Telco Wars: Zero1

The first thing when I turn on the PC to look at the latest IT news and the first thing I saw was the launch of Zero1. What caught my eye? $19 launch price of their Telco communication package.

For the busy people out there here is the low down and my take.

  • There’s another Zero MVNO ( In my books it is really a marketing failure.
  • The $19 price (and free registration and SIM card) will be for the first 3000 pre-registered customers (this information is not shared in the website). After that will go to $29.
  • It will have 200 minutes of talk time and 200 SMS. This is a plus actually although to me is not the main consideration for most people because of the use of Telegram and WhatsApp.
  • Want to find their website? Newspaper also didn’t say. They just provide a link (seriously?!). It is
  • No contract
  • No handset sale
  • First 3GB at full 4G Speed. Afterwards, it will be throttled. So if you are someone who plays VainGlory or Mobile Combat 5 while on the go, having your connection throttled will be a nail biting experience at the wrong time. If you are uncles or aunties who just read and update Facebook via text then this is something to consider. However this is not how you market “unlimited”. Throttling just gave a very bad user experience overall if not well managed.
  • The whole website is red in colour and the website keep alluding to the “leading local mobile operator and share the biggest and best mobile network in Singapore”. There can only be one – SingTel. Why they don’t just say it out loud in FAQ is just skirting the issue. Make it clear please! And yes Newspaper mentioned it is SingTel.
  • No direct international calls except through Zone’s 1511 service. For the rest of us, Telegram and WhatsApp works okay. The direct international calls will start in June 2018.
  • If you want roaming, you need to pay for the $199 Qongle device. This should be quite similar to the Router you rent from Airports so there is a pre-arranged back-end system running. You still have to pay the roaming rates but I reckoned that it won’t be as expensive as the ridiculous roaming charges we have now. Me? Just buy the local SIM card lah. Even my last Japan trip I have 5GB for $30 bought off Qoo10. Worth it or not depends on your usage pattern but I am definitely not happy to have any gadget with me while traveling when I have Camera, Drone and Phone to bring for my Travel Photography Assignment trips.
  • The old number MAY NOT be retained. I guess if you are already with SingTel the transition won’t be drastic.
  • At this point there is no loyalty program. I am an advocate for good customer retention programs. And no, 100 dollars re-contract vouchers, meal vouchers and birthday cakes don’t cut it. Again too early to tell. The best customer loyalty program is still circles life.
  • Will launch in March 2018.

More competition = more innovation is always welcomed. The information I have above is based on reading off the website, newspaper and a bit of creative thinking + reading between the lines. So let’s just see how this pans out.

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