04 Mar

M1 to be delisted

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s smallest telco, M1, will be delisted from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) after March 18.  This was after local conglomerate Keppel Corporation and media company Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), through a joint company, bought out Malaysian telecommunications company Axiata Group’s 28.7 per cent stake in M1, giving them majority control.

TODAY looks back at the history of Singapore’s second telco, and the twists and turns that led to its upcoming delisting.

1997 — M1 launches operations in Singapore. Made up of Keppel, SPH, Cable & Wireless and Hong Kong Telecom, the company secures 10 per cent of the market share, or 35,000 subscribers, within its first month.

2000 — Singapore’s third telco, Starhub, enters the telecom market.

2001 — M1 introduces Singapore’s first international roaming pre-paid card.

2002 — M1 becomes a public listed company in December. By then, it had amassed one-third of the market share, which amounted to about one million subscribers, and was valued at between S$1.2 billion and S$1.5 billion, making it the biggest share offering since 1999.  It opened its initial public offering at S$1.25.

2005 — Axiata pays S$260.8 million for a 12.1 per cent stake in M1.

2014 — M1 launches Singapore’s first nationwide 4G network.

2015 — M1 shares hit a high of S$3.99 in March. It also posted a 6.6 per cent rise in its net profit in the first quarter for that year, buoyed by a surge in handset sales.

2016 — The mobile scene in Singapore starts to crowd, with virtual telco Circles.Life launching in May and Australian telco, TPG Telecom, winning the bid to become the fourth telco in Singapore.

That September, Axiata expresses interest in raising its stake in M1 to expand its presence in the region. In an interview with Bloomberg, the chief executive officer of Axiata Jamaludin Ibrahim said: “Strategically, it will be good for us to increase the stake. If the price is right, we will seriously consider it.”

An increased stake in M1 would have allowed Axiata to deepen its foothold in South and South-east Asia. The company owns telco operators in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia.

2017 — With M1’s shares almost halving in value since 2015 as a result of increased competition in the market, Reuters reports in April that M1’s shareholders — SPH, Keppel and Axiata — have approached China Mobile to sell their majority stake in the company.

There were also media reports that Chinese companies Shanxi Meijin Energy and China Broadband Capital were preparing to make separate bids for M1. However, none of the deals materialised.

June 2018 — Local internet service provider MyRepublic enters the telecom space as a virtual telco. Check out MyRepublic mobile plans here!

2018 — By September, M1’s share price has dropped by almost 60 per cent since its high in 2015 and in October it reports a 5.5 per cent drop in net profit for the third quarter from the same period a year before.

Analysts point to an increasingly competitive market in Singapore and a saturated market as reasons for M1’s poor business performance.

In September, Keppel and SPH offer to buy shares that they did not already own in M1, saying in a statement that the move was to “arrest the decline in M1 shareholder value through a combination of transformational efforts which are expected to take several years”.

Valuing M1 at S$1.9 billion, SPH and Keppel say that the deal would allow M1 to cooperate further with other Keppel units and allow SPH to provide digital content through M1’s mobile platform.

Dec 2018 — Keppel and SPH announce their “firm intention” to make a voluntary general offer of S$2.06 per share of M1 shares that they do not own.  The cash offer is 26 per cent more than M1’s last price on Sept 21 before the stock was halted from trading.

Jan 2019 — Keppel and SPH launch a voluntary general offer and say that they will not increase the price of the bid “under any circumstances whatsoever”.

Feb 15, 2019 — After Axiata’s acceptance of the offer, Keppel’s chief executive Loh Chin Hua says in a press release that obtaining majority control is the “first step” to enhancing M1’s competitiveness in the telecommunications landscape.

“We are very pleased that we will, together with SPH, be in a position to steer M1 during this critical period in its journey. The increasingly challenging and competitive market conditions in the Singapore telecommunications sector requires M1 to take bold steps to transform.”

Feb 27, 2019 — Keppel and SPH gain 90.15 per cent, or 835.1 million, of M1’s shares.

To be listed on the stock exchange, the total number of shares in a company that is issued to the public must be at least 10 per cent.  With M1 no longer meeting this requirement, it will be delisted from the SGX.

Article first sighted on Today.

30 Nov

TVB Anywhere X MyRepublic

Watch the latest TVB dramas with TVB Anywhere Premium at only $4.98/mth (U.P. $5.98/mth)!

Lower Subscription Fees

Enjoy a special subscription of $4.98/mth (U.P. $5.98/mth)

One Bill

Enjoy the convenience of viewing your TVB and internet subscription in one simple bill

No Contract Required

No minimum contract means absolute freedom! Cancel anytime you wish to.

