Singapore fixed and mobile operator M1 Limited (M1) has announced that its fourth-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) network will go live nationwide on 15 September, making the carrier the second player – behind rival SingTel Mobile – to offer the service commercially in the city state. Like its rival, M1 intends to reduce the data caps it offers on its new tariff plans from the current level of 12GB, noting that around 80% of users consume less than 2GB, while only 20% need to download in excess of that. However, unlike SingTel Mobile – which levies the same whether a user wants 3G or 4G speeds – M1 is charging its subscribers an extra SGD10.70 (USD8.59) per month if they want LTE speeds. As such a ValueSurf+ plan will cost SGD39 per month for 120 voice minutes, 600 SMS and 2GB of data for a 3G connection, or SGD49.70 for the full-blown LTE service. An ‘unlimited’ MaxSurf+ plan costs SGD208.70 per month for unmetered voice calls, 2,000 SMS and 12GB of data. By way of justification, M1 says that its 1800MHz/2600MHz 4G network covers more areas than its competitor but it stopped short of saying whether or not the extra levy would be reduced once its rival catches up. It says that its LTE network will offer maximum download speeds of 75Mbps (typical speeds, 6.9Mbps-17.4Mbps), rising to 150Mbps once it reclaims the 1800MHz spectrum it is currently using for its GSM service. At launch, M1 is offering four handsets support LTE, namely the HTC One XL, LG Optimus True HD LTE, Samsung Galaxy S II LTE and the Galaxy Note LTE. Meanwhile, SingTel Mobile says its own 1800MHz/2600MHz network is scheduled to cover 95% of Singapore in early 2013.
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