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Singapore - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband


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Singapore - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Singapore deal that could see SingTel gain control of OpenNet has market rivals ‘up in arms.’

Singapore has developed the status of a world leader in telecommunications through the building of a high quality and extremely progressive regulatory environment for the local telecommunications sector. This dynamic has, in turn, generated a highly competitive telecom market place in the island-state. The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), the nation’s telecoms regulator, reports that Singapore’s fixed-line household penetration rate around 100%, many Singaporeans having two fixed telephone services at home. At the same time, its booming mobile market has a highly penetrated that is continuing to grow in subscribers and sophistication. Singapore’s 3G market segment has been on a growth surge over recent years but that is now easing with the advent of 4G. In the meantime 3G had become the ‘normal’ mobile service in the country with around two-thirds of the subscriber base being 3G.

As Singapore’s mobile market continues its expansion, the numbers of broadband access and data services are increasing at an impressive rate. The Residential Wired Broadband Household Penetration Rate, for example, had reached around 104%.

With strong leadership from its government and good support from its telecom service providers, Singapore is both a regional leader and a global player in telecommunications. The island-state certainly generates a positive outlook in its local telecommunications sector. The country has built what is widely seen as a high quality and extremely progressive telecommunications regulatory regime that has, in turn, resulted in a richly competitive market.

At the same time as building its sophisticated telecoms infrastructure, Singapore has successfully promoted itself an IT hub and a place of excellence when it comes to all things to do with IT and telecommunications. The nation is determined to maintain its status and in the process it has been embarking on new and innovative telecom and IT projects.

Although incumbent Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) continues to play a major role in the local telecom sector, liberalisation has seen a significant number of new operators entering the market, helping to exploit the competitive situation. The arrival of strong competition in its own backyard saw SingTel expand offshore and, in what eventually turned out to be a successful strategy, the company has been able to establish a considerable presence in regional markets, including 100% ownership of Optus, the second ranked mobile operator in Australia. Its offshore presence includes subsidiaries in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Pakistan and Bangladesh. And through its alliance with Bharti Airtel in India it has further market presence in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Africa. The SingTel group had around 500 million mobile subscribers across its many markets.

With the government pushing to move Singapore into the forefront of IT development, the IDA announced back in 2008 that S$1 billion (US$725 million) had been allocated by the government to support the building and operating of a national optical fibre-based network as part of what was called the Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure (Next Gen NII); the strategy also included a wireless network. Despite some problems with the rate of roll out, the development of this national network has been proceeding.

NGNBN builder OpenNet reported on a plan to sell the company to CityNet, a subsidiary of SingTel. The deal required the approval of the regulator to proceed. In the meantime, rival companies in the market were reported to be unanimously opposing the plan and had requested the government to reject it on the grounds that it was anti-competitive. They claimed to be expressing the grave concerns within the industry about the proposed acquisition, suggesting that there was ‘the potential of discriminatory treatment and a lack of independence.’

Key highlights

Singapore’s overall mobile telephone penetration had passed the 150% mark and was close to 8 million subscribers by 2013;

The country’s 3G market continues to be the strongest component of the mobile sector with around two-thirds of all mobile subscribers being 3G;

By 2013 the arrival of 4G/LTE was having a big impact on the market, with rapid take up of service;

Effectively 100% of Singapore’s households now have some form of high speed broadband internet access;

The Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure (Next Gen NII), Singapore’s large scale project to build an island-wide broadband network, is well underway;

While the IDA had initially reported good progress on the roll-out of this network, in 2012 it intervened in the construction process amid growing concerns about slow progress;

By mid-2013 there was high demand in the market place for fibre-based broadband services;

The IDA continued to maintain that the network will deliver universal coverage on time;

In the second half of 2013 a deal was taking shape that could see OpenNet, the company building the NGNBN, being acquired by CityNet, a SingTel subsidiary;

Rival operators were vigorously opposing the deal, which needed the IDA’s approval to proceed;

Against the trend observed in most other markets around the world, fixed-line telephone services in Singapore remain remarkably resilient with what the IDA describes as effectively all households are connected to the fixed network;

Not surprisingly, growth in the fixed network has flattened out.

