Telecom spokesman said that the joint venture has
already hired about 20 staff and is evaluating the candidate to
head the new venture. The joint venture has said that it plans to
expand in the ISP market in southeast Asia and China.

In response to these moves, Cyberway Pte Ltd., one of
Singapore’s smaller ISPs, said it plans to launch attractive
offers to woo customers compared with current offers in the market.
The company said it will release details soon.

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