Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fiber Internet aka NGN in Singapore

Recently I got a call from Myrepublic a new entrant in to the NGN market. They claim that they are quite different from existing players and also they do not cap international bandwidth. Even the local news papers published their stories and blogs/forums were abuzz with this claims.

Though I am not against them I still believe the 'value' of Infrastructure lies with the  organization rather than pure technical play. I am happy with my existing Fiber plan (SGD 29/50Mbps from M1).

Faq from Myrepublic

Now my feedback about these claims,

1. How is MyRepublic’s Network different from other major consumer ISPs in Singapore
All major ISPs in Singapore provide both consumer and large corporate Internet services. They tend to prioritize large corporates over consumer and small business users

My View: Not entirely accurate. Both SingTel + SH maintains separate networks for Corporate & Consumers from access to core. While any operator/SP prefer business customers the claim that they prefer at the cost of residential is not quite accurate.

2. What kind of international experience can I expect?
We DO NOT discriminatively cap/rate-limit/shape/throttle per subscriber for international bandwidth, unlike other ISPs.

My View: First, I see they are offering their services to SME's which makes this claim a bit dubious.Still, the problem is not 'cap/rate-limit/shape' but in essence the "over subscription" model. Today the international bandwidth (so called connectivity with content in US) costs ~ SGD 60/Mbps/Month. So if you are getting the impression that with MyRepublic you can get full speed from Youtube/NetFlix you'll be wrong. There is no way they can pay SGD 6000 to international bandwidth and charge you SGD 60 :).

The business model is very simple. Operator buy 100Mbps @ SGD 6000. They sell to 200 people (example only. In reality some operators sell to 150 or some to 300 or 500. Typically is 1:20-40) and get SGD 12,000 in revenue. So the profit is 6000. As simple as that.

For example if you see the entire Singapore international bandwidth is 24 Gbps in 2005 (source: nationmaster). This figure includes consumer+corporate+educational. I couldn't get the breakdown and take this as the residential number.

Assuming a 500% growth it'll be 120 Gbps in 2011.Although mMy experience with the local ISP's tells me a much lower number, we'll stick to this number.

Now we've 1.235 million residential connections as per IDA. Assuming the average subscription plan is 5 Mbps we should ideally have 6,175 Gbps bandwidth or ~ 6 Tbps bandwidth.

ISP sold local bandwidth = 6,175 Gbps
ISP actual international bandwidth = 120 Gbps.
Oversubscription = 50x.

The problem with MyRepublic claim" no capping of international bandwidth" doesn't really helps as it all in the actual international bandwidth they have and the number of lines sold locally.
The best part I like from MyRepublic is "no contract". Personally this is what I hate the most with existing players and I wish I can get it in the future from these operators.

Anyway, in conclusion, I still prefer to stick with the existing operators due to the

* Service/Support
* Bundling/Ease of managing my entire communication lines
* Reliability

For the actual speeds and performance you may refer to IDA published information.


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