2014 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, FttX, wireless)
  • Digital Media

Researcher:- Peter Evans
Current publication date:- December 2014 (20th Edition)

Executive Summary

As Singapore enthusiastically embraces 4G/LTE, the operators respond by moving on to 4G+

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 by 2014 it had already moved into decline with the advent of 4G. By August 2014 there were already 2.8 million 4G subscribers, this being a remarkable 50% 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 108% by mid-2014.

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. Typical of this emphasis on taking the lead, in 2014 SingTel and Huawei agreed to collaborate on 5G research and trials.

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 514 million mobile subscribers across its many markets by March 2014, the subscriber numbers having grown by a 10% 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 2014 the rate of take up of fibre-based service was rapid indeed. In the 12 months to August 2014 fibre-based subscriptions had increased by around 100%.

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)
  • 3. Regulatory Environment
    • 3.1 Regulatory authority
    • 3.2 The IDA’s ‘Smart Nation Platform’
    • 3.3 Regulatory developments
      • 3.3.1 Services standards
      • 3.3.2 Service contracts
      • 3.3.3 SingTel fined for service disruptions
      • 3.3.4 Changes to Telecom Competition Code
      • 3.3.5 Consumer protection regulations
      • 3.3.6 Online scams
      • 3.3.7 Do-not-call register
  • 4. Major Operators
    • 4.1 Overview
    • 4.2 Singapore Telecom (SingTel)
      • 4.2.1 Overview
      • 4.2.2 Financials
      • 4.2.3 Corporate structure and subsidiaries
      • 4.2.4 Statistics
      • 4.2.5 SingTel Mobile
      • 4.2.6 Broadband services
      • 4.2.7 IPTV
    • 4.3 StarHub Pte Ltd
      • 4.3.1 Overview
      • 4.3.2 Corporate structure
      • 4.3.3 Operational statistics
      • 4.3.4 Financials
      • 4.3.5 Mobile services
      • 4.3.6 Broadband services
      • 4.3.7 Cable TV services
    • 4.4 MobileOne
      • 4.4.1 Overview
      • 4.4.2 Corporate structure
      • 4.4.3 Operating statistics
      • 4.4.4 Financials
      • 4.4.5 Business strategies
      • 4.4.6 Network development
      • 4.4.7 Other 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 New submarine cable systems
      • 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
      • 6.3.3 E-Government
    • 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 and operations
      • 6.5.5 NetLink Trust
      • 6.5.6 Structure of 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
    • 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 Fourth generation (4G) / long-term evolution (LTE)
      • 8.6.4 Fifth Generation (5G) R&D
    • 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
      • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2014
      • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2013
      • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2013
      • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – August 2014
      • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – August 2014
      • Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
      • Table 7 – Singapore’s GDP real growth rate – 2006 - 2015
      • Table 8 – Fixed-line versus mobile growth – subscribers and penetration – 1998 - 2013
      • Table 9 – Singapore – mobile operators by share of total mobile market – March 2014
      • Table 10 – SingTel – Singapore market – key operational subscriber statistics – 2011; 2013 - 2014
      • Table 11 – SingTel - mobile subscribers – 1998 - 2014
      • Table 12 – SingTel - 3G mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2013
      • Table 13 – SingTel – key operational statistics – mobile postpaid and prepaid - March 2014
      • Table 14 – SingTel – ARPU - mobile services – postpaid, prepaid, blended - 2012 - 2014
      • Table 15 – SingTel – ARPU for mobile services – postpaid, prepaid, non-voice – 2003 - 2014
      • Table 16 – SingTel - fixed broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2014
      • Table 17 – SingTel’s fibre-based broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2014
      • Table 18 – SingTel’s mio TV subscribers – 2009 - 2014
      • Table 19 – SingTel Group’s mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2014
      • Table 20 – SingTel’s mobile subscribers by regional markets – March 2014
      • Table 21 – StarHub – key operational statistics – 2011 – 2013
      • Table 22 – StarHub – revenue and proportion of revenue by market segment – 2013
      • Table 23 – StarHub mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2014
      • Table 24 – StarHub 3G mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2013
      • Table 25 – StarHub – operating revenue and capital expenditure – 2008 - 2013
      • Table 26 – StarHub - key operational statistics – mobile postpaid and prepaid – March 2013
      • Table 27 – StarHub - key operational statistics – mobile postpaid and prepaid – March 2014
      • Table 28 – StarHub – ARPU for mobile services – postpaid and prepaid – 2003 - 2014
      • Table 29 – StarHub’s fixed broadband subscribers – 2003 - 2014
      • Table 30 – StarHub – ARPU for broadband services – 2006 - 2014
      • Table 31 – StarHub cable TV subscribers – 1996 - 2014
      • Table 32 – StarHub cable TV ARPU – 2003 - 2014