FAQs

TVB Anywhere is TVB’s legitimate over-the-top (OTT) service exclusively for Singapore audience offering an enormous archive of classic and latest TVB programs. For more info on the App, you may refer to this website (https://www.tvbanywhere.com.sg/)

You may download “TVB Anywhere SG” application via Google Play or Apple App store.

As long as your Operating system is iOS 9.1 or above or Android 5.0 or above, you are able to use TVB Anywhere SG application.

Unfortunately, the application is only available via the TVB Anywhere app on mobile devices (phone/ tablet) at this moment. You can cast your mobile device onto your compatible TV if required.

Yes, normal data consumption will be applicable as per your mobile plan.

You may sign up to “TVB Anywhere Premium” as a Value-Added Service, when you apply for our mobile or broadband service. Signing up is easy, simply go to http://order.fibrebb.sg for broadband plans or http://order.fibrebb.sg/mobile for mobile plans.

For existing customers, you may add-on TVB Anywhere Premium via MyAccount. Application for TVB Anywhere Premium will take up to 2 working days

You will receive your login credential via email from TVB in 1 to 2 working days after your service is activated.

If your service is already activated or you are our existing customer, you may check your junk/spam mailbox as the email with your credential may have landed there.

Alternatively, you may also try to reset your password on the “TVB Anywhere SG” application, a new password will be sent to your registered email address.

There will be no difference in content offering for the TVB Anywhere Premium. However, MyRepublic customers will be able to enjoy direct billing on your MyRepublic bill, as well as a special rate of $4.98/mth for mobile/ broadband subscribers. For a limited time period till 31 December 2018, MyRepublic customers can also enjoy 3 months of subscription free.

MyRepublic broadband customers can also sign up the 1Gbps fibre broadband with TVB Anywhere Premium bundle, where they can enjoy 24 months access of TVB Anywhere Premium at no additional cost.

MyRepublic mobile and broadband subscribers may add on the TVB Anywhere Premium as a Value-added service, and enjoy 3 months free subscription, $4.98/mth applies thereafter. Promotion is valid till 31 December 2018.

MyRepublic broadband customers can also sign up the 1Gbps fibre broadband with TVB Anywhere Premium bundle, where they can enjoy 24 months access of TVB Anywhere Premium at no additional cost.

You may terminate your subscription via MyAccount. The request will take up to 2 working days and you may check the Account Expiry date via the TVB Anywhere App, under “Account”.

Yes, you may subscribe to TVB Anywhere Premium (via MyRepublic) via MyAccount or sign up online. We will require up to 2 working days to activate the TVB Anywhere Premium (after your mobile/ broadband order is completed), and you will receive an activation email from TVB once the request is successful. Your login and password will be the same since you already have a TVB Anywhere account.

If you wish to switch your TVB Anywhere Premium billing to MyRepublic, you will need to cancel the subscription on Google Play/ App Store, and subscribe to TVB Anywhere Premium via MyRepublic MyAccount. Application will take up to 2 working days.

Do try to uninstall/ install your TVB Anywhere application to try. If you are still not able to use TVB Anywhere Application, do drop an email to cs@tvbanywhere.com.sg and TVB will get back to you in 3 working days. 

Yes you can! You may use the same credential on different devices (mobile phone and tablet only). You can watch up to a maximum of 3 simultaneous viewing. 

TVB Anywhere currently supports Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and English displays (subjected to availability).

14 Nov

Fibre Services outage

SINGAPORE – A fibre broadband service disruption in the eastern part of Singapore on Wednesday afternoon (Nov 14) has affected about 10,000 customers and some of them might get services back after only more than 24 hours.

In a statement on Wednesday night, NetLink Trust – the country’s fibre broadband network builder – said that services will be progressively restored by late Thursday afternoon.

It first received reports of a fibre service interruption at around 2.50pm. This means some customers might be without fibre broadband services – which includes Wi-Fi Internet connection – for more than 24 hours.

The outage affected users of all three major telcos and Internet service provider MyRepublic.

NetLink Trust said that the interruption was caused by a third-party contractor which severed a number of fibre cables while performing construction works along Tampines Avenue 9.

The network builder deployed its recovery team onsite and fibre service restoration is underway. It is also working with relevant parties to restore services to all affected areas, which includes the vicinity around Pasir Ris, Tampines, Changi and Loyang.

It urged affected customers to monitor NetLink Trust’s website at www.netlinktrust.com for updates.

