2015 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 Analyses
  • Regulatory Environment
  • Major Telecom Operators (Mobile, Fixed, Broadband)
  • Infrastructure, including NBN strategy
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets
  • New Generation mobile platforms
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV
  • Broadband (DSL, cable, FttX, wireless)
  • Digital Media

Researcher:- Peter Evans
Current publication date:- November 2015 (21st Edition)

Executive Summary

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).

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 The IDA’s ‘Smart Nation Platform’
      • 3.2.1 Overview
      • 3.2.2 Singapore’s Safe City Test Bed initiative
      • 3.2.3 Virtual Singapore
      • 3.2.4 ICT Tenders Focusing on Digital Services
      • 3.2.5 Infocomm Media 2025
      • 3.2.6 Internet of Things (IOT)
    • 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
      • 3.3.8 Cyber Security Agency (CSA)
  • 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 and Product Development Strategies
      • 4.4.6 IPTV
      • 4.4.7 Data Centre Services
      • 4.4.8 Network development
      • 4.4.9 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 and Data Centre Services
      • 6.3.2 Smart Nation initiative
      • 6.3.3 Data Centre Providers
      • 6.3.4 Energy rating of data centres
      • 6.3.5 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 Overview
    • 7.2 Regulatory environment
      • 7.2.1 Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA)
      • 7.2.2 Media Development Authority (MDA)
    • 7.3 Regulatory developments
    • 7.4 Convergence
    • 7.5 Digital TV
      • 7.5.1 Adoption of DVB standard
      • 7.5.2 Transition to digital TV
    • 7.6 Cable and pay TV
      • 7.6.1 Market overview
      • 7.6.2 SCV/StarHub merger
    • 7.7 Satellite TV
    • 7.8 Interactive TV (iTV)
    • 7.9 Free-to-air (FTA) TV
      • 7.9.1 Market overview
      • 7.9.2 Media Corporation of Singapore (MediaCorp)
      • 7.9.3 MediaWorks
      • 7.9.4 Merging of MediaCorp and MediaWorks operations
    • 7.10 Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
      • 7.10.1 SingNet’s mio TV
      • 7.10.2 StarHub
      • 7.10.3 M1
  • 8. Mobile communications
    • 8.1 Overview
    • 8.2 Major mobile operators
    • 8.3 Market statistics
    • 8.4 Mobile networks
      • 8.4.1 GSM
      • 8.4.2 Third generation (3G)
      • 8.4.3 Fourth generation (4G) / long-term evolution (LTE)
      • 8.4.4 Fifth Generation (5G) R&D
    • 8.5 Mobile voice services
      • 8.5.1 Prepaid
      • 8.5.2 International roaming
      • 8.5.3 Satellite mobile
    • 8.6 Mobile data services
      • 8.6.1 Short messaging service (SMS)
      • 8.6.2 Payment systems
    • 8.7 Mobile content and applications
      • 8.7.1 Background
      • 8.7.2 Mobile TV
      • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2015
      • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – June 2015
      • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – July 2015
      • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – July 2015
      • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – July 2015
      • Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
      • Table 7 – Singapore’s GDP real growth rate – 2006 - 2016
      • Table 8 – Fixed-line versus mobile growth – subscribers and penetration – 1998 - 2015
      • Table 9 – Singapore – mobile operators by share of total mobile market – March 2015
      • Table 10 – SingTel – Singapore market – key operational subscriber statistics – 2011; 2013 - 2015
      • Table 11 – SingTel - mobile subscribers – 1998 - 2015
      • Table 12 – SingTel - 3G mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2013
      • Table 13 – SingTel - 4G mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2014
      • Table 14 – SingTel – key operational statistics – mobile postpaid and prepaid - March 2015
      • Table 15 – SingTel – ARPU - mobile services – postpaid, prepaid, blended - 2012 - 2015
      • Table 16 – SingTel – ARPU for mobile services – postpaid, prepaid, non-voice – 2003 - 2015
      • Table 17 – SingTel - fixed broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2015
      • Table 18 – SingTel’s fibre-based broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2015
      • Table 19 – SingTel’s mio TV subscribers – 2009 - 2015
      • Table 20 – SingTel Group’s mobile subscribers – 2007 - 2015
      • Table 21 – SingTel’s mobile subscribers by regional markets – March 2014
      • Table 22 – StarHub – key operational statistics – 2012 – 2015
      • Table 23 – StarHub – revenue and proportion of revenue by market segment – 2014
      • Table 24 – StarHub mobile subscribers – 2000 - 2015
      • Table 25 – StarHub 3G mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2013
      • Table 26 – StarHub – operating revenue and capital expenditure – 2008 - 2015
      • Table 27 – StarHub - key operational statistics – mobile postpaid and prepaid – March 2015
      • Table 28 – StarHub – ARPU for mobile services – postpaid and prepaid – 2003 - 2015
