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Singapore - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Singapore - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Singapore enthusiastically embraces 4G/LTE and beyond

Through its building of a high quality and extremely progressive regulatory environment for the local telecommunications sector, Singapore has developed the status of a world leader in telecommunications. 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 with Singapore’s fixed-line household penetration rate 99%, 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 by 2014 it had already moved into decline with the advent of 4G. By July 2015 there were already 3.7 million 4G subscribers, this being a remarkable 68% penetration (population).

As Singapore’s mobile market continues its expansion, the numbers of fixed broadband access and data services are increasing at an impressive rate. The Residential Wired Broadband Household Penetration Rate, for example, had reached around 107% by mid-2015.

With strong leadership from the government and good support from its telecom service providers, Singapore was 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. Typical of this emphasis on taking the lead, in 2014 SingTel and Huawei agreed to collaborate on 5G research and trials. In 2015 Singapore was busy working to shape itself into what it says will be the world’s first ‘Smart Nation’ where data and analytics play a critical role in its society and economy.

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 of different shapes and sizes 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 555 million mobile subscribers across its many markets by March 2015, the subscriber numbers having grown by 8% in the previous 12 months.

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 and by 2015 the rate of take up of fibre-based services was rapid indeed. In the 12 months to August 2014 fibre-based subscriptions had increased by around 100%. By mid-2015 the fibre market was still growing at 30% per annum and FttX already made up some 57% of all fixed broadband subscribers.

Key developments:

Singapore’s overall mobile telephone penetration was close to the 150% mark;
by 2014 the arrival of 4G/LTE was having a major impact on the market, with rapid take up of the new generation services;
the total number of 4G subscribers had reached 3.7 million (68% penetration) by July 2015;
in the meantime, Singapore’s 2G subscriber base had almost disappeared and 3G was in decline;
Singapore’s mobile operators are scheduled to switch off 2G services from April 2017.
with over 11.7 million broadband services (fixed and mobile) the Singapore broadband market was still growing strongly in 2015;
data and analytics start to play a critical role in Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative;
M1 launched Singapore’s first 2Gb/s-10Gb/s Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) services;
My Republic said it expected to deploy a nationwide mobile service by end-September 2018;
against the trend observed in most markets around the world, fixed-line telephone services in Singapore remain notably resilient with effectively all households with fixed connections;
growth in the fixed network has flattened out;
increased business activity was evident in the cloud computing segment as IDA started promoting this area of technology.

Companies mentioned in this report:

SingTel, StarHub, MobileOne (M1), NTT DoCoMo, Gemalto, OpenNet, Nucleus Connect, SP Telecom, Qmax Communications, MyRepublic, ViewQwest, Telekom Malaysia (Axiata).


