2012 Singapore - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in telecommunications and digital media markets in Singapore. Subjects covered include:

  • Key Statistics
  • Markets, Industry Overviews and Analysis
  • Regulatory Environment
  • Major Telecom Operators (Mobile, Fixed, Broadband)
  • Infrastructure, including NBN strategy
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV
  • Broadband (DSL, cable, FttH, wireless)
  • Digital Media

Researcher:- Peter Evans
Current publication date:- February 2013 (18th Edition)

Executive Summary

Singapore’s national broadband network roll-out moves closer to completion

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 that has, in turn, generated a highly competitive market. The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), the nation’s telecoms regulator, reports that Singapore’s fixed-line household penetration rate is 104% (late 2012); about 20% of the population have two fixed telephone services at home. At the same time, its booming mobile market has a penetration of 150% and that market is continuing to grow. Singapore’s 3G market segment is also growing strongly. By the start of 2010 there were already 4.8 million 3G subscribers; making up about 66% of the total mobile subscriber base at the time. With eight million mobile subscribers in the country by end-2012, almost 80% of these were 3G customers. In other words 3G subscribers 3G had rapidly become the ‘normal’ mobile service in the country.

As Singapore’s mobile market continues its expansion, the numbers of broadband access and data services are also increasing at an impressive rate. As at September 2012, the IDA reports a number of key indicators in this regard:

  • Residential Wired Broadband Household Penetration Rate of 107%;
  • Wireless Broadband Population Penetration Rate of 162%.

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. All restrictions on direct and indirect foreign ownership within the country’s telecom sector have been lifted. In such a progressive commercial environment, ‘over 100%’ of homes have fixed-line telephone connections, according to the telecom regulator. More than 20% of homes have two fixed line services.

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 host of new operators entering the market, helping to exploit the competitive situation. In the lead up to officially liberalising the market, the government issued five facilities-based and 29 service-based licences. Prompted by the arrival of strong competition in its own backyard, SingTel decided to 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. By September 2012 the SingTel group had 468 million mobile subscribers across its many markets.

With the government pushing to move Singapore into the forefront of IT development, the IDA announced 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. The government contracted an Operating Company (referred to as the OpCo) and a Network Company (referred to as the NetCo) in 2009. By 2011 the roll-out of the national network seemed to be proceeding at a good pace. However, at the start of 2012 the IDA intervened in the building process following concerns at the slowing rate of rollout. There continues to be some nervousness within the industry about the way the development is not running as smoothly as planned.

Key highlights

  • Singapore’s overall mobile telephone penetration passed the 150% mark and was close to 8 million subscribers coming into 2013;
  • The country’s 3G market continues to boom: there were around 6.3 million 3G subscribers by September 2012; this meant that 79% of all mobile subscribers are 3G;
  • 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;
  • The IDA continues to maintain that the network will deliver universal coverage on time (target: 2013);
  • 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 more than 100% of households connected to the fixed network;
  • Not surprisingly, growth in the fixed network has flattened out at around 2 million subscribers.

Singapore: - key telecom parameters – 2011 - 2013

Category

2011

2012

2013 (e)

Fixed-line services:

 

 

 

  • Total No. of subscribers

2.0 million

2.0 million

2.0 million

Broadband internet:1

 

 

 

  • Total No. of subscribers

9.2 million

10.1 million

11.0 million

Mobile services:

 

 

 

  • Total No. of subscribers

7.8 million

8.0 million

8.2 million

(Source: BuddeComm)

