Another dot in the blogosphere?

Testing MyRepublic’s telco offering

Posted on: May 20, 2018

I was pleasantly surprised on Wednesday to receive an email invitation to get an early bird plan with Singapore’s latest telco.

I had all but forgotten about MyRepublic’s bid to be a telco. Another entity, TPG, even beat it to be Singapore’s fourth telco. I left my contact information to be part of a MyRepublic trial about two years ago and that seed just bore “promo codes” fruit.

At the moment, the new telco has just two plans at bracket extremes:

MyRepublic's two initial plans.

I presume that when they launch, the blanks in between will be filled with plans Dos, Tres, Cuatro, etc.

The cheap Uno plan caught my eye and raised an eyebrow. What was “boundless data”? Apparently this is throttled data access for low-bandwidth tasks after I exceed my quota. MyRepublic promises that I will still be able to “surf the web, check email, use Google Maps, chat, make WhatsApp calls — even stream music”. I will have to see if that is actually true.

Before I signed up, I read the online information and FAQs. What I could not find information on was:

  • Did it charge for “extras” like caller ID?
  • Would I be able to port an existing mobile number over?
  • How long would the process of signing up and getting the SIM in my phone take exactly?

The only way to get answers was to use a promo code to get to the sign up pages.

After I selected a plan, the next page was a confirmation of my selection plus options for data add-ons.

One of MyRepublic's sign up pages.

I then provided personal and contact information. I had to upload scans of my NRIC to confirm my identify.

Finally I was given the option to port a post-paid mobile number over or to select a new one. I also found out at this stage that caller ID was included.

I completed the online sign-up last night and have scheduled a delivery in about 2.5 weeks. It is a shame that MyRepublic does not have SIM stores or kiosks like it has for its broadband service. If it did, I might sign up and get a SIM in 2.5 hours instead of weeks.

That said, the confirmation process was automated and quick. It took all of a minute after I submitted the online form to receive an email confirmation.

Observation: What incumbent telcos charge for as frills, e.g., caller ID, are given as defaults by the new telco. MyRepublic also seems to recognise that always-on data is the norm, not the exception. I also look forward to using an app to manage the mobile plan.

Note: I have not been approached or paid by MyRepublic to write this. I plan on trying the new service out for a low cost of $8 and will use it largely for gaming and messaging data. The real test of the service is yet to come!

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