SingTel – BT

SingTel ups the ante with new gaming service

It plans to win more fibre-optic broadband customers

SINGAPORE Telecommunications (SingTel) is stepping up its game in a bid to snag more fibre-optic broadband customers with the launch of a new service that allows consumers to play the latest Playstation and Xbox titles without ever buying these gaming consoles.

As previously reported by BT, the operator’s new offering is delivered to subscribers via the Next-Generation NBN (National Broadband Network), an ultra high-speed Internet highway that is set to reach all households by the end of next year.

SingTel has partnered with Israel and UK-based Playcast Media Systems to introduce the new Internet-based offering, which ranks among the first batch of services to take advantage of the massive bandwidth boost that comes with fibre-optic broadband access.

By paying a monthly fee of $9.99 or a single-day charge of $1.99, subscribers can access a library of console games from major publishers including Capcom, Disney and THQ.

Among the 24 flag bearers are games such as Street Fighter 4 and Toy Story 3. Up to three new titles will be added each month, SingTel said.

Consumers can try the company’s new ‘ESC’ service for free until the end of the month.

From May, customers can also choose to have it bundled with SingTel’s basic 50 Mbps (megabits per second) fibre-optic package for $66.90.

According to SingTel Singapore CEO Allen Lew, the new offering requires broadband speeds of at least 10Mbps.

This means consumers who are on older ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) and cable broadband packages will also be able to subscribe to the service.

However, the gaming experience will be better for those on higher-speed fibre-optic plans, he told reporters in a briefing yesterday.

Subscribers will be able to play the games on their television sets through SingTel’s set-top box. By downloading a small piece of software, they can also be accessed through laptops and desktop computers.

In an interview with BT last month, SingTel’s executive vice-president of its consumer group Yuen Kuan Moon claimed an early lead in the nascent fibre-optic broadband market. He said SingTel’s market share in this emerging segment is estimated to be around 50 per cent.

Last Friday, rival M1 revealed it has nearly one-third of the 16,000-strong customer base for fibre-optic Internet packages in Singapore.

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