      • Table 29 – StarHub’s fixed broadband subscribers – 2003 - 2015
      • Table 30 – StarHub – ARPU for broadband services – 2006 - 2015
      • Table 31 – Historical - StarHub cable TV subscribers – 1996 - 2009
      • Table 32 – StarHub cable TV subscribers – 2010 - 2015
      • Table 33 – StarHub cable TV ARPU – 2003 - 2015
      • Table 34 – MobileOne - mobile subscribers – 1998 - 2015
      • Table 35 – MobileOne 3G subscribers – 2006 - 2013
      • Table 36 – Mobile One – Fixed (fibre) subscribers – 2012 - 2015
      • Table 37 – Mobile One – operating revenue and capital expenditure – 2008 - 2014
      • Table 38 – Mobile One – mobile subscribers, market share and ARPU – June 2015
      • Table 39 – MobileOne – ARPU for mobile services – postpaid and prepaid – 2002 - 2015
      • Table 40 – Mobile One – ARPU - fixed (fibre) services – 2012 - 2015
      • Table 41 – Fixed lines in service and penetration – 1998 - 2015
      • Table 42 – Overview of fixed-line subscribers – June 2015
      • Table 43 – Broadband subscribers – 1999 - 2015
      • Table 44 – Overview of broadband/household subscribers – July 2015
      • Table 45 – Broadband subscribers by sector – July 2015
      • Table 46 – Broadband market share – by major access types – July 2015
      • Table 47 – Fixed broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2015
      • Table 48 – Overview of internet market – July 2015
      • Table 49 –Internet users – 1996 - 2015
      • Table 50 – Fixed internet subscribers – 1997 - 2015
      • Table 51 – Registered domain names – October 2014
      • Table 52 – Total international internet bandwidth – 2006 - 2015
      • Table 53 – Fixed broadband subscribers, annual change, market share by major providers – March 2014
      • Table 54 – Fixed broadband subscribers, annual change, market share by major providers – March 2015
      • Table 55 – Cable modem subscribers – 2000 - 2015
      • Table 56 – DSL subscribers – 2000 - 2015
      • Table 57 – Total optical fibre broadband subscribers – 2011 - 2015
      • Table 58 – Wireless broadband subscribers – 2007 - 2015
      • Table 59 – Key broadcasting statistics – 2014
      • Table 60 – Broadcasting – homes, subscribers and sector revenue – 1996 - 2015
      • Table 61 – Historical - cable TV subscribers – transition from analogue to digital - 2002 - 2009
      • Table 62 – SingTel’s mio TV subscribers – 2007 - 2015
      • Table 63 – Singapore – mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – March 2015
      • Table 64 – Singapore – mobile operators by share of total mobile market – March 2015
      • Table 65 – Singapore – estimated 3G mobile subscribers by operator – August 2014
      • Table 66 – Mobile subscribers – 1997 - 2015
      • Table 67 –Mobile subscribers - 2G and 3G, prepaid and postpaid – July 2015
      • Table 68 – 3G mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2015
      • Table 69 – 4G mobile subscribers – 2015
      • Table 70 – Mobile services revenue – 1994 - 2013
      • Table 71 – Fixed-line versus mobile subscriptions and teledensity – July 2015
      • Table 72 - Mobile broadband subscribers - 2007-2013
      • Table 73 – Overall mobile services ARPU – 2002 - 2014
      • Table 74 - ARPU – postpaid and prepaid by mobile operator – March 2014
      • Table 75 - ARPU – postpaid and prepaid by mobile operator – March 2015
      • Table 76 – Prepaid subscribers – 1999 - 2015
      • Table 77 – Prepaid vs postpaid – share of 2G market – 2007 - 2015
      • Table 78 –Mobile subscribers – prepaid and postpaid – 2G, 3G and 4G – July 2015
      • Table 79 – Total SMS messages per month – 2004 - 2015
      • Chart 1 – Fixed and mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2015
      • Chart 2 - SingTel - Singapore market - key operational subscribers March 2011, March 2013, March 2014 and March 2015
      • Chart 3 - SingTel Mobile - ARPU for mobile services - 2005-2015
      • Chart 4 - StarHub - key operational statistics - 2012-2015
      • Chart 5 - StarHub - operating revenue contribution by market - 2014
      • Chart 6 - StarHub - ARPU for mobile services - 2005-2015
      • Chart 7 - MobileOne - ARPU for mobile services - 2005-2015
      • Chart 8 - Fixed lines in service and penetration - 2005-2015
      • Chart 9 - Broadband market share by access type – 2015
      • Chart 10 - Internet users and penetration - 2005-2015
      • Chart 11 - Fixed broadband subscribers market share by major providers – March 2015
      • Chart 12 - Wireless broadband subscribers - 2007-2015
      • Chart 13 - Singapore - mobile operators by share of mobile market – March 2015
      • Chart 14 - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 2005-2015
      • Exhibit 1 – A snapshot of the Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) project
      • Exhibit 2 – Key regulatory and liberalisation developments – 2005 - 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 – 2015
      • 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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