NGMN Forum 2017 hosted by Singtel

In January 2017, Singtel hosted Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Forum in Singapore, held at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore. Although this article post is a bit delayed, the progress and plans for the next generation mobile networks, technology, infrastructure, usage and growth are ongoing, building and expanding towards 5G in Singapore, coming soon in a few years time.

I was at the NGMN Forum 2017 on the first day, listened to the opening address by Assistant Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecom and Postal) Ms Aileen Chia. She shared some key pointers for the participants at NGMN Forum 2017, the future and growth of mobile networks, in Singapore and around the world. While the content and topics looked like they were only for Business to Business (B2B), in reality, the journey towards 5G for Singapore and around the world affects and impacts everybody (in both good and bad ways), from the businesses to the end consumer in the society. The future of the world, also for Singapore, are about technology changes, disruption, innovation and transformation from the business organisations to the end consumers. The information communications sector, economy and society are able to embrace opportunities and challenges. The next big thing is Data, the “new oil” of the 21st century. The future digital economy, IoT (Internet of Things), devices and how we consume data, use data in our daily life and work, this is going to be massive.

After listening to the opening address, I had a tour around some of the partners showcase of their 5G technology and infrastructure. Singtel is making a lot of progress in their 5G journey in Singapore and during an earlier event in August 2016 organised by Singtel that I attended – Singtel and Ericsson were the first to showcase 5G in Southeast Asia. The changes, impacts and opportunities with 5G are coming soon to us in Singapore, on both the B2B and B2C level.

On the B2B level, the partners exhibiting their 5G infrastructure and application of the 5G technology, I saw drones in action that could be activated during natural disaster, robotics obeying the commands of the human hand movement, traffic light control, security and surveillance, all of them powered by the upcoming 5G technology networks.

On the B2C level, as the consumer on the street, what do you think? How would 5G change the way you consume data, communicate with family, relatives and friends? How would 5G help, impact or even affect your work?

5G in Singapore is arriving in a few years time, the groundwork and infrastructure are being prepared and it’s building up speed and momentum.

5G in Singapore by year 2020, maybe it might even be earlier?

OPPO R9s Plus

OPPO recently launched a new smartphone to their line-up, the OPPO R9s Plus. The OPPO R9s Plus is a 6-inch smartphone packed with some pretty good technical specifications and smartphone camera packed inside the smartphone. I do like the size and form of the OPPO R9s Plus smartphone with its FHD screen, bright, colourful and sharp, ideal for smartphone users who are on the move often or those who work offsite from their office.

During the recent OPPO event, I attended the launch of their OPPO R9s Plus, had a look, touch and feel of the latest OPPO smartphone, playing with its smartphone camera and viewing some of the printed photographs shot with the OPPO R9s Plus. While I had a short hands on session trying out the OPPO R9s Plus cameras, taking photographs of the event venue, I would just share my thoughts and views, that does not necessarily constitute a full and proper review.

The OPPO R9s Plus camera is not too bad, pretty good at times, without having all the advanced features that a (serious photography enthusiast) smartphone photographer would like to have built inside. A short preliminary test and my own personal thoughts and views, I would love to have a review unit and put it to my level of photography usage, testing it out in different conditions and photography themes.

Let me share more details and key information on the OPPO R9s Plus –

The 6-inch phone is the latest model to join the OPPO ‘R’ camera phone series, following the Q4 2016 launch of the OPPO R9s. The R9s Plus carries with it all the imaging technology camera hardware that made the 5.5-inch R9s a hit, with one major enhancement, an all-new OIS+ image stabilizer technology. The R9s Plus also comes along with an upgraded RAM, and larger battery capacity.

Sean Deng, Managing Director of OPPO Singapore says, “At OPPO, we are committed in making products that meet the continuously evolving needs of the market. The R9s Plus carries on the legacy of the ‘R’ camera phone series with its low light imaging solutions, while also providing users a sensible integrated solution for their mobile entertainment needs.”

Now It’s Clear: OPPO’s continued camera phone legacy

The R9s Plus retains the same hardware that made the R9s a favourite among shutterbugs, sporting an exclusive 1/2.8-inch IMX398 sensor jointly-developed with Sony, as well as its Dual PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus) technology and an extra-wide f/1.7 aperture on its rear camera.

The R9s Plus receives a software upgrade, being the first OPPO phone to feature the OIS+ (Optical Image Stabilization Plus). The OIS+ software kicks in when it detects unwanted vibrations caused by shaky hands, and works to improve the crispness of shots by moving pieces of the optical system and compensating for even the smallest of motions. This in turn, results in crystal clear shots, even while on the move.