Earlier in the day, Singtel, StarHub, M1 and MyRepublic posted on their Facebook pages that users in some areas like Tampines and Pasir Ris might experience difficulties accessing fibre Internet services, including Wi-Fi, television and phone services.

Singtel also said that some of its Wi-Fi hot spots on the island were affected, but these services have since been fully restored, according to an update at 6.46pm.

But fibre broadband, fixed voice and Singtel TV services in the north-eastern part of Singapore services remain affected.

Some netizens said that areas like Punggol and Sengkang were also affected by the fibre broadband downtime.

Housewife Kendra Koh, 26, a StarHub customer who lives in Pasir Ris, said she began experiencing difficulties connecting to Wi-Fi at around 3pm. She eventually had to buy unlimited mobile data for one day from another mobile service provider for one of her two cellphones so that she could connect her Internet TV set to the phone’s wireless hot spot.

“This is not the first time that this has happened. It has happened at least a couple of times recently and it’s quite ridiculous,” said Ms Koh.

Telco regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that it is aware that a cable cut incident resulted in the service disruption to fixed-line telecom services to users in some eastern parts of Singapore such as Tampines.

“IMDA is investigating the incident and has asked affected service providers to restore services expeditiously,” he said.

In an update at 9.18pm, StarHub said that as a gesture of goodwill and appreciation, it will offer affected fibre customers a $10 rebate on their December bill.

Singtel also said that it would follow up with affected customers to waive their local mobile data charges until services are restored.

At 7.15am on Thursday morning, M1 said in a statement on its Facebook page that about half of its affected customers had their services restored.

As of 9.49am, Singtel said that progressive restoration of the affected broadband services was at 80 per cent. It also added that all fixed voice services had been restored by 2am.

StarHub said at 10.50am that NetLink Trust had restored approximately 80 per cent of the affected underground fibre cables serving its customers.

Article first sighted on The Straits Times.

25 Oct

Starhub outage

SINGAPORE — StarHub has yet to determine the root cause of the disruptions faced by its customers on Saturday (Oct 22) and again on Monday, but said there were similarities between the two incidents.

The Cyber Security Agency (CSA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) also said the possibility of a cyberattack cannot be ruled out. In a joint statement, the CSA and IMDA said: “We have been paying close attention to developments as it happened on the heel of Friday’s attack against the US-based Domain Name System service provider, Dyn. We cannot rule out the possibility that this was a DDOS attack. What is important now is for StarHub to determine the root cause of the problem and prevent a recurrence.”

A  distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack typically occurs when multiple systems flood the bandwidth of a targeted system.

StarHub said in a separate statement on Tuesday that the disruption on Monday night was due to a spike in data traffic to their Domain Name Servers (DNS), and as such affected “some of our home broadband customers”. It added that the service was fully restored at about 11.25pm the same day.

“There was no impact on mobile, enterprise and home voice services, and the security of our customers’ information was not compromised,” StarHub said.

The IMDA is working with StarHub to investigate the matter, and strengthen its infrastructure and processes.

Other telcos have been advised to step up their defences in case there are similar disruptions to their systems. The CSA is also “studying and addressing the risks of DDoS attacks on our communications systems, as well as the measures to mitigate the impact of such attacks if they happen. CSA will also reach out to educate the public and businesses on the need to properly secure their systems”, the statement added.

Frustrated StarHub fibre broadband users were unable to connect to the Internet on Monday night, the second such disruption in three days.

From about 10pm on Monday, users had posted on StarHub’s Facebook page complaining of the service disruption. According to users, areas affected included Toa Payoh, Ghim Moh and Tanah Merah.

StarHub said on Facebook at 10.40pm that that it was aware that “some broadband customers” have been facing difficulties. “We are looking into this right now, and will post updates here as soon as we can,” the telco added. StarHub later updated that a network equipment issue had affected residential broadband service since about 10pm on Monday. The issue was rectified at 11.20pm, and the telco was investigating the root cause of the incident.

Facebook user Stephen Lam wrote: “Thanks for acknowledg(ing) that you are aware of the issue. Now please get it fix at the soonest, while I understand technical issue could be unpredictable but it is very annoying to experience disruption twice in 72 hours.”

According to figures on downdetector.sg, which offers a realtime overview of status information and outages for digital services, the number of outage reports peaked at more than 3,400 at close to 11pm on Monday.

On Saturday, StarHub broadband users were plagued by similar issues. The outage was rectified the next day at 2am. StarHub said on Facebook that the outage was due to “a network equipment issue”.

Article first sighted on Today.

