Yes, I find myself yet again, in another unique position of having both the Starhub MaxMobile service as well as the M1 Broadband service running from the same computer. Not at the same time of course, since the active connection can only come from either source. However, because my laptop has an internal SIM card slot and I have the M1 Broadband dongle as well, I save the trouble of having to replace SIM cards when I want to test either connection.

Prior to connecting my Starhub MaxMobile for the first time, I experience bad connection problems with my M1 Broadband. Not only was the connection slow, but the graphics seemed distorted as well. Initially, I thought I needed a new driver for the display, but in an unusual twist of events, I realised that it was a graphic degradation due to slow downstream speed. Of course, it’s easy to push the blame to M1.

To me, 99.98% coverage means nothing to me if I am having problems getting a connection. To me, it was 0% coverage. Probability doesn’t work here. It’s not as if I am getting 99.98% uptime from my 0% coverage location. Don’t you just hate statistics?

So, here’s the golden question. Which is the better choice? To some people, it might be even a platinum question, but I digress.

One of the better ways to compare is to do a speed test – upload/download and ping from a particular site. On 29th April 2008 at 19:17, this test was done – but it seemed like a particularly bad day for testing because all the speeds were down – way down from being optimal. Perhaps it’s the feng shui.

Date: 29th April 2008

Time: From 19:17

  Download Upload
M1 Broadband 395 kbps 263 kbps
Starhub MaxMobile 682 kbps 182 kbps
Wireless@SG 4702 kbps 473 kbps*

*The upload for Wireless@SG was not successfully completed on multiple tries.

There’s a caveat to this test though. The M1 Broadband is subscribed under the lowest band, which is up to 1.8 Mpbs while Starhub’s MaxMobile is under the 7.2 Mbps plan – since they only have a single plan. For a rare moment, Wireless@SG outperformed both mobile broadband services. Of course, I didn’t mention about frequent dropping of connections.

However, it is also known that different areas have difference coverage. For me, the place where I spend 10 hours a day at has 0% coverage from M1 Broadband, and barely GPRS speed at home; while Starhub MaxMobile provided better coverage in the day and night for me. For me, it’s quite a clear cut choice.

One thing’s for sure. Ever since M1 went unlimited with their M1 Broadband, it was all down the drain.



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