Taking smartphone photography up a notch, the R9s Plus adds on a dual-tone LED flash to help adjust the warmth of the picture and improve the white balance for a more accurate flesh tone. This results in photos that look more natural even with the use of flash, and reduces the chances of over exposed or washed out images.

Form Meets Function

The same elegant, “six-string” design that appeared in the R9s makes a reappearance here on the larger 6-inch model, as OPPO’s quest in bringing sophistication to its designs see it eliminate unsightly antenna bands from its phones. The R9s Plus is not just all looks – the camera phone is equipped to operate on six frequency ranges, dynamically choosing the best one for 4G and Wi-Fi signals, for uninterrupted data usage.

Meanwhile, the R9s Plus’ fingerprint reader is coated with a hydrophobic paint to ensure accessibility even in wet conditions, and its intelligent software means that the fingerprint reader learns over time to give users an exceptionally fast 0.2s touch access.

Packed with power

The OPPO R9s Plus sports a Qualcomm octa-core processor, an upgraded 6GB RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, which can be expanded by an additional 256 GB. The phone is also powered by the latest SoC (Systems on a Chip) in Snapdragon’s 6 series, the Snapdragon 653, and cruises seamlessly on ColorOS 3.0 (based on Android 6.0).

OPPO’s latest 6-inch addition is also packed with a 4,000mAh battery and OPPO’s industry-leading VOOC Flash Charge technology, a low-voltage fast charging system that promises maximum power in less time, without taxing the phone’s internals with excess heat.

Price and Availability

The OPPO R9s Plus is available in Gold and Black for SGD 779 from the following retailers. 

OPPO Concept Stores

  • Suntec City Concept Store  @ Suntec City Mall Tower 3, #01-627 to 630, Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983
  • Ang Mo Kio Concept Store @ Ang Mo Kio Hub, 53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 #B1-10, Singapore 569933
  • Chinatown Concept Store @ People’s Park Complex, 1 Park Road, #01-22, Singapore 059108
  • Causeway Point Concept Store @ #03-26A, Woodlands Square, Singapore 738099
  • Compass One Concept Store @ #B1-33, 1 Sengkang Square, Singapore 545078
  •  Geylang Concept Store @ 333 Geylang Road, Singapore 389364
  • Jurong Point Concept Store  @ 1 Jurong West Central 2 #B1-15, Singapore 648886
  • Tampines Concept Store @ 4 Tampines Centre #03-03, Singapore 529510
  • https://www.oppostore.com.sg/products/oppo-r9s-plus

OPPO R9s Plus Specification Sheet

 OS

ColorOS V3.0.0i (based on Android 6.0.1)

Platform

Qualcomm MSM8976SG (Octa-core 1.95GHz)

Bands

GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz

WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz

LTE Bands B1/3/5/7/8/20/28/TD-B38/39/40/41

Data Connectivity

LTE: 300Mbps/50Mbps

HSPA: 42Mbps/5.76Mbps

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Display, DLNA, BT 4.1 LE, VPN, WIFI Hotspot

Dimensions

163.63×80.8×7.35 mm

Weight

185g (with battery)

Colour

Gold, Black

Display/TP

16M AMOLED Colours, IPS TFT, 1920*1080, FHD, 6.0”, 367PPI

Camera

16.0MP Front FF Screen Flash; f/2.0 Aperture

16.0MP Rear AF; f/1.7 Aperture, Sony IMX 398, Dual-tone LED Flash, OIS+ (Optical Image Stabilization Plus)

Memory

ROM 64GB + RAM 6GB, External Memory up to 256GB

SIM Card

Dual SIM – Nano (dual standby)

Battery

4000mAh (typical)

Connectors

Micro-USB, 3.5mm Audio Jack

Multimedia

Video Player/Recorder, Audio Player

Others

GPS, G-Sensor, E-Compass

Light & Proximity Sensor

Gyro-meter

*Information and details courtesy of OPPO Singapore and Gloo PR*

Singtel partners Microsoft to offer Office 365

The Microsoft Office productivity suite is one of the most well known software in the world, from the home user, student to the businesses, it’s being utilised by many people from all walks of life. A Mac user myself, I have the older Microsoft Office for Mac installed on my MacBook Pro, using Microsoft Word for writing/typing my articles/documents and the powerful Microsoft Excel software.

Singtel is bringing Microsoft Office 365 to her customers in Singapore, with a partnership with Microsoft. This is good news for Singtel customers, I might consider this offer by Singtel.

Let me share with you more details below –

Singtel and Microsoft announced a new partnership for Singtel to offer Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity suite – Office 365 – to Singtel Consumer customers. With this new offering, customers who subscribe to Singtel’s fibre broadband and postpaid mobile services can sign up for either Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal plans through Singtel. They will enjoy savings of at least $46.80 per year or over 30% off regular online price. In addition, customers can enjoy the added convenience of paying for their Office 365 subscriptions together with their monthly Singtel bills.

Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO Consumer Singapore, Singtel said, “This collaboration marks a new milestone for Singtel. We are excited to be the first telco in Asia to provide Consumer customers the best value for Office 365 applications. With this new offering, customers will also enjoy ease of payment and enhanced productivity. We will continue to engage different partners to offer solutions that are suitable for our customers’ digital lifestyles, whether for work or play.”

Singtel customers can select the plans that best suit their needs:

  • Office 365 Personal caters to people who are looking to have Office 365 for personal use. Subscription for Office 365 Personal starts at $6.90 per month (U.P. $10.80 per month) for a 12-month subscription, and comes with installations on one PC or Mac device, one tablet and one smartphone, as well as 1TB of OneDrive storage.
  • Office 365 Home, on the other hand, caters for the entire household. Subscription for Office 365 Home starts at $9.90 per month (U.P. $14.80 per month) for a 12-month subscription, and comes with installations on five PCs or Macs, five tablets and five smartphones, as well as 1TB of OneDrive storage per user.

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based productivity suite featuring Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook, as well as OneDrive cloud storage. With the availability of Office apps on Windows and Android tablets and phones, as well as iPads and iPhones, users can enjoy the flexibility of using Office on-the-go, with the ability to access, view and edit files seamlessly, wherever they are.

“We are pleased that Microsoft and Singtel have come together to offer the best-in-class productivity suite to Singtel Consumer customers. In today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world, constant connectivity and productivity is becoming more important for people in Singapore, and Office 365 is designed to meet that need. Whether they are at home, at their favourite café, or simply moving around and about, Singtel customers can now have easy access to all the features and functionalities of the Office they know and trust, and empower their personal productivity wherever they are,” said Mr Kevin Wo, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore.

To sign up for Office 365 with Singtel, customers can visit the IT Show from 16 to 19 March 2017, or any Singtel Shop and Exclusive Retailer. Singtel postpaid mobile customers can also sign up via MyAccount or MySingtel App.

For more information, visit http://office365.singtel.com.

* Information courtesy of Singtel *

Shopee Online IT Fair – 9 to 19th March 2017

IT Show 2017 is coming to you this coming weekend, taking place from 16th to 19th March 2017 at Suntec Singapore. Do you have any plans to make any computers/laptops/technology gadgets purchases and you do not wish to squeeze with the crowds at IT Show 2017?

Look no further, come to Shopee Online IT Fair and do your IT shopping there! Let me share with you information on the Shopee Online IT Fair and some exciting shopping deals during this period!

First and foremost, visit Shopee Singapore and start your IT shopping! To shop the fair, shoppers can browse through the discounted products by clicking on the in-app “Online IT Fair” banner which will be released at exactly 12am on the 9th of March.

From a “Xiaomi Mega Sale” to an “Everything at $1” sale, there is something for everyone on the leading mobile-first marketplace in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

With ten days of insanely good tech deals, here is a what’s what of deals and discounts to look out for (starts at 12am on the stipulated dates)

15 March ~ ‘Everything at $5’ Sale
Buy selected products such as Xplorer 3300 Mouse & Keyboard bundle at $5.

16 March ~ ‘Everything at $3’ Sale
Buy selected products such as Toshiba 8GB Thumbdirve at $3.

17 March ~ ‘Everything at $1’ Sale
Buy selected products such as Google Virtual Reality Glasses at $1.

17 – 19 March ~ Bye 2G Phone Mega Sale
Affected by the discontinuation of 2G phones in Singapore? Shop from a curated list of attractive 3G smartphones such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X selling at major discounts!

There are also limited time offers on Shopee, they would definitely get your attention! Shoppers with the fastest fingers get the chance to buy them!

GoPro Hero 5

Original Price: $550
Sale Price: $459 (Save 17%)

Capture stunningly smooth video in 4K quality while mounted to your favourite gear. Designed to withstand rugged conditions, take this waterproof device on diving trips without having to worry about technical complications.

Xbox One 500GB Console Bundle

Original Price: $300
Sale Price: $250 (Save 17%)

With advanced features like Game DVR and in-home streaming, take gameplay to another level with the Xbox One Bundle that includes five free games such as the UFC, Dragon Age and Pro Evolution Soccer among others.

Razer Bundle (Razer Diamondback Gaming Mouse & Razer Firefly Gaming Mouse Mat)

Original Price: $239
Sale Price: $119 (Save 50%)

Featuring the world’s first optical gaming sensor, the Razer Diamondback has received more than 200 reviews and awards worldwide for the ultimate gaming experience. It now comes complete with internal mechanisms for ambidextrous use to deliver pinpoint accuracy and speed. The Razer Firefly’s micro-textured finish complements the Diamondback during the most action-packed gaming showdowns.

 Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X LTE Dual Sim

Original Price: $240
Sale Price: $199 (Save 17%)

Boasting a 13-megapixel primary camera on the rear and 5-megapixels up front, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X ensures that there’s no compromise on photo quality. This handy device also comes with a 5.5” touchscreen display for improved user experience and clarity.

LG G6

As part of the “Bye 2G Phone Mega Sale” campaign, the LG G6 will be exclusive to Shopee with a sale price lower than the current retail prices in Korea. The highly anticipated phone is not available in Singapore yet, so if you want to be among the first to get your hands on the latest smartphone, purchase it on Shopee starting 17 March!

This sleek mobile phone employs a Hi-Fi Quad DAC so you can expect a more surreal audio experience. Another compelling feature is Google Assistant – the LG G6 is the very first non-pixel device to support the application. How’s that for cool?

Last but not least, there is something for you shoppers!

As part of the campaign, Shopee is giving away a “Nintendo Switch and two games (Legend of Zelda + 1-2 Switch)” bundle worth $669. Interested parties will have to keep a look out for the contest giveaway post on Shopee’s Facebook page and participants will have to ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ the post, and post a wefie in the comments section. The caveat? Everyone in the wefie will have to hold up the Shopee app on their phone/devices. The more people you have in your photo, the higher the chances of winning!

Pay It Forward and Pass It On, share this Shopee Online IT Fair with your family, relatives and friends! Happy online IT Show 2017 shopping at Shopee!

* Information courtesy of Shopee Singapore and Cohn&Wolfe *

Thank Your Driver this CNY with Grab’s Digital Ang Baos

The Year of the Rooster is arriving soon, marking the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year on Saturday 28th January 2017. Many of you would be doing house visits, enjoying the festivities and food! Some of you might be choosing other forms of transport apart from the trains and buses.

If you are planning to use Grab during this Chinese Lunar New Year festive holiday period to visit your relatives and friends, why not take this opportunity to thank your Grab driver with their digital ang baos?

Time to pay it forward and pass it on! Spread and share some of the Chinese Lunar New Year festive mood and celebrations!

More information below from the press release information below –

Chinese New Year, Grab invites passengers to show their appreciation for Grab drivers through heartfelt thank you messages and digital ang baos – all funded by Grab.

In the midst of all our Chinese New Year celebrations, it is often easy to forget to thank the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help you celebrate the festivities. Last year, our GrabCar and GrabTaxi drivers clocked a total of 83,120 hours on the road during the first two days of Chinese New Year. However, this also means that they spend time away from their loved ones during the festive period.

This year, as part of our ongoing commitment to driver care, we encourage all passengers to join us in thanking their Grab drivers for taking care of their travel during the festive period. From 26 – 27 January, all passengers are welcome to gift an unlimited number of digital ang baos worth S$8.88 each – fully sponsored by Grab – along with a thank you message to their drivers. The digital ang baos and thank you messages can be sent via the Grab app (1) by following these steps:

1. Book a GrabTaxi or GrabCar ride using the Grab app

2. Key in the promo code “XIEXIE” and a thank you note for your driver

3. Your assigned driver will pick you up and be notified of your red packet and thank you note

4. Your digital red packet of S$8.88 will be credited to your driver– this amount will be paid in full by Grab. Passengers do not need to pay anything more than the trip fare.

Kick off the Year of the Rooster auspiciously with these tips

Using last year’s Chinese New Year transport data, Grab shares three predictions for a smooth-sailing and rewarding journey on the first two days of Chinese New Year:

1. Auspicious time to travel: The luckiest time to travel is between 8 – 9am and at 6pm on both days of Chinese New Year.

2. Auspicious destinations for last-minute Chinese New Year shopping: The most visited places during Chinese New Year are Mustafa Centre, VivoCity, and Nex.

3. Auspicious direction to meet someone new: The odds of meeting a benefactor or growing your network are highest when you GrabShare to Bedok, Tampines and Hougang.

Grab wishes everyone a joyful, prosperous and blessed Chinese New Year!

(1) The total number of ang baos is capped at 5,500 per day.

* Information and picture courtesy of Grab Singapore and Golin *

Touche – World’s 1st Biometric Loyalty & Payment Solution

Imagine one day in the very near future, you are out dining with your friends, having a great time at the restaurant, awesome food, drinks and company. At the end of dinner gathering, you called for the bill.