19 Oct

Singtel mobile disruption

Many Singtel mobile users found themselves unable to make calls or access the Internet last night.

Customers took to Singtel’s Facebook page to complain about service disruptions in areas such as Jurong, Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Woodlands, Sengkang and Potong Pasir.

Singtel said in an update on its Facebook page at about 11.30pm: “We are experiencing some mobile network issues. Our engineers are investigating and we will provide updates as more information comes in. Thank you for your patience.”

At least 200 posts complaining about the lack of calling, text messaging and 4G data services were made since about 10pm.

In a post, user Jess Woo said she had tried to restart her phone multiple times in the last hour. “Till now no response or official updates from Singtel on their page”, she added at the time, before Singtel’s post.

UPDATE on 20-10-18

A power-related issue was behind a disruption to Singtel’s mobile services that affected many users islandwide for more than three hours from around 10pm on Thursday.

The Straits Times understands that it was an internal power issue.

Apologising for the service disruption, the telco said in an update on Facebook at 1.20am yesterday that it detected issues with mobile voice and data services on its 3G and 4G network at 10.11pm.

“Initial investigations indicate that this was due to a power-related issue. Affected services have been progressively restored from 11.50pm and we will continue to monitor the network closely to ensure full restoration,” said Singtel.

It will be offering its mobile pre-paid and post-paid customers a day of free local mobile data on Nov 10, a Saturday.

A spokesman for telco regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority said it is investigating the incident.

BADLY AFFECTED

I could… not use the phone network. This caused me great inconvenience.

SINGTEL USER CHLOE POH, who was unable to call for a Grab car to get home after an office event.

While some customers said service was restored for them after Singtel’s 1.20am update, others still had issues connecting to the Internet on their mobile lines.

The telco said later at 2am that as of 1.22am, all affected services had been restored.

A Singtel spokesman said yesterday: “We regret last evening’s service interruption that affected mobile voice, SMS and data services…

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers and thank them for their patience.”

On Thursday night, many Singtel mobile users said they were unable to make calls or access the Internet.

Customers took to Singtel’s Facebook page to complain about service disruptions in areas such as Jurong, Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Merah, Woodlands, Orchard, Sengkang and Potong Pasir.

Between 10pm, when users said they started experiencing problems, and about 11pm on Thursday, there were at least 200 posts complaining about the lack of calling, text messaging and 4G data services.

Singtel first posted about the disruption at about 11pm, noting that there were mobile network issues, and that its engineers were looking into the matter.

In an update at 12.20am yesterday, Singtel said: “We regret to inform that some customers may be experiencing intermittent difficulties accessing mobile voice and data services on the 3G/4G network.”

By 1am, Singtel’s post about the disruption had received about 2,000 comments, about 1,800 reactions – including likes and angry reactions – and 770 shares.

In a Facebook post before Singtel’s update, user Jess Woo said she had tried to restart her phone multiple times in the last hour.

“Till now no response or official updates from Singtel on their page,” she added.

User Chloe Poh said she tried to call for a Grab car home after an office event but could not do so. “I could… not use the phone network. This caused me great inconvenience. Please give an explanation.”

Legal trainee Tan Anqi Angelina, 24, told The Straits Times that she relied on her home’s Wi-Fi network to surf the Internet.

“I’m not exactly sure when service resumed but when I went to bed at around 1am, it was still down,” she said.

Another Singtel subscriber, Ms Lim Lee Ren, 25, said she was not badly affected, as she was at home and could still rely on Wi-Fi.

But Ms Lim, who is an analyst at a finance start-up, added: “It would have been problematic if I was out and unable to reply to my bosses who need replies 24/7.”

Article first sighted on The Straits Times.

31 Jul

Be careful of “Allow Website” Notification!

What is Allow Website Notifications?

“Allow Website Notifications” is a spam promotion method that has recently become popular amongst cyber criminals. It is a simple method used to promote various malicious sites. Research shows that users typically encounter “Allow Website Notifications” when they have potentially unwanted adware-type programs (PUPs) installed on their computers. In some cases, these pop-ups occur after clicking intrusive advertisements displayed by malicious sites.

