The Complete Guide to Selecting Your Internet Provider in Singapore

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As a restaurant owner or retail owner, you have a number of things to consider; one of them is making sure your internet connection is reliable and fast so that your operations run smoothly. While we have talked about the need for you to upgrade your technology, this post is some practical advice on what internet plans are available to you.

We picked out fibre broadband plans, catered towards multiple stores across the island. Aside from bandwidth, contract terms and installation costs, we have also put together information on discounts for multiple store locations, how their customer service team performed and waiting time for installation. Do note, all options available have the symmetric download and upload speeds. Based on where you are in the island, speeds are different.

We looked at the top 3 internet service providers in Singapore: Singtel, Starhub an M1. We tried contacting other service providers in order to give you a broad set of options, but their customer service lines were facing high volume. So here we are:

Fibre Broadband Bandwidth: Winner – Singtel

Singtel: 100-500 Mbps

Starhub: Upto 250Mbps

M1: 10-200 Mbps

Singtel wins hands down in the bandwidth that they provide. Their BizWifi Enterprise package is catered towards businesses (they mentioned cafes) that want to provide internet services to their customers while also using it for operations.

Price Plans: Winner – Tie between Starhub and M1

Singtel: $250 – 552/month

Starhub: $209/month

M1: $200/month

Starhub and M1 rank equally in terms of competitive pricing.

Installation costs: Winner – Starhub

Singtel: $535 for the 2 year contract, free for 3 year contract

Starhub: Free

M1: $300 for a 2 year contract, but the fee is waived if they install for multiple stores

Starhub clearly wins. Singtel installation costs are pretty heavy if you take the 2 year contract.

Contract Limit: Winner – It’s a tie

Singtel: 2 or 3 year contract

Starhub: 2 year contract

M1: 2 year contract

Waiting Time: Winner – It’s a tie

Singtel: 4-8 weeks based on survey of the establishment

Starhub: 6-8 weeks

M1: 6-8 weeks

This is pretty standard. All three companies survey your establishment to figure out how the connection should be installed.

Customer Service: Winner – M1

Singtel: Good. Very high volume on their corporate line. But they were helpful and polite when they finally received the call.

Starhub: Very good!

M1: Awesome. They suggested emailing a proposal immediately.

MyReupublic: Well, we tried calling them but we were on hold for around 20 minutes

Discount for multiple stores: Winner – M1

Singtel: No

Starhub: No

M1: Yes!

Phone Numbers:

Singtel: 1688

Starhub: 1606

M1: 1622

While the competition is close, it depends on what you are looking for. In terms of bandwidth, Singtel wins. But for everything else, especially pricing, M1 stands out as a winner. For your reference, here are the websites for Singtel, Starhub and M1

We will update this list as we hear from other operators. Like we said, we tried to contact MyRepublic but they were unavailable. Do let us know if you have suggestions!

Rankings on Ease of Doing Business in Southeast Asia

Ease of Doing Business in SE AsiaSoutheast Asia is a hot market for business. There is untapped potential, both in terms of consumer demand and labour markets. With all eyes on Asia, it is important to focus your capital and team where you generate the greatest return on your investment. Which means getting into the details of every country’s laws: ease of setting up a business, access to credit, construction permits, registering property, taxation laws. This can be daunting, not to mention time consuming. Which is why we have come up with a few metrics that will give you a head-start on some high level knowledge on a few chosen countries in SEA.

The countries we have chosen are: Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The metrics we have chosen are from the ease of doing business rankings published by the World Bank Group. They are: overall ease of doing business, starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, paying taxes, enforcing contracts, USD equivalent of a worker in retail/restaurants. For a thorough understanding on how the World Bank Group creates these rankings, you can read the explanation here.The data for rankings and number of procedures has been taken from World Bank Group’s Doing Business publication.

Ease of doing business
Singapore 1
Malaysia 18
Thailand 26
Vietnam 78
The Philippines 95
Indonesia 114

Singapore ranks first on the ease of doing business. This is not surprising. Since its independence, Singapore has positioned itself as a leader in doing business in SEA. By reducing bureaucratic procedures and taking the entire process online, Singapore has lived up to its top position for many years now.

Starting a Business
Singapore 6
Malaysia 13
Thailand 75
Vietnam 125
Indonesia 155
The Philippines 161

This metric is considered by measuring the number of days it takes to start a business. According to the World Bank Group, it takes 3 days to start a business in Singapore while in the Philippines, it takes 34, which gives you a good idea as to why the rankings look like the above. In the Philippines, much of the time is wasted moving from one department to another. It takes 16 independent procedures to start a business.

Dealing with Construction Permits
Singapore 2
Thailand 6
Vietnam 22
Malaysia 28
The Philippines 124
Indonesia 153

Indonesia ranks the lowest. It takes 17 procedures to obtain a construction permit in Indonesia while Singapore requires you to complete 10 procedures.

Getting Electricity
Singapore 11
Thailand 12
The Philippines 16
Malaysia 27
Indonesia 78
Vietnam 135

Vietnam has an average of 10 procedures taking 34 days while Singapore has 4 taking 31 days.

Registering Property
Singapore 24
Thailand 28
Vietnam 33
Malaysia 75
The Philippines 108
Indonesia 117

On average, Indonesia has 5 procedures, taking 25 days, while Singapore has 4 procedures, taking 4.5 days.

Getting Credit
Singapore 17
Thailand 89
Vietnam 36
Malaysia 23
The Philippines 104
Indonesia 71
Paying Taxes
Singapore 5
Malaysia 32
Thailand 62
The Philippines 127
Indonesia 160
Vietnam 173

This statistic is by far the most extreme. The total number of tax payments in Singapore is 5 per year which takes about 82 hours in the year whereas Vietnam has 32 payments per year which takes about 872 hours.

To understand more about taxation laws on some countries in the APAC region, you can read about it here for Singapore and for the Philippines.

Enforcing Contracts
Singapore 1
Thailand 25
Malaysia 29
Vietnam 47
The Philippines 124
Indonesia 172

In Singapore there are 21 procedures for enforcing contracts which takes about 150 days whereas Indonesia has 40 procedures, taking about 451 days.

Corruption Perception Index
Singapore 84
Malaysia 52
Thailand 38
The Philippines 38
Indonesia 34
Vietnam 31

The corruption perception index is a measure of how people within the country view the public sector. The index is relative to every other country on the list. It ranges from 0 (weakest perception) to 100 (cleanest perception).

Considering the countries we have chosen, it is pretty obvious why Singapore stands out. It is one of the most mature markets in SEA. The other countries are still in a developing stage. Singapore stands more as a reference point on these lists. Many of the SEA nations are held back by the large number of bureaucratic procedures and rampant corruption.

In addition to these factors, we should also consider the cost of doing business, in terms of labour, land and capital costs. There is a trade-off between cost and efficiency which we have avoided considering in order to bring out the basic metric of ease of doing business in SEA.

Hope this was helpful and relevant for your business! Watch out for more posts on rankings in SEA.

If you are in need of a payroll solution for your business, check out our Southeast Asia offerings here – PayrollHero.Asia

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