The staff at the restaurant asked “Would you like to pay for the bill just by the touche of your fingers?”. You replied, “Yes, sure!” The staff brings out a small tablet device, showing you the total bill to confirm that it is verified and correct before you place your fingers to process the payment. The next moment, you received an email informing you of your confirmed bill payment at the restaurant.

Is this possible? Yes, it is now possible, a fintech product made in Singapore, making her debut and official appearance recently and I had the opportunity to view it for the first time and had a short hands on experience on the process and payment, from a customer perspective.

Let me introduce Touche, the world’s full fledged biometric loyalty and payment solution platform –

“ … Touché is proud to present the world’s first biometric loyalty and payment platform, which is activated by just your fingers. In Singapore, within a span of three months, 150 restaurants, 15 local hotels and 5 private social clubs have shown interest in implementing this solution. The homegrown company aims to foray into Japan, with a market size in excess of US$200 million.

“Touché is a world first. It is not a better mousetrap, but a brand-new idea,” says Sahba Saint-Claire, CEO of Touché. “At its core, it aims to make people’s lives easier by removing the need to carry things such as credit cards, loyalty and membership cards, vouchers, coupons, etc. while ensuring they get all the benefits to which they are entitled. You register on Touché once at anywhere that offers the service and you can use it globally.” … “ 

(Via Press Release information)

I would like to share some of my personal views from both sides, an end user/customer and a business perspective

For end user/customer

This Touche biometric loyalty and payment platform is probably going towards a boom and rise in convenient, fast cashless and card-less payment system in the near future. With the proposed integration of loyalty rewards program in the near future, the customer payment and rewards experience would be enhanced in this area in the future (in my personal humble opinion).

Security and privacy are definitely concerns by the end users/customers when using the Touche platform. I had these questions at the back of my mind too when I attended their presentation. From their presentation, I am satisfied and glad to hear from them on the aspects of security and privacy procedures in place for the Touche platform.

For a business entity

I worked in the retail and hospitality industries previously, therefore, I had the experiences of the payment system commonly used, the machines for the electronic funds payment e.g. NETS, VISA, MasterCard, Diners, AMEX, JCB. I understood and knew about the costs involved in those machines.

While I do not have the costs and numbers from the business operation side of the Touche system, my personal view is that adopting the Touche platform device is definitely a worthy consideration, not just in terms of cost savings, there would be time savings (e.g. from the service staff printing out the bill, brining it to you, take your credit card, process the payment and back to you for your signature) and administrative time (change the roll of paper, change the ink cartridge)

The integration of this fintech with the entity’s own loyalty/reward system might be a good stepping stone for growing customer relationship management system, rewards and loyalty points system.

If you are in the hotel, hospitality, food and beverage industries, take a look at the Touche platform, have a chat with them.

The following information below were provided via the press release information, that explained my thoughts on Touche –

Efficient Loyalty and Payment through A Simple Device, Made in Singapore

Made in Singapore, the hardware of Touché is an elegant rectangular device that is certified and capable of multiple payment options including a magnetic stripe reader, chip reader, and 2.2-inch (diagonal measurement) biometric sensor with the highest resolution in the market to detect two fingers for efficient payments. Most customers will choose to pay with just two fingers after a simple registration, but they may also choose to pay with their physical credit cards. The device works over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.

Convenience is key

You will no longer need to carry anything around when shopping — this includes your cards, phones, vouchers or wallets! Look forward to fast transactions, as there is no need to look for your payment or loyalty cards, count dollar notes or wait for paper receipts and signatures to be processed. Imagine checking your bill on the device, placing your fingers on the Touché device and you’re out of the restaurant in just a few minutes. You will then receive an email detailing your experience. No more paper!

Security is at the core of Touché

The company’s brainchild scans any two of your fingers to extract around 40 to 45 specific points of each fingerprint. It does not store images of your fingerprints. The information is encrypted on a cloud system. It is virtually impossible to create a replica of your fingerprints with this information. The anti-spoofing and live detection technology at Touché also ensures that the fingerprints are real. Credit card information is tokenised, and the card details are not stored in the database. No information is stored on the device, and it communicates with the server using the highest encryption levels to protect our users’ privacy.

With one simple registration, users can use the system globally

The first time you visit a merchant, you can pay with your credit card and use Touché’s solution to link the card to your fingers. You then update your particulars online, and even add your profile picture! For subsequent visits to any merchant that uses Touché, there is no need for further registration, and you can even choose between multiple credit cards in your Touché wallet to make payment.

Smart shopping and increased savings with Touché

The Touché wallet offers you more than just payment methods. Wherever you go, your favourite offers, loyalty programmes, vouchers, coupons and memberships follow. Access to your shopping or dining experiences and expenditure history is readily available via the Touché journal. Touché ensures that your entitlements are applied automatically at every interaction. You will also be notified of the loyalty benefits or credit card promotional offers at one glance, making it easier for you to choose your preferred payment method for greater savings.