Note: 1includes both fixed and mobile broadband services

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key Statistics
    • 1.1 Country overview
      • 1.1.1 Background
      • 1.1.2 Economy
  • 2. Telecommunications Market
    • 2.1 Overview of Singapore’s telecom market
    • 2.2 Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015)
    • 2.3 Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure (Next Gen NII)
  • 3. Regulatory Environment
    • 3.1 Regulatory authority
    • 3.2 Regulatory developments
      • 3.2.1 Services standards
      • 3.2.2 Service contracts
      • 3.2.3 SingTel fined for service disruptions
      • 3.2.4 Changes to Telecom Competition Code
      • 3.2.5 Consumer protection regulations
      • 3.2.6 Online scams
      • 3.2.7 Do-not-call register
  • 4. Major Operators
    • 4.1 Singapore Telecom (SingTel)
      • 4.1.1 Overview
      • 4.1.2 Corporate structure and subsidiaries
      • 4.1.3 Statistics
      • 4.1.4 SingTel Mobile
      • 4.1.5 Broadband services
      • 4.1.6 IPTV
    • 4.2 StarHub Pte Ltd
      • 4.2.1 Overview
      • 4.2.2 Corporate structure
      • 4.2.3 Operational statistics
      • 4.2.4 Financials
      • 4.2.5 Mobile services
      • 4.2.6 Broadband services
      • 4.2.7 Cable TV services
    • 4.3 MobileOne
      • 4.3.1 Overview
      • 4.3.2 Corporate structure
      • 4.3.3 Operating statistics
      • 4.3.4 Financials
      • 4.3.5 Business strategies
      • 4.3.6 Network development
      • 4.3.7 Other players
      • 4.3.8 New players
  • 5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
    • 5.1 National telecom network
      • 5.1.1 Overview
      • 5.1.2 Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC)
    • 5.2 Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure (Next Gen NII)
    • 5.3 International infrastructure
      • 5.3.1 Submarine cable networks
      • 5.3.2 Submarine cable systems under construction
      • 5.3.3 Flag Telecom
      • 5.3.4 Satellite networks
    • 5.4 Infrastructure developments
      • 5.4.1 International services
      • 5.4.2 IP networks
  • 6. Broadband Market
    • 6.1 Overview
    • 6.2 Background
    • 6.3 Developments
      • 6.3.1 Cloud computing
      • 6.3.2 Energy rating of data centres
    • 6.4 Broadband and internet statistics
    • 6.5 Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure (Next Gen NII)
      • 6.5.1 Background
      • 6.5.2 Network company (NetCo)
      • 6.5.3 Operating company (OpCo)
      • 6.5.4 Rollout
      • 6.5.5 Analysis – Singapore’s national broadband network
    • 6.6 Broadband service providers
    • 6.7 Broadband technologies
      • 6.7.1 Cable modems
      • 6.7.2 Digital subscriber line (DSL)
      • 6.7.3 Powerline broadband
      • 6.7.4 Fibre-to-the-home (FttH)
      • 6.7.5 Wireless broadband
    • 6.8 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • 7. Digital Media / Digital Economy
    • 7.1 Broadcasting market
      • 7.1.1 Overview
      • 7.1.2 Regulatory environment
      • 7.1.3 Regulatory developments
      • 7.1.4 Convergence
      • 7.1.5 Digital TV
      • 7.1.6 Cable and pay TV
      • 7.1.7 Satellite TV
      • 7.1.8 Interactive TV (iTV)
      • 7.1.9 Free-to-air (FTA) TV
      • 7.1.10 Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
  • 8. Mobile Communications
    • 8.1 Overview
    • 8.2 Major mobile operators
    • 8.3 Market statistics
    • 8.4 Average revenue per user (ARPU)
    • 8.5 Pricing
    • 8.6 Mobile networks
      • 8.6.1 GSM
      • 8.6.2 Third generation (3G)
      • 8.6.3 High-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA)
      • 8.6.4 Fourth generation (4G) and long-term evolution (LTE)
    • 8.7 Mobile voice services
      • 8.7.1 Prepaid
      • 8.7.2 International roaming
      • 8.7.3 Satellite mobile
    • 8.8 Mobile data services
      • 8.8.1 Short messaging service (SMS)
      • 8.8.2 Payment systems
      • 8.8.3 Smartphones
    • 8.9 Mobile content and applications
      • 8.9.1 Background
      • 8.9.2 Mobile TV
  • 9. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2012
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – September 2012
  • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2011
  • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – October 2012
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – October 2012
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 7 – Singapore’s GDP real growth rate – 2006 - 2013
  • Table 8 – Fixed-line versus mobile growth – subscribers and penetration – 1998 - 2012
  • Table 9 – SingTel – Singapore market – key operational subscriber statistics – 2011 - 2012
  • Table 10 – SingTel mobile subscribers – 1998 - 2012
  • Table 11 – SingTel 3G mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2011
  • Table 12 – SingTel Mobile – key operational statistics – September 2012
  • Table 13 – SingTel Mobile – ARPU for mobile services – postpaid, prepaid and blended - 2010 - 2012
  • Table 14 – SingTel Mobile – ARPU for mobile services – postpaid, prepaid, non-voice – 2003 - 2012
  • Table 15 – SingTel’s fixed broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 16 – SingTel’s mio TV subscribers – 2009 - 2012
  • Table 17 – SingTel’s regional mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 18 – SingTel’s mobile subscribers by regional markets – 2011
  • Table 19 – StarHub – key operational statistics – 2010 – 2012
  • Table 20 – StarHub – revenue and proportion of revenue by market segment – 2012
  • Table 21 – StarHub mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2012
