Tuesday, August 26, 2008

unlocked iPhone on M1 or other networks

Well just wanted to share some tips and "settings" information for M1 users who are using the iPhone (or are thinking of using the M1 SIM card in the Singtel iPhone - like me ;) )

- Make sure u have signed up a "mobile internet" sunsurf plan .. or be prepared to have your bill shoot into the stratosphere (a SunSurf 22 with 1GB data at 3.6Mbps is only $22 with $10.70 per GB. Quite reasonable. Can activate online or over phone. Almost immediate activation)
- Make sure u got a 3G SIM card. If you are already using a 3G phone, more than likely you have a 3G SIM card. Your SIM card should also have the word "3G" on it. If not sure, call M1 at 1627 to check.
- In the "Settings>General>Network>Cellular Data Network>" Enter the following:
APN: sunsurf
Username: 65
Password: user123
And voila! ... you are done.
- to check your 3G is working properly, you may turn off "Wifi" ("Settings>Wi-Fi>Off"), and see if you can access the internet via Safari or App Store. You should see a 3G logo at the top right hand corner too when 3G is in use.

So here you go. If you are a lucky chap able to get an unlocked (all Singtel and some countries like Australia) iphone, here's how you get it to run on M1. 

*As for Starhub, I'm sure the tips above apply, except the data network APN, username and password would obviously be different. You can call Starhub for it. Other networks? Just make sure you get those cellular data APN,username and password right.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Singtel iPhone Pricing

Got this latest price leak from the Singapore mac users forums ...

Here's the new Singtel plans for the iphone coming in a few days

Three new data plans (all prices with GST)

iFlexi Value - $56 - 300 MB Data - 200 Mins Outgoing Voice - 500 SMS

iFlexi Plus - $95 - 500 MB Data - 500 Mins Outgoing Voice - 500 SMS

iFlexi Premium - $205 - 1500 MB Data - 1500 Mins Outgoing Voice - 1500 SMS

Additional data usage charged at 1cent for each 2KB extra. These plans also come with 3 value added services free (Voicemail, roaming and Caller ID)

Handset price (varies depending on the price plan)

Plan 8GB 16GB

iFlexi Value $348 (8GB) $508(16GB)

iFlexi Plus $49(8GB) $208(16GB)

iFlexi Premium Free(8GB) Free(16GB)

if you do not want to sign up for the above plans, and want to use your existing voice only plan and add the mobile on broadband plans, then the handset price will be more expensive and you will have to sign either a 24 month or 30 month contract

8GB - $568

16GB - $728

You cannot get the handset without any contract from singtel.

Oh and for those who are planning on taking the route of getting one and then terminating the contract, the penalty is $800!!!


So what are my thoughts?

If the above plans are true and they are not offering unlimited data, these are my conclusions:

- The person who set the pricing in Singtel is obviously a tech turd accountant. He/She probably doesn't even know why iphone is the big deal that it is ...

- they are insulting the intelligence of the customers here

- and those who will buy it are only justifying their cockiness and their actions

- we shld boycott Singtel's packages and make them suffer

- Thank God we have competition (M1 and Starhub should be able to offer their iPhones by Nov)

Update!! 20th-aug-2008
So the Real Prices and Plans have emerged!

Here's the real deal.

SingTel iPhone Price Plans

Free Incoming Voice Calls All Day
  iFlexi Value iFlexi Plus iFlexi Premium
Promotion Subscription $56/mth $95/mth $205/mth
FREE Local Data 1GB* 2GB* 3GB*
FREE Local Calls 200 mins anytime (outgoing) 500 mins anytime (outgoing) 1,500 mins anytime (outgoing)
FREE Local SMS 500 500 1,500
iPhone 3G 8GB $348 $49 $0
iPhone 3G 16GB $508 $208 $0
FREE Value-Added Services Caller ID1



SMS Plus1

Overseas Missed Call Alert
FREE Wireless Free Wireless@SG 512 kbps
Exclusive Benefits Top up $5.35 per month for TalkMore3, SMSMore4 or Free Unlimited V019 calls5
*Only for customers who connect/recontract to an iFlexi plan before 5th Sep 2008.

They have other iOne, ITwo, iThree and student plans which u can also subscribe to, but the above iFlexi plans are specially designed for the iphone. What you can notice is the largest difference are the amount of Data allowable are more generous. Not unlimited, but i am not sure 1GB, 2GB or even 3GB is enough for regular email and surfing use ... dun really track ... anyways ... i think i don't see why M1 or starhub can offer unlimited mobile 1Mbps internet at less than 20 bucks and Singtel can't offer something similar. Even if slightly more expensive, the unlimited data is what I would prefer over a faster Mbps for regular internet and email services. Heck i'll take 512kpbs unlimited over a data cap plan.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What is fair regulation?