Supercharging businesses with a gentle touch

For businesses, this platform is time saving and efficient. It adapts to existing technology and process environments, so integration is a cinch. It can be utilised to create long-term relationships with their customers. They can tailor loyalty programmes and create unique offers for different customers. Businesses can also curate data about their customers, and the insights can be used to create moments that wow at every turn.

(Press Release Information)

Personally, in my personal humble opinion, I believe this Touche platform has a huge growth and expansion potential in the whole world. If the opportunity arises in the future, I hope that I can write and share more on both sides of the story, customer/end user and business.

I would like to thank Touche and Brand Cellar for the invitation to Touche launch event in Singapore.

* Photos and information courtesy of Touche and Brand Cellar *

Singtel Music Exclusive: Get Up-Close with Nathan Hartono

Nathan Hartono fans, I have an exciting update for to share! There would be an opportunity to get up close with Nathan Hartono with a Singtel Music Exclusive event! Pass It On and share this news with your family, relatives and friends!

Here are the details on how you can have a chance to get up close and personal with Nathan Hartono –

Music fans will have a chance to get up-close and personal with national singing sensation Nathan Hartono early next year. In support of local music talent, Singtel Music will present an exclusive showcase – ‘Up-Close with Nathan Hartono’ at Millian Singapore, St James PowerStation on Saturday 21 January 2017, 6.30pm.

Fans will have the opportunity to watch Nathan perform and even interact with him at the showcase. Accompanied by a full band, Nathan will be singing a variety of songs in English and Chinese. This includes some brand new original compositions from his eagerly-anticipated extended play (EP), which is slated for release in the first quarter of 2017. Some lucky fans will also get the chance to meet Nathan in person and take photos with him.

Singtel Music is offering fans a pair of complimentary tickets[1] to the showcase when they

  • Post a comment on Nathan’s live performance video on Singtel’s Facebook page by 26 December (11.59 pm) sharing who they wish to bring to the showcase and why. The three best answers win;
  • Send a gift of music (a six-month or 12-month premium Singtel Music subscription with Spotify, KKBOX, Saavn or TIDAL) to a loved one through Singtel Online Christmas Gifts before 31 December; or
  • Purchase a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge at any Singtel retail shop from 17 December, and sign up for a premium Singtel Music subscription.

Singtel Music lets music fans get close to their favourite artistes with exclusive events, including music showcases and meet and greets such as Nathan’s live performance for fans on Singtel’s Facebook page earlier this month, which has garnered more than 142,000 views so far, as well as British songbird Jessie J’s dazzling showcase in May this year.

Singtel Music is Singapore’s first data-free music service to offer music from popular providers like Spotify, KKBOX, TIDAL and Saavn with zero local data charges. Samsung is Singtel Music’s preferred handset partner.

For more information on Singtel Music, please visit www.singtel.com/singtelmusic.

[1] Limited numbers available.

* Information and picture courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Korean superstar Song Seung Heon to light up Singapore for Singtel subscribers

Korean drama fans alert! If you are a big fan of Korean superstar Song Seung Heon, I have some news to share with you! Korean superstar Song Seung Heon is coming to Singapore and he’s going to light up Singapore with exclusive meet and greet sessions for Singtel subscribers in January 2017!

Spread this news to your fellow K-Drama fans who are also a big fan of Korean superstar Song Seung Heon!

Let me share with you more details on this upcoming Korean superstar Song Seung Heon exclusive meet up –

Hallyu fans will have much cause for joy in the new year as Singtel brings South Korean superstar and heartthrob Song Seung Heon to Singapore on 7 January 2017. Song will be in town to promote the upcoming drama, Saimdang (???), which will premiere on Turner’s Oh!K (Singtel TV Channel 525 / 611) on 25 January 2017 at 9pm.

Singtel is also giving fans and subscribers exclusive opportunities to get up close and personal with Song during his visit to Singapore. Singtel TV subscribers will get the chance to win 20 pairs of tickets to the meet-and-greet session and receive an autograph from Song. To have an opportunity to meet with the oppa of their dreams, Singtel TV subscribers simply have to answer two questions at www.singteltv.com.sg/songseungheon. The contest starts today and will end 1 January 2017.

In addition, 15 lucky Singtel Facebook fans will win a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity with Song. Stay tuned to the Singtel Facebook page for more details on how to win.

Best known for his roles in Korean dramas such as East of Eden, Autumn in My Heart and Summer Scent, Song co-stars with actress Lee Young Ae of Jewel in the Palace fame in Saimdang.

