TPG trial – after the first 11 months

Readers who have been following the site will know that our passion for telcos. TPG, being the 4th MNO to enter the Singapore market really shoke the industry in the past 11 months.

Beginning in Jan 2019, TPG started accepting trial users. When news broke, many were still confused. Why is it that it can offer a 12 months free trial. Many were skeptical. We took the plunge and managed to login in and register online. There were days and weeks of downtime as the response was overwhelming. Wannabe trial users will refresh the site and hope to be able to login to register for 4 SIMs per person (later changed to 2 and back to 4 lately)

TPG setting their collection centres at the void deck of a HDB block. It was quite shocking as it seems a bit unprofessional. There were also user reports that police were called in as masses gathered under the void deck.

Things changed for the better when they start distributing SIM card at one of the shopping mall in Orchard Road.

If you reall, we went around doing speedtests and was quite surprised by the speed. In fact, 60 to 80 Mbps was easily achievable at least from the usual places I visit. The only complain till today, after 11 months is the zero reception in the tunnels of the MRT station.

While everyone was happy to get a free data line which offers 60 GB per month, (2 GB at 4G speeds thereafter at 1 Mbps), the SIM couldn’t make phone calls as it lacks a 3G voice network. This started working when some members found a way to enable VoLTE on the devices. Huawei joined in and released a few newer models e.g. Nova 3i which supported VoLTE. Samsung only started to support it around mid June. Apple iPhone X and 11 series started to work when users update their iOS to 13.1.3 and above.

Although there was like 20 to 30 devices that officially support VoLTE for Voice calls. Most of the other brands or older 4G phones are still unable to make or receive voice calls.

This was only resolved as early December when TPG introduced the TPG voice app that you can install on your android smartphone.

TPG also introduced something exciting for the trial users. That is data roaming in Malaysia, Indonesia and India. Malaysia and Indonesia were launched a few months back. This was well accepted by many readers as it saves them data and voice roaming costs. They can data roam at 384 Kbps in Malaysia (was 1 Mbps) and 1 Mbps for Indonesia and India. They can also make calls to Singapore numbers without paying a single cent either through supported VoLTE handsets or the TPG app.’

In addition, TPG also enable free streaming of Mediacorp radio app MeRadio and TV app Toggle.sg. With that you can stay close to home with updates on news and entertainment while on the go.

So, 11 mths have passed and TPG sent out notice that they are extending the trial for another month. That is to say, early users will have the trial extended from Jan 2020 to Feb 2020. It is still not known if TPG will continue the trial.

There are tell tale signs that TPG is almost ready to launch anytime early next year. To acquire customers, they will have to work out the coverage issues in the MRT tunnels, shopping malls and rural areas. How is TPG going to price their plans to lure users to port over from the 3 MNOs and 11 MVNOs ? We will have to wait and see.

What works

  • Voice calls using VoLTE capable phones
  • Voice calls using TPG voice app
  • Data and Voice Roaming in Malaysia, Indonesia and India

What doesn’t work

  • Coverage in MRT, tunnels
  • Low upload speed
  • Calling Ported 6 series fibre braodband phone numbers