Last week, I attended an UMAS (University of Michigan Alumni Singapore) annual dinner and this year's Guest of Honor was Mr Tan Kin Lian, Former CEO NTUC Income.

He is a very passionate man, who believes strongly that NTUC income has crossed the ethical line in dealing with their insurance customer and has written harshly against them before. He also runs a website called THE ONLINE CITIZEN (http://theonlinecitizen.com/)

In the speech he gave, he emphasized that all businesses, not just NTUC, has a responsibility to make profits, but not obscene profits. And if there are obscene profits, they should be responsible to share it with their shareholders/customers. The talk also veered into the concepts of free market competition, and he emphasized that the government should step in to provide certain level of regulations in the market to prevent private firms from "cheating" the customers. Here is a link to an article on his the same issue which was basically the same speech he gave that night (http://theonlinecitizen.com/2008/08/business-ethics-–-honesty-while-making-profits/)

While i appreciate what Mr Tan was driving at, I also want to draw attention to what appears to be a contradiction to what our business education typically preaches. In school, we are taught that all businesses eventually has one goal - to maximize profits. Of course it does not state anything about how and what u should or should not do to attain that goal. Many companies make a lot of profits, and some state that they should not, and many of these arguments are usually pointed towards organizations that have a somewhat "noble" or "socially conscious" purpose. And thus insurance companies are usually ones facing such criticism.

Given the fact that private or government owned companies that make money off of providing a service that is somewhat "socially responsible" in nature, proposition for organizations such as NKF and health insurance being somewhat regulated is justified. And to a certain extent, it is also somewhat the government's responsibility to ensure some form of regulation, should exist to ensure fairplay and encourage healthy competition and innovation within any markets. But they should only exist like a referee within a football match to ensure the game is played fairly. However here lies the biggest problem. What if the referee is not just an independent party but a member who could potentially benefit from either game players' outcome?

We are facing this question in Singapore. And the question here is: given the fact that our Singapore government (the referee) is also a major player in every major industry in Singapore (whether directly via NTUC or somewhat indirectly via some close minister's family ties), who is there to ensure that these companies are working for the people's interests or not? If the referee cannot conduct a game fairly, how can we be sure that the regulations that they put forth, won't be one to pursue their own interests?

While I applaud Mr Tan for his righteousness in wanting to push for ethical business runnings in NTUC, what is to ensure that eveyone in NTUC is equally ethical like him? If (and please note that this is an assumption) a minister in the ruling party has family connections involved in running companies of the likes of say ... NTUC, GIC or Temasek Holdings, would it be unreasonable to say that any government policies that is proposed by this minister could have been for personal gains?

If our country's watchdog (the ruling party) is both the referee and the soccer team, who would want to play?

From a speech by Mdm Halimah Yacob, NTUC ASG & MP for Jurong GRC at the PAP 50 Rally Held on Sunday 5 December 2004 at S’pore Indoor Stadium. With respect to why should NTUC and PAP form such a close bond and if it is good for Singapore, she said "The NTUC wants to secure a better life for workers. The PAP government wants a better life for Singaporeans. So, the NTUC maintains a symbiotic relationship with the PAP to work together for the common good of Singapore." Given the recent accusations that NTUC insurance is "cheating" the customers (Singaporean citizen) and the fact that it is supposed to serve the nation, can we say that the actions and policies of NTUC (or any government linked organizations), as well as the government themselves need to be carefully policed to ensure fairness.

Problem is as a country, we do not have a system where we allow our leaders to be scrutinized properly. Even when it comes to voting, I can only vote within my GRC (if I even get the chance to) for the MPs of the decisions they make, the arguments they put forth etc, but not for the leaders who exact the kind of policies that affect us all like say ... ERP, road tax, GST?

Correction: Mr Tan is not "running" The Online Citizen. But he is one of the senior editors. :) See the comment below

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The World Is Awesome - Boom De Ya Da

My absolute favorite song right now :) ... and it seems even more timely given my travel to Redang tomorrow :)

It kinda makes me wanna .. break into a song :) ... Boom De Ya Da Boom De Ya Da!

I love the mountains
I love the clear blue skies
I love big bridges
I love when great whites fly
I love the whole world
And all its sights and sounds
Boom de yada, boom de yada
Boom de yada, boom de yada

I love the oceans
I love real dirty things
I love to go fast
I love Egyptian kings
I love the whole world
And all its craziness
Boom de yada, boom de yada
Boom de yada, boom de yada

I love tornadoes
I love arachnids
I love hot magma
I love the giant squids
I love the whole world
It’s such a brilliant place…
Boom de yada, boom de yada
Boom de yada, boom de yada