Allow Website Notifications scam

In the past, most spam was distributed using emails, however, email providers have become efficient in dealing with the problem and so this method is consequently less effective. Therefore, criminals search for new methods to proliferate spam, including “Allow Website Notifications”. In general, the “Allow Website Notifications” option is legitimate and allows web developers to notify users when new content is posted, however, criminals misuse this facility to promote malicious websites. When users open a website with “Allow Website Notifications”, they are prompted with a pop-up asking for permission to display notifications. If users agree, their choices are saved in browser options and criminals are then able to continually feed them with unwanted ads. In this way, users are redirected to sites that contain malicious content, thus leading to system infection. Some sites ask to enable notifications, otherwise content will not be displayed. When the user declines, the pop-up simply re-appears until the website is closed. These claims to display content are merely attempts to trick users into clicking “Allow” – after doing so, users receive nothing. Fortunately, removing permission to display notifications is simple – follow the instructions below.

Adware-type applications typically do two things: 1) display intrusive advertisements, and; 2) gather sensitive information. To display ads (coupons, banners, pop-ups, and so on), adware employs various tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. Therefore, displayed ads often conceal underlying website content, thereby diminishing the browsing experience. Furthermore, intrusive ads can lead to malicious websites and even run scripts that download/install malware (or other PUPs). Even a single click can result in high-risk computer infections. Another important issue is information tracking. Potentially unwanted programs gather various information (e.g., geo-locations, IP addresses, keystrokes, URLs visited, pages viewed, queries entered into search engines, and so on) that might contain personal details. This information is shared with third parties (potentially, cyber criminals) who generate revenue by misusing private information. Therefore, the presence of data-tracking apps might lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. You are strongly advised to remove all adware-type applications immediately.

There are hundreds of adware-type applications, all of which are virtually identical (e.g., PokkiUpdate CheckerCurrent Me, etc.) By offering a wide range of “useful functions”, potentially unwanted programs attempt to give the impression of legitimacy and trick users to install, however, all adware is designed only to generate revenue for the developers. This rogue software merely gathers sensitive information and delivers intrusive advertisements, thereby posing a direct threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did potentially unwanted programs install on my computer?

Although some PUPs have official download/promotion websites, most infiltrate systems without permission, since adware is typically distributed using intrusive advertising and “bundling” methods. “Bundling” is essentially stealth installation of third party software with regular apps. PUP developers do not disclose these installations properly – they hide “bundled” apps within various sections (e.g., “Custom/Advanced” settings) of the download or installation processes. Furthermore, many users click intrusive advertisements and skip download/installation steps. In doing so, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent system infiltration by PUPs, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Bear in mind that intrusive advertisements typically seem legitimate, but redirect to dubious websites (e.g., pornography, adult dating, gambling, and so on). If you experience these redirects, immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. Carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes and decline offers to download/install additional applications. We recommend that you download your programs from official sources only, using direct download links, since developers monetize third party downloaders/installers by promoting PUPs. The key to computer safety is caution.

How to remove/disable notifications in web browsers:

Google Chrome (PC):

  • Click the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen
  • Select “Settings“, scroll down to the bottom and click “Advanced
  • Scroll down to the “Privacy and security” section, select “Content settings” and then “Notifications
  • Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL and click “Block” or “Remove” (if you click “Remove” and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)

Mozilla Firefox:

  • Click the Menu button (three bars) on the right upper corner of the screen
  • Select “Options” and click on “Privacy & Security” in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen
  • Scroll down to the “Permissions” section and click the “Settings” button next to “Notifications
  • In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs, click the drop-down menu and select “Block

Internet Explorer:

  • Click the Gear button on the right upper corner of the IE window
  • Select “Internet options
  • Select the “Privacy” tab and click “Settings” under “Pop-up Blocker” section
  • Select suspicious URLs under and remove them one by one by clicking the “Remove” button

Microsoft Edge:

  • Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window
  • Scroll down, find and click “Settings
  • Scroll down again and click “View advanced settings
  • Click “Manage” under “Notifications
  • Click the switch under each suspicious website

Safari:

  • Click “Safari” button on the bottom of the screen and select “Preferences…
  • Select the “Websites” tab and then select “Notifications” section on the left pane
  • Check for suspicious URLs and apply the “Deny” option for each

Instant automatic removal of Allow Website Notifications virus:Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sample

Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers’ websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advancedinstallation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

03 Jul

Singtel outage

SINGAPORE — Singtel has apologised for the 3-hour broadband outage on Wednesday (July 4) morning. According to a Singtel spokesman, the disruption was due to “some performance issues with our DNS (Domain Name Server)”.

The spokesman said: “We regret that our fixed broadband customers could not access their internet this morning…The issue has since been resolved and all services were restored by 10.55 am. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and thank our customers for their patience.”

Some Singtel fixed broadband customers took to Facebook to complain about disruptions to their internet access from as early as 7am on Wednesday.

The telco acknowledged the problem in a Facebook post at 9.03am, saying that some customers may be experiencing difficulty accessing the Internet on mobile and broadband devices, and that its engineers are “investigating”.

