Singapore fixed and mobile operator StarHub has revealed plans to begin charging for its Long Term Evolution (LTE) ‘4G Speed Boost’ service on most ‘SmartSurf’ tariff plans from 1 June this year, meaning subscribers who still want to use 4G will have to pay SGD2.14 (USD1.71) a month for the service. TodayOnline reports that the changes will apply to the operator’s SmartSurf Lite, Value, Premium and Elite plans, but not to those customers subscribed to its SmartSurf HD product. Further, the company’s web site announcement classes the SGD2.14 fee as a promotional rate, and suggests that it may increase the price to SGD10.70 a month at a later time. StarHub originally unveiled 4G Speed Boost service when it first launched LTE-based mobile services in 2012, subsequently extending the ‘free’ period from March till December last year. A spokesperson for the operator says that StarHub is taking steps to ensure that its customers are aware of the changes being implemented and that they will be given ample opportunity to unsubscribe from 4G Speed Boost if they wish.
StarHub’s two domestic rivals in the city-state’s 4G segment M1 and SingTel Mobile have yet to follow suit in terms of charging for LTE. The former states that its ‘4G VAS’ (i.e. value added service) will remain free until December 2014, while SingTel states only that its rival ‘4G Value Added Service’ offer will be free until it so determines otherwise. Both companies also state a SGD10.70 per month figure as their ‘usual’ asking price.