Apr 28, 2013

SingTel Fiber Broadband Review

I am selected to conduct a trial on the SingTel Fiber 200Mbps Broadband aka exStream. 5 x SingTel technicians came to install the devices on the 17 Sept 2010 @ 1700hrs. Yes, 5 of them, I was surprised why they need so many people to do it. Anyway, service was not activated at time of installation. Only able to use it 1.5 day later. A total of 3 devices were given:
  1. Optical Network Terminal (Ericsson T063G)
  2. Mio Gateway (2Wire 5012NV-002)
  3. MiO TV Set Top Box
The specification of the fiber connection stated on SingTel website claimed to be able to achieve up to local 200Mbps download / 100Mbps upload, international 25Mbps download / ? Mbps upload. Did several speed test using speedtest.net and ftp, I am unable to achieve the stated max speed. (You can refer to the results at the bottom of this post). However, i manage to get 1ms ping for local. Haha… It will be good for gaming i suppose. During the test, I am using a 3m Cat6 LAN cable connected directly to the 2wire gigabit port. This router has 4 x LAN ports. Unfortunately, only one of them is a gigabit port. How strange. Should have made all 4 ports gigabit. Also asked my friends to test my upload speed. He is using StarHub 16Mbps MaxOnline and he manage to download files at his max speed @ 2250KB/sec from my FTP. Cool….

The internet connection is quite stable, has been up for 3 days and I did not encounter any disconnection so far. As for the IP, it is classified under the same range as the SingNet ADSL BroadBand’s IP. I can’t determine whether it is static or dynamic assignment yet. Till now, my IP has not yet changed. It could be static, or it could be the DHCP lease time is configured to a long period?

Have attempted to bypass the 2wire router and connect my laptop directly to the ONT. However, my laptop’s LAN adapter was unable to grab any IP. Inspected the 2wire router WAN configuration and saw that it is using DHCP for WAN. But i got no idea why I can’t grab any IP using my laptop. Tried to configuring PPPoE…failed. Even tried cloning the 2wire WAN’s MAC address, also failed. Tried to set static IP using a few well know range, also failed. Lastly, also tried setting static public IP leased to the 2wire router, also failed. Can’t seem to find any administrator manual online for this ONT. If anyone got any idea what is wrong and how to bypass the 2wire router, please do let me know.

In order to bypass the 2wire router, you have to assign VLAN ID to receive the respective traffic:
  • Internet: 10
  • IPTV: 20
  • VoIP: 30
  • Management: 40
Unfortunately, DIR-655 do not support WAN VLAN tagging. Guess have to stick to 2wire.. =( Thanks to xieliwei from HWZ who found out that the packets are vlan tagged using wireshark.

Speedtest.net – Singapore

Speedtest.net – Los Angeles

Speedtest.net – Hong Kong

The fiber broadband service comes with Mio TV and Mio Voice. So far, Mio TV was quite good, no freeze, no lag. This is the first time i use Mio TV after it has launched for so many years. I am surprise they do not have Net Geo and Discovery channel. They are my favorite documentary channels. Furthermore, they also don’t have my favorite Taiwan channels to watch all the lame variety shows. Nevertheless, they do have Video On Demand (VOD) for movies, MobTV etc. However, these shows are not free… Have to pay on a monthly subscription basis or per view basis. Conclusion for Mio TV, i still prefer Starhub CableTV. The boot up time for Starhub set top box is much faster, they have more channels, more HD channels, better GUI and lastly they have net geo and discovery.

FTP download from ftp.singnet.com.sg – 1GB file in less than 1minute… COOL!

FTP upload to ftp.singnet.com.sg – 1GB file

As for Mio Voice, no comments so far. I didn’t really use it because I also have Starhub Digital Voice and my mum friends do call the Starhub number. I don’t want to purposely buy another phone just to test it out. Anyway, I did made a few phone calls. No voice lag, sound quality is normal. I do not have the device to test the video call.

Optical Network Terminal Modem (Ericsson T063G)

Rear view of the modem

SingTel’s 2Wire 5012NV-002 vs StarHub’s Motorola SB5120v VeCM

Mio TV Set Top Box

In conclusion, I feel that the fiber broadband is not necessary for home users unless you need to use Mio TV or you are a heavy file leecher. I cannot feel any difference when I use it to surf the net. It is because surfing net doesn’t consume much bandwidth and also international traffic are throttled at 25Mbps, which ADSL/MaxOnline are also able to achieve. I would think more than 95% of my traffic are channeled to overseas, unless i surf HWZ/VRZ. And for the price starting at $85.90/month, IMO it is too expensive.

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