The epic K-drama depicts the life of Shin Saimdang, Korea’s most famous historical female figure known for her art, poetry and calligraphy, and her love story with Lee Gyeom, played by Song. Lee stars in dual roles as a present-day Korean art history lecturer Seo Ji Yun and as Shin Saimdang. The drama also marks Lee’s long-awaited comeback to the small screen after nearly 13 years.

Saimdang will be broadcast simultaneously with Korea, and air every Wednesday and Thursday. The drama will be dubbed in both Mandarin and Bahasa Malay.

Oh!K channel is available on Singtel TV as part of the Jingxuan and Inspirasi packs and on Singtel Cast in the Hallyu Pack. For more information on Singtel TV, visit www.singteltv.com.sg.

* Information and pictures courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Send gifts with Singtel Online Christmas Gifts

The month of December, the festive Christmas period, a time to send Christmas gifts to family, relatives and friends. When you are looking around to purchase Christmas gifts for them, do you face this challenge of what to get for them?

How about sending gifts of mobile data, music and news as Christmas gifts for them? Where can you find them to buy for them? Look no further than Singtel Online Christmas Gifts, Singapore’s first online gift shop for mobile services! What are the type of Christmas gifts that you can send and give to your family, relatives, loved ones and friends? Pay It Forward and Pass It On, the Singtel Online Christmas Gifts shop for mobile services to your family, relatives, loved ones and friends!

Let me share with you more information below –

To usher in the festive season, Singtel has launched Singtel Online Christmas Gifts (gifts.singtel.com/Christmas) – Singapore’s first online gift shop for mobile services. It allows Singtel postpaid mobile customers to go digital and easily purchase a variety of Singtel’s popular mobile services such as data, Singtel Music and Singtel Newsstand, and send them as gifts to their family and friends. Customers can purchase multiple gifts of up to S$200 and enjoy the convenience of paying through their monthly Singtel bill.

Customers will be able to enjoy exclusive festive prices when they buy any of the following gifts from now until 31 December 2016:

  • a three-month or six-month subscription of 1GB/month data, starting from S$23.70;
  • a six-month or 12-month premium Singtel Music subscription with Spotify, KKBOX, TIDAL or Saavn, starting from S$49.90; or
  • a six-month or 12-month premium Singtel Newsstand digital subscription with Fortune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or TIME, starting from S$44.50

“In this digital age, we know how much our mobile customers appreciate extra data, music and news on the go. With Singtel Online Christmas Gifts, they will be able to give meaningful gifts that are also practical and useful to their families and friends at affordable prices. We are pleased to be able to offer this first-of-its-kind service in Singapore as we continue to come up with innovative products and services that delight our customers,” said Ms Diana Chen, Vice President of Mobile Marketing, Consumer Singapore, Singtel.

Gifting with Singtel Online Christmas Gifts is simple. All customers need to do is log in, choose a gift, personalise a message and send it. The recipient will be notified via SMS in minutes and can redeem it anytime from now until 30 June 2017.

Spreading the Christmas cheer

To celebrate the season of giving, Singtel has a host of treats for customers.

Singtel TV

Singtel TV customers can look forward to an entertaining Christmas with selected free preview channels from 22 Dec 2016 (0500 hours) to 2 Jan 2017 (2359 hours) on Singtel TV and Singtel TV GO.

A range of exciting movies such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Trip and I am Number 4 will be available on the following free preview channels: · FOX Action Movies (CH 408)

· Sundance Channel (CH 401)

· FOX Family Movies (CH 406)

· Thrill (CH 415)

· FOX Movies Premium (CH 414)

· Turner Classic Movies (CH 420)

Customers can also enjoy special Singtel TV offers such as X-Men specials on Video-on-Demand at S$1.99 each, two months’ free subscription on a 12-month Movies+ Pack1 contract and 50% off the Singtel TV GO and DVR Bundle.

Singtel Dashing Christmas

Singtel Dash customers who spend S$5 or more in one transaction at any Dash merchant or remit a minimum amount of S$350 each time will earn a chance to unwrap a special gift. 60,000 gifts are up for grabs, including Samsung Galaxy S7 4G+ mobile phones, up to S$100 Dash credits2 and 10% cashback at Dash merchants3. The promotion ends on 31 Dec 20164.

Singtel gives back

In the spirit of giving, customers can do their part for charity too. Singtel is selling Christmas Baubles, which customers can customise, at S$10 and greeting cards at S$5 each at the Singtel flagship store. All proceeds will go to the Singtel Touching Lives Fund.

Find out more about Singtel’s Christmas campaign on singtel.com/christmas.