The disruption appeared widespread, with users reporting the problem from various locations, including Hougang, Ang Mo Kio, Woodlands, Tampines, Punggol, Sengkang, Toa Payoh, Jurong and Bukit Batok.

The telco’s website as well as that of payment provider AXS could not be accessed for some time in the morning.

An AXS spokesperson told TODAY that services on both its electronic payment channels — AXS e-Station and AXS m-Station — were inaccessible to users between 7.45am and 10.30am. Full service have since resumed for both these e-channels.

AT 11.39am, regulator Info-communications Media Development Authority tweeted that it is aware of the disruption, and that it has “begun investigations”.

In December 2016, Singtel’s fibre broadband services were similarly disrupted for several hours, and preliminary findings found that it was due to a technical issue that affected a SingNet server.

Article first sighted on Today.

30 Jun

Heard of Lag, Ping and Latency?

Internet speed and latency can be hugely important when practicing online. We look at how it can affect online gaming…

What is ping?

The ping (or latency) of a player is how fast they can send a command to the game and have the game (or its server) display what happened.

So in an environment where the slightest misstep could have disastrous results for you and your teammates, low ping is a necessity.

What’s a good ping?

An acceptable ping is around the 40ms-60ms mark or lower. A speed of over 100ms shows a noticeable delay and over 170 some games will reject your connection entirely.

If you have, say a 10ms ping (0.01 seconds), your gameplay will seem faster and smoother than playing with 100ms, for example.

It really depends on what game you are playing. A game like Hearthstone may not require a low ping, as it is a slower turn-based game. Other titles like Counter-Strike and Street Fighter V require precise inputs and timing, which would require a much lower ping to play at the top level.

What is lag?

Lag is often a result of high ping and/or a low speed internet connection. It’s where the game plays out your commands with a delay. So for example, you press W to move forward in Counter-Strike, but your character doesn’t actually move until a second later, for example.

Sometimes lag can build up, so the game will seemingly freeze for a few moments, then suddenly catch up with all your inputs in one go, or disconnect you from the game entirely.

Gamers can experience lag for a multitude of reasons, the main one being high ping, where your commands are being sent to the game on a delay. Sometimes the problem is instead because of unstable connections, where your device will periodically disconnect and reconnect to the internet, this is called packet loss and occurs when the information you send to the server in packets is not received. This can be due to an over crowded server, low security or internet disconnections.

There’s some more explanations in video form from Riot Games here and here.

Top 10 tips for checking and reducing your ping

1. Check your ping. Most games will be able to measure and display your exact ping to the server you’re playing on. If you’d like to know what your ping is before playing, there are many online tests available (e.g http://www.speedtest.net/)

2. Close any unnecessary programs.

3. When using a wireless connection, ensure your computer is not too far from the router, or consider using a range extender to improve the strength of the connection. The closer to the router, the better.

4. Consider changing your connection to a wired one.

5. Try a powerline adaptor – this is a small plug appliance that can boost your wireless signal power.

6. Check if anyone else is on the same network as you, and if they’re using a ‘web heavy’ service like streaming platforms YouTube, Netflix or Twitch. If you have a low speed internet connection, avoid playing online at the same time as other users in the home.

7. Upgrade your computer’s networks card or home router.

8. We recommend using MyRepublic Gamer broadband for best results.

9. Make sure your game client is the latest version.

10. Check with your internet service provider to find out if there is a reported problem in your area.

21 Jun

MyRepublic Launches Mobile Plans

MyRepublic said during a media briefing that the three plans – Smart, Mega and Xtra – will cost S$35, $55 and $85 a month for 7GB, 12GB and 25GB data, respectively.

The 25GB plan for Xtra subscribers will include 2GB roaming data for seven markets, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines and Taiwan, said MyRepublic CEO Malcolm Rodrigues.

To check out the plans, go to http://order.fibrebb.sg/mobile

For existing broadband customers, the company is also dangling incentives for them to sign up, if they haven’t done so. They stand to get 3GB more data for the Smart plan, and 8B more for the Mega and Xtra plans.

The mobile plans all come with features like “boundless data”, which will not penalise consumers for busting their data caps with extra charges but will see surfing speeds lowered instead. This was a feature announced when they launched two mobile plans for its existing customer base back in May.

MyRepublic plans 1

MyRepublic’s chief marketing officer Shivendra Singh said during the briefing that this, among other features, are to “ensure we are trustworthy” to the consumer. Unlimited data plans, he elaborated, are “not honest” as they usually come with hidden provisos, but its boundless data plans means “customers don’t need to worry about excess data charges”.