Singapore: - key telecom parameters – 2011 - 2013
Category | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 (e)

Fixed-line services: | | |

Subscribers penetration2 | 39% | 38% | 36%

Broadband internet:1 | | |

Wireless subscriber penetration2 | 152% | 166% | 165%

Mobile services: | | |

Subscriber penetration2 | 151% | 152% | 159%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Note: 1includes both fixed and mobile broadband services; 2penetration as percentage of population

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2013
    • Table Telephone network statistics - June 2013
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2012
    • Table Broadband statistics - July 2013
    • Table Mobile statistics - July 2013
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
      • Background
      • Economy
        • Table Singapore's GDP real growth rate - 2006 - 2014
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • OVERVIEW OF SINGAPORE'S TELECOM MARKET
      • Table Fixed-line versus mobile growth - subscribers and penetration - 1998 - 2013
    • INTELLIGENT NATION 2015 (IN2015)
    • NEXT GENERATION NATIONAL INFOCOMM INFRASTRUCTURE (NEXT GEN NII)
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS
      • Services standards
      • Service contracts
      • SingTel fined for service disruptions
      • Changes to Telecom Competition Code
      • Consumer protection regulations
      • Online scams
      • Do-not-call register
  • MAJOR OPERATORS
    • SINGAPORE TELECOM (SINGTEL)
      • Overview
      • Corporate structure and subsidiaries
        • Table Major shareholders in SingTel - May 2012
        • Table SingTel's regional subsidiaries and shareholdings - March 2012
      • Statistics
        • Table SingTel - Singapore market - key operational subscriber statistics - 2011; 2013
        • Table SingTel - mobile subscribers - 1998 - 2013
        • Table SingTel - 3G mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2013
        • Table SingTel - key operational statistics - March 2013
        • Table SingTel - ARPU - mobile services - postpaid, prepaid, blended - 2011 - 2013
        • Table SingTel - ARPU for mobile services - postpaid, prepaid, non-voice - 2003 - 2013
        • Table SingTel - fixed broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2013
        • Table SingTel's mio TV subscribers - 2009 - 2013
        • Table SingTel's regional mobile subscribers - 2007 - 2013
        • Table SingTel's mobile subscribers by regional markets - March 2013
      • SingTel Mobile
      • Broadband services
      • IPTV
    • STARHUB PTE LTD
      • Overview
      • Corporate structure
        • Table Major shareholders in StarHub - February 2012
      • Operational statistics
        • Table StarHub - key operational statistics - 2010 - 2012
        • Table StarHub - revenue and proportion of revenue by market segment - 2012
        • Table StarHub mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2013
        • Table StarHub 3G mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2013
        • Table StarHub - operating revenue and capital expenditure - 2008 - 2012
        • Table StarHub - key operational statistics - mobile postpaid and prepaid - March 2013
        • Table StarHub - ARPU for mobile services - postpaid and prepaid - 2003 - 2013
        • Table StarHub's fixed broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2013
        • Table StarHub - ARPU for broadband services - 2006 - 2013
      • Financials
      • Mobile services
      • Broadband services
      • Cable TV services
        • Table StarHub Cable TV subscribers - 1996 - 2013
        • Table StarHub cable TV ARPU - 2003 - 2013
    • MOBILEONE
      • Overview
      • Corporate structure
        • Table Major shareholders in Mobile One - February 2011
      • Operating statistics
        • Table MobileOne subscribers - 1998 - 2013
        • Table MobileOne 3G subscribers - 2006 - 2013
        • Table Mobile One - Fixed (fibre) subscribers - 2012 - 2013
        • Table Mobile One - operating revenue and capital expenditure - 2008 - 2013
        • Table Mobile One - mobile subscribers, market share and ARPU - March 2013
        • Table MobileOne - ARPU for mobile services - postpaid and prepaid - 2002 - 2013
        • Table Mobile One - ARPU - fixed (fibre) services - 2012 - 2013
      • Financials
      • Business strategies
      • Network development
    • OTHER PLAYERS
      • PacNet
      • Verizon
    • NEW PLAYERS
      • MyRepublic
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Overview
        • Table Fixed lines in service and penetration - 1998 - 2013
