Is Brunei Mobile Data Really that Expensive?

I’ve heard complaints that DST, one of the Brunei mobile telcos, rip people off with regards to charging for data. Let’s see if that’s true.

So I compared Brunei’s cellular data from DST and Progresif Cellular to different telcos in 4 countries

And I’ve come up with this spreadsheet.

On a cursory glance, it seems that

  • UK has pretty good prices in all data tiers
  • we have one of the worst excess data charges
  • DST pricing isn’t that great when data usage is under 5GB
  • with plans using more than 5GB of data (and especially > 10GB data), DST is actually very good so long as you stay within the quota amount

Hope to do more in-depth look soon

New Telbru Internet Plans (eSpeed / High-Speed Broadband)

new telbru internet ratesThe Telbru eSpeed/High-Speed Broadband (HSBB) Internet rates have arrived and price wise they are going in a good direction, quota wise not so much, but here are the facts that you need to know.

  • Base monthly rates have been reduced
  • Some plans have quotas
  • If you exceed the quota you will get throttled but you pay no extra (you will still have an Internet connection, just slower speeds)
  • Throttled speeds are “about 20% of the subscribed plan package
    bandwidth throttling
  • Extra quota top-ups can be purchased if you exceed your quota which will restore your speed
    quota topup
  • Price caps are only for those who purchase multiple extra quota top-ups
    price cap
  • At the switch over, you will get the same speed but at the new reduced monthly price (and quota’s if applicable)

How to check your data usage

Notifications can be sent to you via your preferred communication channel (e-mail/text message) when you have used 50%, 80% and 100% of your quota volume

Read more on Telbru’s site

Possible Issues

  • Is the data metering real time?
  • Are both uploads and downloads counted?
  • Best effort Internet: which sounds very similar to the eSpeed problems on yesteryear

My bandwidth at home cannot even reach 1Mbps, is there a rebate?

There will be no rebate given on your rental charge or quota. Our broadband service is best effort service. If your average broadband speed is low (approximately one megabit per second or less) we do not recommend you to purchase higher bandwidth or quota packages.

“Intro to Dart” @ Dart Flight School, Brunei 2014

On the 15th of February the Google Developer Group (GDG) Brunei held a Dart Flight School at DST’s Signature Store.

Dart is a new language that learns from Javascript and adds features that are missing in Javascript such as classes and optional static typing. It aims to provide a better developer workflow and efficiency, better performance vs Javascript and can compile to Javascript in order to be deployed anywhere.

I prerecorded an “Intro to Dart” video just in case as with all things, technology can be troublesome at times =)  There is also a 4 hour long Hangouts on Air recording of the entire event

Intro to Dart slide deck

Dart Flight School

The code labs served as a way to learn Dart and it is even deployable on Heroku. We also covered a bit of Angular JS with a work in progress AngularJS intro project on GitHub.

All in all, Dart seems compelling that it is more performant compared to Javascript, can be compiled to Javascript so you reap the development benefit while still maintaining deployability via Javascript, having a single language for both client and server and adding ‘modern’ features added to Javascript make it easier to develop in. Certainly an alternative to Javascript+Node and perhaps something to use in a future project.

Brunei Geek Meet and RHoK (Random Hacks of Kindness) Brunei


Today marks the first meetup of Brunei Geek Meet (, a meetup where I hope to start fostering the meetup culture that I’ve been experiencing here in Melbourne. We aim to be run by the community for the community. I believe that everybody has something to share and I want Brunei Geek Meet to be a platform for people to contribute to the community as a whole: be it as a learner, as a presenter, as a mentor, as a discussion starter, etc. We are more technology oriented (but are open to geeks of any kind!) and we intend to have talks, code labs, hacknights/days and other events where people can attend, learn and contribute in their own ways.

I am also please to announce that we have a license to hold a RHoK event in Brunei. With the tagline “Hacking for Humanity” RHoK believes in providing a platform for people (particularly technologists) to do social good and make the world a better place.


This is done by hackers working to solve a community problems which can be used in the region of the problem, and even to a bigger audience of the World. When I first attended RHoK, it brought me back to the days I was working on the SMARTER eCVS and I want RHoK Brunei to be of the same nature: for us to see a local need and for technologists to team up to work on a solution.

With that, I would like to extend an invitation to any individuals or organisations that are facing or know of problems that could use a technological solution to get in touch with me and so we can kick off some discussion on how the developer community of Brunei could help. My contact details are / @thewheat. I truly hope that you can be a part of RHoK and help contribute to the betterment of the Brunei developer community by providing a real world problem that we, as a community, can get together and help solve.

Considering Android Development: A bit of basics and then some

Considering Android Development Slidedeck

This was the talk I gave at GDG Brunei DevFest 2013 and I aimed for the content to be basic and accessible with a workable app, so that the attendees could use it as a starting off point for the hackathon, should they want to learn how to build an Android app.

I should have published the APK on the Play Store before the talk so that people could have downloaded the app and see what I was building as part of the talk

Source code:

HSBC Brunei has been good to me


In contrast to my Standard Chartered Brunei experience, HSBC has been pretty good. I received an SMS informing that my ATM card would be deactivated and that I would have to visit my nearest HSBC branch to apply for a Visa Debit Card. Sounds straight forward for anybody in Brunei but sadly I am not in Brunei and thus I decided to give them a call. After some verification questions, they arranged to send my card to the closest HSBC branch in Melbourne. A stark contrast to the SCB experience.

While it was all good and I managed to get my card, I have yet to receive my PIN number and thus I called HSBC today and hopefully that’s sorted it out. I did get more verification questions which I feel could be improved on. Two of the several verification questions asked were

  1. Who is your employer?

    Now, I can easily tell them my current employer but I honestly don’t remember who was my employer when I answered this verification question. The question wasn’t who was my first employer, just who is my employer. This vague question is dependent on when I first answered this question, or whenever I updated the question. I asked the lady when could I have answered this question so that I could trace back which employer I was with at the time but she couldn’t specify more information and that I had to give a single answer, so I just randomly gave an answer.

  2. What is the branch that you opened your account at?

    While this is much less vague that the previous question, it still depends on whether I remember the answer. I know I’ve done some banking in the Gadong branch and Bandar branch. I’ve probably opened at least one account at each branch and perhaps I just have a bad memory but I don’t think this question is a good verification question (at least not for me)

But all in all, HSBC has been good and managed to give me service while I’m overseas so kudos to them! Now I wonder how other Brunei banks deal with overseas customers.