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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

StarHub i-mode trial offer

StarHub i-mode trial offer

I've been chosen to participate in StarHub's i-mode offer.

Aside 1: As far as I can tell, for all intents and purposes, i-mode is similar to 3G, except that it could be proprietary. If my guess is correct, then i-mode is to 3G what the old AOL and CompuServe are to the Internet.

So here's the $(188+617.40) question: do I buy an NEC phone (which lacks Bluetooth data transfer!) and sign up for a new two-year contract just to enjoy free i-mode services for two to seven months? My current SingTel subscription runs out in seven months and I've had my mind set on jumping onto the 3G bandwagon just so I can surf the Web on-the-go (e.g. to check the online bus guide or find a map (assuming it works)).

Aside 2: For the life of me, I cannot figure out how 3G costs are calculated by SingTel or StarHub. At least M1 provides some nice tables.

After doing the math, I'm leaning more towards the "forget about it" side.

Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

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Update (3 Nov): In the end, I decided not to get it. I just couldn't justify the two-year contract subscription.

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22 comments:

Garbage Gia said...

Get the phone. I tried the demos today and they are amazingly fast. 3G is better for banking needs. Otherwise, the 2.5G serves the websurf needs. U need a slight orientation though. Because the navigations are different.

Cookie said...

wah.... how come it seems like they only send such invites to the Tech-ies? Hehehe... Yew Jin also got..

If it were me, I wudn't get it too... The initial prices "offers" are only to lure u into their trap! Sure to end up over-spending... =p

sassyjan said...

i did some calculation and realise it was not very 划算 so decided to forgo it.

the phone oso not beri chio lorrrr

Musashi said...

Dude, imode and 3G are 2 dif hings... imode is a service that runs on 3G, 2.5G, CDMA you name it...
but besides that, 3G is a damn cool thingy... get your 3g phone connected to you notebook (via bluetooth or cable) and you're talking about true mobility. Browse, IM, write blogs, from MRT, buss, caffee, school, office.. ROCKS!!!

Yuhui said...

Garbage Gia: I don't surf the web even on 2.5G 'cos the speed is super slow (right?). I'll have to see what i-mode has before deciding on whether to sign on or not.

Hyper^ger, Sassyjan: Yup, it's all about the bait-and-trap!

Musashi: Ok, I need to learn more about i-mode. So it's a service that runs on any phone service? But ya, if 3G is the equivalent of getting onto the regular ol' Internet, then I think it's more worth it too.

Musashi said...

unfortunatly u'll need a imode phone to use the imode services. That means change your phone & get an imode subscription. Preferably an 3G phone so that the speed is high (damn high! - i browse at 384Kbs, whcih is more or less your broadband speed) .. now the bad news: there arent many phones out there with imore & 3g. for now starhub sells the NEC 600i but more are to come soon.... (hopefully very soon)

Garbage Gia said...

Oh it's way faster than GPRS. You got to try the demos at the event! I got swayed convincingly. Now jus moving ahead everyday with the new i-mode. I got a samsung instead. With the free phone wrap the phones didn't look that bad. Afterall, content is more important than looks?

Seth said...

imode originated from Japan. It is a set of services that enable your phone to work as a credit card and locating someone in Japan whenever he plays at a certain arcade game.

I am not sure what services Starhub offers but like all new technologies, you might want to wait a bit and see how it goes.

Musashi said...

let's break the myth... there's no "new technology" behind imode, just a new service and a damn smart bussiness model.
the credit card functionality (along with other cool services) are sold toghter with imode phones but not part of the imode itself. we're talking about felica, foma and other term that are related but not identical to imode...

Anonymous said...

get the samsung model. The 188 NEC model is the slowest among the three.

vicott said...

If I'm not wrong, only the subscription fees are waived during the trial period. That means u still have to pay for the usage charges! You better clarify with them about that cos the usage charges may well cost alot more than the intended subscription rate if you really start using it. IMO, the phones aren't that attractive (in both specs & design) other than the Samsung one.

Actually, StarHub and SingTel also have info on their GPRS/3G rates on their websites. If you go without data plans, the rate (charged by KBs) is higher. To make it simple, internet on the go isn't cheap in S'pore. In the US, unlimited GPRS plans are dirt cheap. Sighz

spikeman said...

for the trial period, you enjoy free subscription to content like ST, BT, BBC and CNN news. You can also download some free java (doja) games like Street Fighter, etc. The data traffic is also free during the trial.

Yuhui said...

Musashi, Anonymous: The 3G phone that they offer for trial is sold out!

Garbage Gia: Yes, content is king, but money is, well, deity.

Seth: Hmm, good point. What services are in StarHub's i-mode?

Musashi: So what you're saying is that i-mode is just hype?

Vicott: Thanks. I gotta do more research now.

Spikeman: I know the data traffic is free during the trial period. I specified that in my entry. Tell me something I don't know.

spikeman said...

well, good things about i-mode:

1. i-mode pages are less than 10k. That's why they load faster. Reading is a breeze, plus the breaking news alert from ST inform you via email each time something happens.

2. i-mode email, which is based on http standards can support sending mails to 5 users. That beats sending the same SMS 5 times and getting 5 different replies.

3. i-mode Content is based on monthly subscription, not per download. That's so much more affordable.

Minuses:

1. Phone variety not appealing

2. Cannot use the phone as a GSM modem

3. Phone function takes a little while to get use to

Yuhui said...

Spikeman: Thanks for the pointers. But everyone uses SMS! And in the end, it's all about subscriptions, which means $$$. *haiz*

todaealas said...

i-mode is currently new in Singapore, and I'll recommend you to get 3G. Singtel's 3G services are better than Starhub and M1. Although the prices are somewhat the same, Singtel's 3G charges is $3.50 per MB, while Starhub and M1 is $5.00 per MB.

Yuhui said...

Todaealas: Yeah, I think 3G is a better bet too.

Musashi said...

Yuhui: just hype? neah.. works in japan for more than 5 years.. but what i'm saying is that imode is no technological magic but just a clevely packaged service (pay per content, pay per tarffic, pay subscription, pay new phone.. u get what i mean..)

Spikeman:

1. Phone variety not appealing :: More to come - see O2 website!

2. Cannot use the phone as a GSM modem - wrong! it can and it ROCKS! 348Kbs coonection on your lapton WHERE EVER YOU ARE!!!

3. Phone function takes a little while to get use to :: duh! which new phone doesnt take a while to get used to?

kachuaz said...

forget it. get pre paid~ keke...

Anonymous said...

You can view the interfaces at http://www.ocworkbench.com/news.stm
They use a Samsung S410i

Darius said...

ello everyone.

How about we make i-mode services available on Symbian phones?

i.e. no need to buy a new handset and sign a new contract, just download and it will work on your current Symbian phones.

Would you like that?

( A list of symbian phones: http://www.symbian.com/phones/ )

Juyyo said...

How about in year 2016?

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