Mr Rodrigues also told Channel NewsAsia on the sidelines that based on customer response following the launch of Uno and Ultimate for “friends of MyRepublic”, feedback has been “good”, particularly for those who have busted their data caps and had their surfing speeds managed.

“It’s like when we drop from 4G to HSPA today. You probably can’t watch a high-definition video, but you can still do stuff like send WhatsApp messages,” he said.

MyRepublic plans 2

These plans will also have 1,000 minutes of talk time and 1,000 SMS text messages, free local delivery of SIM cards and activation, the company said, adding new customers can sign up from Thursday.

Key to the user experience is the MyRepublic mobile app, available for both iOS and Android devices, said Mr Singh. Users will be able to customise their mobile plan, such as signing up for data boosters or roaming packages on the fly, and track their usage from the app.

The intention behind its design is for users to do what they need within three clicks in the app, he added.

These on-the-go provisioning of services are enabled through the company’s “thick MVNO model”, which it said is first of its kind in Singapore.

CEO Rodrigues said it is a “multimillion-dollar network system” that allows it greater control over the delivery of services to customers compared to traditional MVNO arrangements which sees these operators just resell products from the main telco.

This appeared to be similar to rival MVNO Circles.Life’s platform Circles-X. When asked what’s the difference, Mr Singh declined to comment on its competitor’s products.

CONSUMERS TO BENEFIT FROM LOOMING COMPETITION

Analysts Channel NewsAsia spoke to ahead of the launch on Thursday predicted a period of fierce competition in the local telecoms market, with consumers the main beneficiaries.

Mr Shiv Putcha, contributing analyst at IDC, said the Singapore market is not big enough to support four full-fledged telcos and four MVNOs.

“At roughly 8.5 million subscriptions, the Singapore market is already over-penetrated,” Mr Putcha said. “We expect a period of fierce competitive intensity and there will be some clear winners and losers, with the incumbents, especially the smaller ones, likely to cede ground and market share.”

With the pending entrance of fourth telco TPG Telecom, as well as the introduction of new MVNOs in the past year, consumers will “benefit immensely” from lowered prices, higher data bundles and flexible plans, the analyst said.

He also expects to see the telco incumbents – Singtel, StarHub and M1 – make renewed investments on customer experience.

Canalys research analyst Nguyen TuanAnh echoed similar thoughts, saying that consumers will benefit from the rise of MVNOs.

He pointed to similar developments in Japan last year which suggest that full-fledged telcos, while benefiting from leasing spectrum to MVNOs, will also reduce prices to maintain their subscriber base.

These telcos also have more tools than just reducing costs, as they can turn to digital content for growth, the Canalys analyst said

For instance, while they may not match MVNOs in attractive price packages, bundling data with content such as free streaming of Spotify or Netflix for example, is a “great way” for them to remain subscribers and improve revenue.

Source: CNA/zl
Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/myrepublic-launches-3-mobile-plans-talks-up-customer-focus-10454664

31 May

10 ways to fix wifi issues

1. Update your router’s firmware

The reason to do this step is twofold. First, you can take advantage of any additional features and improvements of the new version of the firmware. Second, your router usually receives any important security updates.

Usually, you will have the option to check, review, download, and install your router’s new firmware on its administration page. The exact steps depend on your router’s make and model, so check the router manufacturer’s support site for detailed directions.

Not sure how to access your router’s administrator settings to do the update? Click here for the easiest way to find your router’s password and IP address.

2. Look for interferences

Routers often compete for airwaves with other household devices. Rival devices such as cordless phones, Bluetooth speakers, microwave ovens, and baby monitors can impact your Wi-Fi network.

To help you pinpoint issues, you can create an actual Wi-Fi “heat” map of your area using a free tool like HeatMapper. By the way, Netspot works for Macs. You can also use an app like the free Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android that has a real-time signal strength meter.

3. Change channels

You can also select a different channel for your router. This is especially helpful if you’re tuned to that 2.4GHz frequency. Moving from one channel to a less crowded one may help speed things up.

To check the optimum 2.4GHz channel for your area or the least used channel, try using a Wi-Fi scanner.

For Macs, Apple provides a free tool called “Wireless Diagnostics.” To access it, hold the Option key while clicking on the Wi-Fi icon on the right-hand side of the menu bar, then choose Open Wireless Diagnostics.

For Windows, download the free Wi-Fi utility, Acrylic Wi-Fi Home. Similar to the Mac’s Scan tool, this application will instantly give you information about the Wi-Fi signals in your area including the channels they utilize.