        • Table Overview of fixed-line subscribers - June 2013
      • Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC)
    • NEXT GENERATION NATIONAL INFOCOMM INFRASTRUCTURE (NEXT GEN NII)
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Submarine cable systems under construction
      • Flag Telecom
      • Satellite networks
    • INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS
      • International services
      • IP networks
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
    • BACKGROUND
    • DEVELOPMENTS
      • Cloud computing
      • Energy rating of data centres
    • BROADBAND AND INTERNET STATISTICS
      • Table Broadband subscribers - 1999 - 2013
      • Table Overview of broadband/household subscribers - July 2013
      • Table Broadband subscribers by sector - July 2013
      • Table Broadband market share - by major access types - July 2013
      • Table Overview of internet market - March 2013
      • Table Internet users - 1996 - 2013
      • Table Fixed internet subscribers - 1997 - 2013
      • Table Registered domain names - February 2012
      • Table Total international internet bandwidth - 2006 - 2013
    • NEXT GENERATION NATIONAL INFOCOMM INFRASTRUCTURE (NEXT GEN NII)
      • Background
      • Network company (NetCo)
      • Operating company (OpCo)
      • Rollout
        • Table Total optical fibre broadband subscribers - 2011 - 2013
      • Market developments
      • Analysis - Singapore's national broadband network
    • BROADBAND SERVICE PROVIDERS
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers, annual change, market share by major providers - September 2012
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers, annual change, market share by major providers - March 2013
    • BROADBAND TECHNOLOGIES
      • Cable modems
        • Table Cable modem subscribers - 2000 - 2013
      • Digital subscriber line (DSL)
        • Table DSL subscribers - 2000 - 2013
      • Powerline broadband
      • Fibre-to-the-home (FttH)
      • Wireless broadband
        • Table Wireless broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2013
    • VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL (VOIP)
  • DIGITAL MEDIA / DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • BROADCASTING MARKET
      • Overview
        • Table Key broadcasting statistics - 2012
        • Table Broadcasting - homes, subscribers and sector revenue - 1996 - 2012
      • Regulatory environment
      • Regulatory developments
      • Convergence
      • Digital TV
      • Cable and pay TV
        • Table Cable TV subscribers - transition from analogue to digital - 2002 - 2009
      • Satellite TV
      • Interactive TV (iTV)
      • Free-to-air (FTA) TV
      • Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
        • Table SingTel's mio TV subscribers - 2007 - 2013
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • OVERVIEW
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Table Singapore - mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2013
      • Table Singapore - mobile operators by share of total mobile market - March 2013
      • Table Singapore - estimated 3G mobile subscribers by operator - 2011
    • MARKET STATISTICS
      • Table Mobile subscribers - 2G and 3G, prepaid and postpaid - July 2013
      • Table Mobile subscribers - 1997 - 2013
      • Table Mobile services revenue - 1993 - 2011
      • Table Fixed-line versus mobile subscriptions and teledensity - March 2013
      • Table Fixed-line versus mobile subscriptions and teledensity - June 2013
      • Table Mobile broadband subscribers -2007 - 2012
    • AVERAGE REVENUE PER USER (ARPU)
      • Table Overall mobile services ARPU - 2002 - 2012
      • Table ARPU - postpaid and prepaid by mobile operator - 2012
    • PRICING
    • MOBILE NETWORKS
      • GSM
      • Third generation (3G)
        • Table 3G mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2013
      • High-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA)
      • Fourth generation (4G) and long-term evolution (LTE)
        • Table 4G mobile subscribers - 2013
    • MOBILE VOICE SERVICES
      • Prepaid
        • Table Prepaid subscribers - 1999 - 2013
        • Table Prepaid vs postpaid - share of 2G market - 2007 - 2012
        • Table Mobile subscribers - prepaid and postpaid - 2G and 3G - July 2013
      • International roaming
      • Satellite mobile
    • MOBILE DATA SERVICES
      • Short messaging service (SMS)
        • Table Total SMS messages per month - 2004 - 2013
      • Payment systems
      • Smartphones
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Background
      • Mobile TV

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