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 late in 2012 the number of mobile subscribers had reached almost 8 million (with 3G subscribers making up more than three quarters of the total) and an overall mobile penetration rate of 150%. 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. Although there is competition in the fixed-line 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 announced major corporate restructure; SingTel, M1 and StarHub all launched commercial LTE (4G) networks; smartphones playing key role in marketing strategies of the major mobile operators; MobileOne has positioned itself for offering services on the new NGNBN.