For Android users, there are many Wi-Fi scanning tools available, but a popular one is Network Analyzer. Click here for more details and download information.

4. Put the kids and guests on their own network and enable QoS

Parents can put their kids’ devices on a separate network and establish special rules and settings. This can help keep the kids out of trouble on the web, and it eases the burden on your bandwidth.

You can set up a different Wi-Fi router, or you can simply enable your router’s “Guest Network” option. You can also set up a different network name (SSID) and password for the guest network to avoid confusion with your main network.

Guest networks are meant for visitors to your home who might need a Wi-Fi internet connection that keeps your shared files private. This segregation will also work for your smart appliances and shield your main devices from Internet of Things attacks.

You can also use QoS (Quality of Service). QoS is a feature on some routers that will let you prioritize traffic according to the type of data getting transmitted.

You could set latency-sensitive applications like Skype, IP telephony, streaming media, and online gaming to have higher priority over other types of activity. If you prioritize Skype, for example, other software will slow down, ensuring your call is smooth.

Different routers have different ways of handling QoS, and most consumer-level routers have more simplified ways of enabling it by having presets available. Just check your router’s support site for information on what each one does.

5. Get an updated router

If you’re in the market for a new router and you want improved Wi-Fi speeds and reach across your home or office, aim for at least an 802.11 N or AC router with dual or triple band capabilities.

AC routers have a maximum spectral bandwidth of around 8 x 160 MHz, compared to the 4 x 40 MHz standard of N routers. In other words, the increased bandwidth allows more data to be transmitted without slowing down.

Additionally, by having multi-bands, you could keep older 2.4GHz devices on their own bands while keeping newer devices that support the latest Wi-Fi standards on the higher bands. This is like having multiple routers in one.

Newer AC routers also have advanced features not found in older routers. Look for specifications like beamforming, Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO), multiple USB 3.0 connectors and Gigabit Ethernet ports.

You can choose from a range of awesome up-to-date routers with our MyRepublic plans, check them out here!

6. Try a Mesh network

If you have a large house or office space that requires consistent network speeds, a mesh Wi-Fi network is worth the money. Unlike standard Wi-Fi routers that require extenders for added reach, next-generation mesh routers are designed to spread a Wi-Fi network’s coverage through multiple access points.

These systems usually come in sets of two or three separate units that work together to envelop your home or office with Wi-Fi coverage. As far as your gadgets are concerned, the Wi-Fi mesh is one big continuous Wi-Fi network.

Get the TP-Link M9 or M5 with one of our MyRepublic bundles! More info here!

7. Check your security

When unauthorized devices mooch your Wi-Fi, it slows down your network. But even the type of wireless security you use can impact your overall speed.

First off, if your network is Open (no security) or uses WEP, change the security setting immediately. Obviously, an open network will make it easy for someone to steal your Wi-Fi, and the older WEP security is easily hacked.

This leaves you with WPA, WPA2 with TKIP or WPA2 with AES.

WPA and TKIP are older protocols and are now considered insecure. The way to go is WPA2 with AES.

8. Change location

Another important factor that affects your Wi-Fi network’s connectivity is its physical location. Try placing your router as close to the center of your home as possible. It’s also a good idea to keep it elevated and free from any physical obstructions like furniture and appliances.

You may also avoid reflective surfaces like glass, mirrors, and metal because Wi-Fi signals tend to bounce off these types of materials. Walls, especially those made of concrete, can also severely degrade your Wi-Fi signal.

You may even adjust your router’s antennas. Your router’s antenna is omnidirectional, so the signal goes every direction equally. If you put your router along an outside wall, you’re sending half your signal outside.

If your house is too big for a single router, you may need a boost or use our MyRepublic Dual Broadband package.

9. Choose the right band

Wi-Fi bands are not created equal. If you have a newer router, check to see if it supports the 5GHz band. Newer N or AC routers typically support this band. Unlike B/G routers that only transmit on the crowded 2.4GHz spectrum, N and AC routers could transmit on 5GHz as well.

Newer routers usually have dual-band capability. By enabling dual bands, you could keep older devices that only support the slower G specification on the 2.4GHz band and newer devices on the beefier and speedier 5GHz band. This is essentially like having two routers in one.

10. Reboot your router

Most users have to reboot their cable or DSL modem from time to time. If your network seems sluggish, unplug both gadgets for at least 30 seconds. Plug in the modem first and wait for it to come fully online. Then turn on your router. Sometimes that’s all it takes.