Updates: HardwareZone.com got back to us with the press release and microsite but we still do not see where the information is with regards to how the criteria for ‘Best Mobile Operator’ is determined.
Just yesterday, Singapore Telecommunications Limited, or better known as SingTel, announced that it was voted Singapore’s best mobile operator and provider of mobile and fibre broadband services at the 2013 HardwareMag (HWM) and HardwareZone.com Tech Awards.
Apparently, it won the three above-mentioned awards based on more than 155,000 votes, from Hardwarezone fans in the Reader’s Choice category. It is SingTel’s fourth consecutive year in being voted “Best Mobile Operator” with readers recognizing the telco for its “excellent 4G service,” which is said to be proven by impartial tests to provide customers with the fastest indoor and outdoor broadband speeds.
For the fourth consecutive year, SingTel was voted the Best Mobile Operator for the coverage, reliability and speeds of its mobile services. In particular, Sidney Wong, a tech writer, recognised SingTel’s stronger 4G signal which was shown by independent preliminary tests to check its speeds.
But a closer look at the voting results by HWM and HardwareZone.com really made us think twice about the nomination process. For instance, how is it possible that RIM, now BlackBerry, has more votes than Apple, as the best mainstream smartphone brand when it is obvious that the smartphone market is predominantly made up of either Apple or Android users? It really seems odd to us at e27 when Motorola and LG would win over Apple in terms of the number of votes. Just take a quick look around in Singapore. How many people do you see holding a Motorola or LG smartphone?
But we do have to agree with the analysis provided that it could be that the iPhone fanboys and girls have nominated Apple as “Best Premium Smartphone Brand.” But what is mainstream and what makes premium? The definitions seem pretty subjective. And just how do readers nominate one to be either? We cannot help but wonder just how the results were collated and put together.
SingTel also bagged 41 percent of votes when it came to “Best Mobile Broadband Service Provider,” lording over the other two telcos, StarHub with 28 percent and M1 with 31 percent.
However, what does best mean? And just how do readers qualify the brand as “best?” Is it the fastest? Is it the cheapest? Just what is it? There does not seem to be an explanation for this on all nine pages of the article titled “HWM + HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2013: Readers’ Choice Results.” We have also contacted HardwareZone.com for a better understanding of just what the criteria is, but have not received a reply yet.
Honestly, we think SingTel is not that bad, if we forgive its list of allegations: Mio TV football outage last year; slow 3G speeds which even lag Vietnam; disproportionate levels of coverage across Singapore; and outrageous waiting time for its hotline even at midnight. And just why is that, you ask? Well, if you look at its competitors, they have a similarly long list of such complaints, too. StarHub and M1 have their share of complaints regarding bad service, especially with their obviously understaffed call centres, billing errors, overly expensive plans and limited coverage.
Plus, all three were fined last year for poor 3G mobile coverage and slashed what used to be 12gb worth of data to a meagre two gigs.
We are not saying “Nobody can win,” but a quick glance at SingTel’s Facebook page announcing it was voted best mobile operator locally reveals many who are as skeptical as we are here.
First world problems? Perhaps. But best mobile operator? There are only three so best of the worst, maybe.
Image Credits: Syndicate Gamers, HardwareZone.com