      • Table 33 – MobileOne - mobile subscribers – 1998 - 2014
      • Table 34 – MobileOne 3G subscribers – 2006 - 2013
      • Table 35 – Mobile One – Fixed (fibre) subscribers – 2012 - 2014
      • Table 36 – Mobile One – operating revenue and capital expenditure – 2008 - 2014
      • Table 37 – Mobile One – mobile subscribers, market share and ARPU – March 2013
      • Table 38 – Mobile One – mobile subscribers, market share and ARPU – March 2014
      • Table 39 – MobileOne – ARPU for mobile services – postpaid and prepaid – 2002 - 2014
      • Table 40 – Mobile One – ARPU - fixed (fibre) services – 2012 - 2014
      • Table 41 – Fixed lines in service and penetration – 1998 - 2014
      • Table 42 – Overview of fixed-line subscribers – 2013
      • Table 43 – Broadband subscribers – 1999 - 2014
      • Table 44 – Overview of broadband/household subscribers – August 2014
      • Table 45 – Broadband subscribers by sector – August 2014
      • Table 46 – Broadband market share – by major access types – August 2014
      • Table 47 – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2014
      • Table 48 – Overview of internet market – August 2014
      • Table 49 –Internet users – 1996 - 2014
      • Table 50 – Fixed internet subscribers – 1997 - 2014
      • Table 51 – Registered domain names – October 2014
      • Table 52 – Total international internet bandwidth – 2006 - 2014
      • Table 53 – Fixed broadband subscribers, annual change, market share by major providers – March 2013
      • Table 54 – Fixed broadband subscribers, annual change, market share by major providers – March 2014
      • Table 55 – Cable modem subscribers – 2000 - 2014
      • Table 56 – DSL subscribers – 2000 - 2014
      • Table 57 – Total optical fibre broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2014
      • Table 58 – Wireless broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2014
      • Table 59 – Key broadcasting statistics – 2013
      • Table 60 – Broadcasting – homes, subscribers and sector revenue – 1996 - 2013
      • Table 61 – Cable TV subscribers – transition from analogue to digital - 2002 - 2009
      • Table 62 – SingTel’s mio TV subscribers – 2007 - 2014
      • Table 63 – Singapore – mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – March 2014
      • Table 64 – Singapore – mobile operators by share of total mobile market – March 2014
      • Table 65 – Singapore – estimated 3G mobile subscribers by operator – August 2014
      • Table 66 – Mobile subscribers – 1997 - 2014
      • Table 67 –Mobile subscribers - 2G and 3G, prepaid and postpaid – July 2013
      • Table 68 –Mobile subscribers - 2G and 3G, prepaid and postpaid – August 2014
      • Table 69 – 3G mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2014
      • Table 70 – 4G mobile subscribers – 2014
      • Table 71 – Mobile services revenue – 1993 - 2013
      • Table 72 – Fixed-line versus mobile subscriptions and teledensity – June 2014
      • Table 73 – Mobile broadband subscribers –2007 - 2013
      • Table 74 – Overall mobile services ARPU – 2002 - 2013
      • Table 75 - ARPU – postpaid and prepaid by mobile operator – March 2014
      • Table 76 – Prepaid subscribers – 1999 - 2014
      • Table 77 – Prepaid vs postpaid – share of 2G market – 2007 - 2014
      • Table 78 –Mobile subscribers – prepaid and postpaid – 2G and 3G – 2013
      • Table 79 –Mobile subscribers – prepaid and postpaid – 2G, 3G and 4G – August 2014
      • Table 80 – Total SMS messages per month – 2004 - 2014
      • Chart 1 – Fixed and mobile subscribers – 2001 - 2013
      • Chart 2 - SingTel - Singapore market - key operational subscribers March 2011,March 2013 and March 2014
      • Chart 3 - SingTel Mobile - ARPU for mobile services - 2003-2014
      • Chart 4 - StarHub - key operational statistics - 2011-2013
      • Chart 5 - StarHub - operating revenue contribution by market - 2013
      • Chart 6 - StarHub - ARPU for mobile services - 2003-2014
      • Chart 7 - MobileOne - ARPU for mobile services - 2002-2014
      • Chart 8 - Fixed lines in service and penetration - 2000-2014
      • Chart 9 - Broadband market share by access type – 2014
      • Chart 10 - Internet users and penetration - 2005-2014
      • Chart 11 - Fixed broadband subscribers market share by major providers – March 2014
      • Chart 12 - Wireless broadband subscribers - 2007-2014
      • Chart 13 - Singapore - mobile operators by share of mobile market – March 2014
      • Chart 14 - Mobile subscribers - 2000-2014
      • Chart 15 - Percentage of 2G market - prepaid vs postpaid - 2007-2014
      • Exhibit 1 – A snapshot of the Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) project
      • Exhibit 2 – Key regulatory and liberalisation developments – 2000 - 2014
      • Exhibit 3 – Major shareholders in SingTel – May 2013
      • Exhibit 4 – SingTel’s regional subsidiaries and shareholdings – March 2014
      • Exhibit 5 – Major shareholders in StarHub – February 2014
      • Exhibit 6 – Major shareholders in Mobile One – February 2014
      • Exhibit 7 – International submarine cable systems with landing points in Singapore – 2014
      • Exhibit 8 – Structure of National Broadband Network
      • Exhibit 9 – Licensed satellite broadcasters
      • Exhibit 10 – Third Generation (3G) licensees, spectrum and vendors
      • Exhibit 11 – Self-regulation of content

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