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Reviewing your overall mobile, broadband and cable plans to optimize cost

So my brother (the other breadwinner) will likely be moving out of our flat soon. That means alot of thing to me but for one thing it is that I would need to juggle the household expenses by myself.

The first thing that hit me was that I would probably need to pay the communication and entertainment utilities all by myself.

It still astounds me sometimes how expensive maintaining communication and information is. Take for example most of my friends who aren’t married:

Home broadband: 30-50 dollars
Fixed Line Telephone: 8 dollars
Cable Tv: 30-50 dollars
Mobile Broadband: 10-20 dollars
Mobile Phone w data: 30-60 dollars

The total cost of connectivity comes up to 100-180. If you have more than one family member that holds a mobile phone then that goes up further.

The saving grace is that if you sign up with one telco, they give you a major discount off your mobile phone bill. The problem is that not all your contracts end at the same time and these Buffett deals are not always best because some service just suck like MIO Tv(suck) vs Starhub Cable TV and Starhub(suck) mobile vs Singtel mobile.

Re-evaluating my plans

My current plans
Home broadband: 16 dollars (split half of 37 dollars with bro)
Fixed Line Telephone: 8 dollars
Cable Tv: 25 dollars (split half of 51 dollars with bro)
Mobile Broadband: 0 dollars
Mobile Phone w data: 37 dollars
Total: 86 dollars

I am currently re-evaluating my cable tv and home broadband plan. Their contracts expired some time ago and with my bro moving out think it’s high time I do something about it.

Some would ask, wouldn’t cable tv and mobile broadband be considered a luxury? I don’t watch tv much actually but my parents need some entertainment now that they are not working so I really don’t have much of a choice here. I have since cancel any mobile broadband plans that I sign up for as really if I need I can always tether from my mobile phone. The price of being connected any time and every where is simply too high.

I would love to re- contract my current Singnet broadband for lower than 25 dollars if possible but sadly to enable a seamless home Internet connection (I don’t need very fast speed) it will cost me an arm and leg.

The current packages from Singtel, Starhub and M1 forces you to not only sign up for home broadband but also mobile broadband by bundling them together! It will be great if you invest in the 3 telecom companies like I do, but if not, you will think that they are being a dick to do that. My cheapest choice is to subscribe to the 29-31 dollars per month m1 50GB fiber optic broadband.

Future plans
Home broadband: 31 dollars
Fixed Line Telephone: 8 dollars
Cable Tv: 18 dollars (split half of 36 dollars with bro)
Mobile Broadband: 0 dollars
Mobile Phone w data: 37 dollars
Total: 94 dollars

Conclusion

Seems like no matter how we adjust the cost just keeps creeping up. To be honest, home broadband, mobile broadband, cable tv and data plan for mobile phones are what I considered as luxury items. But I really can’t imagine not having mobile connectivity at least at home and on the move on my mobile phone now that have used them for the last few years.

Although they are so called luxury, users get tied in to this lifestyle that they can only switch but not do without. If cutting these away is so hard for even a frugal person like myself, I think it’s even harder for other folks who are lazy to think so much about the pros and cons and would just evaluate how to switch instead of terminating.

This is the business model of the telecom industry. It has become a lifestyle utility that people needs.The telcos will try to keep plans at current price or raise new plans and tell you that you need them when really you have survived 20 years without them. In the midst of all this they burden themselves with trying to compete with one another, through price, service differentiation and quality of service, balancing cost versus volume monetization.

As an end user, I would tell folks that you really do not need the best or all the things they try to sell you. Most are really the price of convenience and satisfaction that they try to sell.

As an investor, this industry is here to stay. And it has become important. I see it as recession proof due to long contract lock-in cost, necessity & habitual spending.

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gregg

Monday 20th of June 2011

Hi Drizzt,

Too bad that Sanchez is going to barca and not Man Utd....

Drizzt

Wednesday 22nd of June 2011

thats not the main priority gregg, the main priority is a defensive midfielder that passes well.

gregg

Sunday 19th of June 2011

Hi Drizzt,

Die hard fans of Man Utd... what about you?

Drizzt

Sunday 19th of June 2011

hi Gregg, same here. i do find that pretty common in the investing world not sure why. Nick and yyt who has been popping around here is also Man Utd fans.

Gregg

Saturday 18th of June 2011

Hi Drizzt,

No choice, as it coupled together with EPL package... I got to accept it.. :(

Drizzt

Sunday 19th of June 2011

wow gregg, i see you are a soccer fan. which club do you support?

Gregg

Saturday 18th of June 2011

Hi Drizzt,

Those IT stuff cost me ~$231 to pay for - Broadband, Cable TV (Mio/Starhub) and IPHONE... It is big chuck of by monthly expenses...

Singtel Mio TV (EPL) + 10MB Broadbadn=$80 Starhub Cable TV=$31 (was offered by Starhub for 3month FOC viewing but decided to subscribe because of the Education channel like National Geography, Animal Planet, History...etc.. Very good marketing strategy by Starhub. 2 IPHONE = 2x$60

Drizzt

Saturday 18th of June 2011

hi Gregg, sounds very conservative except for the broad band plan! expensive with the Mio TV.

Jason

Thursday 16th of June 2011

You should call SingNet and tell them of your plan to terminate the broadband subscription with them. I get a feeling that they will transfer u to their retention department, and u can get a pretty good offer. I did, and the offer was too good to refuse.

Drizzt

Friday 17th of June 2011

hi Jason, thanks for your help. I thought i will get a 20 dollar recontract offer and did what you said before i posted this. sadly they did not give me.

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