* Information and pictures courtesy of Singtel Corporate Communications *

Grab’s new commercial Carpool service – GrabShare

Grab, the leading ride-hailing platform in Southeast Asia recently announced GrabShare on 6th December 2016. GrabShare is Grab’s new commercial carpool service, whereby passengers can share a ride and fare.

I remembered visiting Grab’s booth at Echelon Asia Summit 2016 and learned about their Grab for Work. The Head of Grab Singapore, Mr Lim Kell Jay, also spoke at one of the platforms during Echelon Asia Summit 2016, his sharing and views left a good impression on me. Technology advancements have changed tremendously over the past few decades and in today’s climate, “Disrupt or Be Disrupted” on Grab’s business card sums it up perfectly.

During GrabShare official launch event on 6th December 2016, I had the opportunity to witness the launch of GrabShare and the chance to hear Kell Jay speak again, sharing about Grab and GrabShare. Kell Jay mentioned to the visitors present at the official launch event that caught my attention and left an impression on me, Grab looks after their drivers and in turn, the Grab drivers would look after the passengers that they fetch and ferry around. In my personal humble opinion and from a services industry provision perspective, this business philosophy is the way to go for growth and expansion (for Grab’s service/ride-hailing/transportation).

Let me share more information and details about GrabShare from the press release information below –

Grab, the leading ride-hailing platform in Southeast Asia, today announced GrabShare, the company’s first commercial carpool service that is beta-tested in Singapore. With GrabShare, passengers enjoy cheaper rides while drivers earn more from completing two passenger bookings in one trip. GrabShare is the company’s fourth transport service in Singapore and complements GrabTaxi (taxi-hailing), GrabCar (private hire car-hailing) and GrabHitch (non-commercial social carpooling).

To get passengers quickly to their destinations, GrabShare pairs just two passenger bookings with similar trip routes within a single trip. Passengers will only experience a maximum of two stops before reaching their destinations. For example, if Passenger A commences the ride and is paired with Passenger B, depending on the more efficient trip route, Passenger A may make a first stop to pick-up Passenger B and a second to drop-off Passenger B.

“Commuters in Singapore indicated that they would be open to carpooling if they didn’t have to make long detours with numerous passengers in one trip. Drivers had the same feedback and wanted the option of taking short breaks between trips. GrabShare is designed with drivers and passengers in mind to provide the best carpool experience in Singapore — passengers enjoy cheaper fares with minimal additional time spent on the road, and drivers earn more from shorter carpool trips,” said Lim Kell Jay, Head of Grab Singapore.

Benefits of GrabShare to passengers include:

1. Cheaper fares

GrabShare fares are priced up to 30 percent cheaper than GrabCar Economy fares. Fares are fixed and displayed upfront. With Grab’s dynamic pricing model that balances supply and demand, passengers enjoy cheaper rides during non-peak hours when more available drivers are on the road.

2. Ride with a friend at no additional cost

GrabShare users can bring another friend on the ride at no additional cost, as long as both share the same pick-up and drop-off locations.

3. Maximum two-stop guarantee

Passengers can expect no more than two stops before reaching their destinations. This ensures everyone reaches their locations fast for less. Drivers will wait up to three minutes for each passenger at pick-ups.

4. Instant booking

Passengers can book a GrabShare ride on-demand from anywhere, at any time and enjoy socialising with fellow commuters on the ride.

5. Ride with peace of mind

Grab’s Group Personal Accident Insurance covers all passengers in the event of an accident. The total personal accident benefits for the driver or passengers can be up to US$250,000 per vehicle, or up to an aggregate limit of US$2.5 million per accident.

Benefits of GrabShare to drivers include:

1. Higher earnings

Drivers can complete two passenger bookings at once to receive higher combined fares with every GrabShare trip.

2. Similar trip routes

Every GrabShare match is designed to minimise additional distance travelled, reducing fuel consumption and time spent on a GrabShare trip.

How GrabShare works

1. Passenger A selects GrabShare ride and is picked up by a GrabShare driver.

2. Passenger B selects GrabShare ride, and Passenger A and B are matched. The Grab app notifies both the driver and Passenger A and B of a successful match.

3. Diver makes a slight detour to pick up Passenger B. Both Passenger A and B can bring one other person to ride with them (for example, four seats in the car may be filled).

4. The order of pick-up and drop-off ensures that both Passenger A and B get to their destinations quickly.

Friday 9th December 2016 Special!
To celebrate the launch, passengers can ride with GrabShare for a flat fee of SGD5 on Friday, 9 December, regardless of the journey.

Download the Grab app today from the App Store and Google Play to experience GrabShare. For more information, please visit https://www.grab.com/sg/share/.

* Information courtesy of Grab Singapore and Golin *