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2015
    • Table Telephone network statistics - June 2015
    • Table Internet user statistics - July 2015
    • Table Broadband statistics - July 2015
    • Table Mobile statistics - July 2015
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
      • Background
      • Economy
        • Table Singapore's GDP real growth rate - 2006 - 2016
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • OVERVIEW OF SINGAPORE'S TELECOM MARKET
      • Table Fixed-line versus mobile growth - subscribers and penetration - 1998 - 2015
    • INTELLIGENT NATION 2015 (IN2015)
    • NEXT GENERATION NATIONAL INFOCOMM INFRASTRUCTURE (NEXT GEN NII)
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • THE IDA'S `SMART NATION PLATFORM'
      • Overview
      • Singapore's Safe City Test Bed initiative
      • Virtual Singapore
      • ICT Tenders Focusing on Digital Services
      • Infocomm Media 2025
      • Internet of Things (IOT)
    • REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS
      • Table Key regulatory and liberalisation developments - 2005 - 2014
      • Services standards
      • Service contracts
      • SingTel fined for service disruptions
      • Changes to Telecom Competition Code
      • Consumer protection regulations
      • Online scams
      • Do-not-call register
      • Cyber Security Agency (CSA)
  • MAJOR OPERATORS
    • OVERVIEW
      • Table Singapore - mobile operators by share of total mobile market - March 2015
    • SINGAPORE TELECOM (SINGTEL)
      • Overview
      • Financials
      • Corporate structure and subsidiaries
        • Table Major shareholders in SingTel - May 2013
        • Table SingTel's regional subsidiaries and shareholdings - March 2014
      • Statistics
        • Table SingTel - Singapore market - key operational subscriber statistics - 2011; 2013 - 2015
        • Table SingTel - mobile subscribers - 1998 - 2015
        • Table SingTel - 3G mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2013
        • Table SingTel - 4G mobile subscribers - 2013 - 2014
        • Table SingTel - key operational statistics - mobile postpaid and prepaid - March 2015
        • Table SingTel - ARPU - mobile services - postpaid, prepaid, blended - 2012 - 2015
        • Table SingTel - ARPU for mobile services - postpaid, prepaid, non-voice - 2003 - 2015
        • Table SingTel - fixed broadband subscribers - 2005 - 2015
        • Table SingTel's fibre-based broadband subscribers - 2011 - 2015
        • Table SingTel's mio TV subscribers - 2009 - 2015
        • Table SingTel Group's mobile subscribers - 2007 - 2015
        • Table SingTel's mobile subscribers by regional markets - March 2014
      • SingTel Mobile
      • Broadband services
      • IPTV
    • STARHUB PTE LTD
      • Overview
      • Corporate structure
        • Table Major shareholders in StarHub - February 2014,
      • Operational statistics
        • Table StarHub - key operational statistics - 2012 - 2015
        • Table StarHub - revenue and proportion of revenue by market segment - 2014
        • Table StarHub mobile subscribers - 2000 - 2015
        • Table StarHub 3G mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2013
        • Table StarHub - operating revenue and capital expenditure - 2008 - 2015
        • Table StarHub - key operational statistics - mobile postpaid and prepaid - March 2015
        • Table StarHub - ARPU for mobile services - postpaid and prepaid - 2003 - 2015
        • Table StarHub's fixed broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2015
        • Table StarHub - ARPU for broadband services - 2006 - 2015
      • Financials
      • Mobile services
      • Broadband services
      • Cable TV services
        • Table Historical - StarHub cable TV subscribers - 1996 - 2009
        • Table StarHub cable TV subscribers - 2010 - 2015
        • Table StarHub cable TV ARPU - 2003 - 2015
    • MOBILEONE
      • Overview
      • Corporate structure
        • Table Major shareholders in Mobile One - February 2014
      • Operating statistics
        • Table MobileOne - mobile subscribers - 1998 - 2015
        • Table MobileOne 3G subscribers - 2006 - 2013
        • Table Mobile One - Fixed (fibre) subscribers - 2012 - 2015
        • Table Mobile One - operating revenue and capital expenditure - 2008 - 2014
        • Table Mobile One - mobile subscribers, market share and ARPU - June 2015
        • Table MobileOne - ARPU for mobile services - postpaid and prepaid - 2002 - 2015
        • Table Mobile One - ARPU - fixed (fibre) services - 2012 - 2015
      • Financials
      • Business and Product Development Strategies
      • IPTV
      • Data Centre Services
      • Network development
      • Other players
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Overview
        • Table Fixed lines in service and penetration - 1998 - 2015
        • Table Overview of fixed-line subscribers - June 2015
      • Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC)
    • NEXT GENERATION NATIONAL INFOCOMM INFRASTRUCTURE (NEXT GEN NII)
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine cable networks