  • Table 22 – StarHub 3G mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2011
  • Table 23 – StarHub – operating revenue and capital expenditure – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 24 – StarHub - key operational statistics – mobile postpaid and prepaid – September 2012
  • Table 25 – StarHub – ARPU for mobile services – postpaid and prepaid – 2003 - 2012
  • Table 26 – StarHub’s fixed broadband subscribers – 2003 - 2012
  • Table 27 – StarHub – ARPU for broadband services – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 28 – StarHub Cable TV subscribers – 1996 - 2012
  • Table 29 – StarHub cable TV ARPU – 2003 - 2012
  • Table 30 – MobileOne subscribers – 1998 - 2012
  • Table 31 – MobileOne 3G subscribers – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 32 – Mobile One – operating revenue and capital expenditure – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 33 – Mobile One – mobile subscribers, market share and ARPU – September 2012
  • Table 34 – MobileOne – ARPU for mobile services – postpaid and prepaid – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 35 – Fixed lines in service and penetration – 1998 - 2012
  • Table 36 – Overview of fixed-line subscribers – September 2012
  • Table 37 – Broadband subscribers – 1999 - 2012
  • Table 38 – Overview of broadband/household subscribers – October 2012
  • Table 39 – Broadband subscribers by sector – October 2012
  • Table 40 – Broadband market share – by access type – October 2012
  • Table 41 – Overview of internet market – October 2012
  • Table 42 –Internet users – 1996 - 2012
  • Table 43 – Fixed internet subscribers – 1997 - 2012
  • Table 44 – Registered domain names – February 2012
  • Table 45 – Total international internet bandwidth – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 46 – Total optical fibre broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2012
  • Table 47 – Fixed broadband subscribers, annual change, market share by major providers – September 2012
  • Table 48 – Cable modem subscribers – 2000 - 2012
  • Table 49 – DSL subscribers – 2000 - 2012
  • Table 50 – Wireless broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 51 – Key broadcasting statistics – 2011
  • Table 52 – Broadcasting – homes, subscribers and sector revenue – 1996 - 2011
  • Table 53 – Cable TV subscribers – transition from analogue to digital - 2002 - 2009
  • Table 54 – SingTel’s mio TV subscribers – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 55 – Singapore – mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – September 2012
  • Table 56 – Singapore – mobile operators by share of total mobile market – September 2012
  • Table 57 – Singapore – estimated 3G mobile subscribers by operator – 2011
  • Table 58 –Mobile subscribers - 2G and 3G, prepaid and postpaid – September 2012
  • Table 59 – Mobile subscribers – 1997 - 2012
  • Table 60 – Mobile services revenue – 1993 - 2011
  • Table 61 – Fixed-line versus mobile subscriptions and teledensity – September 2012
  • Table 62 – Mobile broadband subscribers –2007 - 2011
  • Table 63 – Overall mobile services ARPU – 2002 - 2011
  • Table 64 – Singapore – mobile operators – ARPU – postpaid and prepaid – 2011
  • Table 65 – 3G mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 66 – Prepaid subscribers – 1999 - 2012
  • Table 67 – Prepaid vs postpaid – share of 2G market – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 68 –Mobile subscribers - 2G and 3G, prepaid and postpaid – October 2012
  • Table 69 –Mobile subscribers – prepaid and postpaid – 2G and 3G – September 2012
  • Table 70 – Total SMS messages per month – 2004 - 2012
  • Chart 1 – Fixed and mobile subscribers – 2001 - 2012
  • Chart 2 - SingTel - Singapore market - key operational subscribers March 2011 and September 2012
  • Chart 3 - SingTel Mobile - ARPU for mobile services - 2003-2012
  • Chart 4 - StarHub - key operational statistics - 2010-2012
  • Chart 5 - StarHub - operating revenue contribution by market - 2012
  • Chart 6 - StarHub - ARPU for mobile services - 2003-2012
  • Chart 7 - MobileOne - ARPU for mobile services - 2002-2012
  • Chart 8 - Fixed lines in service and penetration - 2000-2012
  • Chart 9 - Broadband market share by access type – 2012
  • Chart 10 – Fixed broadband subscribers – DSL and cable modem – 2001 - 2012
  • Chart 11 - Internet users and penetration 2005-2012
  • Chart 12 - Fixed broadband subscribers market share by major providers - September 2012
  • Chart 13 - Wireless broadband subscribers - 2007-2012
  • Chart 14 - Singapore - mobile operators by share of mobile market - September 2012
  • Chart 15 - Mobile subscribers - 2000-2012
  • Chart 16 – Singapore – mobile subscribers and ARPU – 2002 - 2011
  • Chart 17 - Percentage of 2G market - prepaid vs postpaid - 2007-2012
  • Exhibit 1 – A snapshot of the Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) project
  • Exhibit 2 – Key regulatory and liberalisation developments – 2000 - 2012
  • Exhibit 3 – Major shareholders in SingTel – May 2012
  • Exhibit 4 – SingTel’s regional subsidiaries and shareholdings – March 2012
  • Exhibit 5 – Major shareholders in StarHub – February 2012
  • Exhibit 6 – Major shareholders in Mobile One – February 2011
  • Exhibit 7 – International submarine cable systems with landing points in Singapore – 2012
  • Exhibit 8 – Structure of National Broadband Network
  • Exhibit 9 – Licensed satellite broadcasters
  • Exhibit 10 – Third generation licensees, spectrum and vendors
  • Exhibit 11 – Self-regulation of content

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