More than 600 telecommunications licences have been awarded by Singapore's telecom regulator, the Infocomm Development Authority; around 5% of these come under the facilities-based operator category. The boom in licensing over the last decade has been the result of a hugely liberalised market and government policy that has strongly supported a progressive regulatory regime.
The dominant players in the market are, of course, the mobile operators with their massive subscriber bases and revenues, combined with blanket coverage. By March 2015 the number of mobile subscribers had reached 8.0 million and an overall mobile penetration rate of 149%.
Of the three big mobile operators SingTel, Mobile One and StarHub two (SingTel and StarHub) are full service operators and consequently are involved in a wide range of telecom services, including fixed line and fixed broadband. Following the launch of the NGNBN Mobile One has also moved into the fixed broadband market. Although there is competition in the fixed-line telephony market, SingTel continues to dominate with more than 90% of fixed subscribers. Despite the huge presence of the three big players in the Singapore telecom market, the many smaller operators are playing a vital part in increasing competition and also make a valuable contribution to the creative side of the market.
This report takes a look at the major operators in Singapore's dynamic, constantly changing telecoms environment. Despite a much more competitive market, incumbent SingTel has remained a formidable player; the company has been busy developing new strategies, including regional expansion, as it adapts to the changing nature of the business.
SingTel Mobile began trialing Ericsson's advanced Radio Dot System'. Ericsson began working with SingTel to trial LTE Broadcast. SingTel became the first mobile operator in Singapore to offer its users tri-band 4G network services and partnered with Ericsson to undertake 5G trials. SingTel deployed tri-band LTE-A, delivering peak speeds of 337Mb/s. M1 launched Singapore's first 2Gb/s to 10Gb/s Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) services. StarHub launched a commercial trial of Huawei's LampSite indoor coverage service StarHub expanded its LTE-A network coverage to 85% of Singapore.