        • Table International submarine cable systems with landing points in Singapore - 2015
      • New submarine cable systems
      • Flag Telecom
      • Satellite networks
    • INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS
      • International services
      • IP networks
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • OVERVIEW
    • BACKGROUND
    • DEVELOPMENTS
      • Cloud Computing and Data Centre Services
      • Smart Nation initiative
      • Data Centre Providers
      • Energy rating of data centres
      • E-Government
    • BROADBAND AND INTERNET STATISTICS
      • Table Broadband subscribers - 1999 - 2015
      • Table Overview of broadband/household subscribers - July 2015
      • Table Broadband subscribers by sector - July 2015
      • Table Broadband market share - by major access types - July 2015
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2015
      • Table Overview of internet market - July 2015
      • Table Internet users - 1996 - 2015
      • Table Fixed internet subscribers - 1997 - 2015
      • Table Registered domain names - October 2014
      • Table Total international internet bandwidth - 2006 - 2015
    • NEXT GENERATION NATIONAL INFOCOMM INFRASTRUCTURE (NEXT GEN NII)
      • Background
      • Network company (NetCo)
      • Operating company (OpCo)
      • Rollout and operations
      • NetLink Trust
      • Structure of Singapore's national broadband network
        • Table Structure of National Broadband Network
    • BROADBAND SERVICE PROVIDERS
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers, annual change, market share by major providers - March 2014
      • Table Fixed broadband subscribers, annual change, market share by major providers - March 2015
    • BROADBAND TECHNOLOGIES
      • Cable modems
        • Table Cable modem subscribers - 2000 - 2015
      • Digital subscriber line (DSL)
        • Table DSL subscribers - 2000 - 2015
      • Powerline broadband
      • Fibre-to-the-home (FttH)
        • Table Total optical fibre broadband subscribers - 2011 - 2015
      • Wireless broadband
        • Table Wireless broadband subscribers - 2007 - 2015
    • VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL (VOIP)
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • OVERVIEW
      • Table Key broadcasting statistics - 2014
      • Table Broadcasting - homes, subscribers and sector revenue - 1996 - 2015
    • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
      • Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA)
      • Media Development Authority (MDA)
    • REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS
    • CONVERGENCE
    • DIGITAL TV
      • Adoption of DVB standard
      • Transition to digital TV
    • CABLE AND PAY TV
      • Market overview
        • Table Historical - cable TV subscribers - transition from analogue to digital - 2002 - 2009
      • SCV/StarHub merger
    • SATELLITE TV
      • Table Licensed satellite broadcasters
    • INTERACTIVE TV (ITV)
    • FREE-TO-AIR (FTA) TV
      • Market overview
      • Media Corporation of Singapore (MediaCorp)
      • MediaWorks
      • Merging of MediaCorp and MediaWorks operations
    • INTERNET PROTOCOL TV (IPTV)
      • SingNet's mio TV
        • Table SingTel's mio TV subscribers - 2007 - 2015
      • StarHub
      • M1
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • OVERVIEW
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Table Singapore - mobile operators, subscribers and annual change - March 2015
      • Table Singapore - mobile operators by share of total mobile market - March 2015
      • Table Singapore - estimated 3G mobile subscribers by operator - August 2014
    • MARKET STATISTICS
      • Table Mobile subscribers - 1997 - 2015
      • Table Mobile subscribers - 2G and 3G, prepaid and postpaid - July 2015
      • Table 3G mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2015
      • Table 4G mobile subscribers - 2015
      • Table Mobile services revenue - 1994 - 2013
      • Table Fixed-line versus mobile subscriptions and teledensity - July 2015
      • Table Mobile broadband subscribers - 2007-2013
      • Table Overall mobile services ARPU - 2002 - 2014
      • Table ARPU - postpaid and prepaid by mobile operator -March 2014
      • Table ARPU - postpaid and prepaid by mobile operator -March 2015
    • MOBILE NETWORKS
      • GSM
      • Third generation (3G)
        • Table Third Generation (3G) licensees, spectrum and vendors
      • Fourth generation (4G) / long-term evolution (LTE)
      • Fifth Generation (5G) R&D
    • MOBILE VOICE SERVICES
      • Prepaid
        • Table Prepaid subscribers - 1999 - 2015
        • Table Prepaid vs postpaid - share of 2G market - 2007 - 2015
        • Table Mobile subscribers - prepaid and postpaid - 2G, 3G and 4G - July 2015
      • International roaming
      • Satellite mobile
    • MOBILE DATA SERVICES
      • Short messaging service (SMS)
        • Table Total SMS messages per month - 2004 - 2015
      • Payment systems
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Background
      • Mobile TV

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