The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on Singapore’s telecom sector in 2020, pushing down penetration rates and delaying several major infrastructure projects due to production and supply chain disruptions. The good news, at least, is that the overall effect on the sector has been relatively modest compared to other industries that effectively collapsed under the shutdown. Telecommunications remained an essential service during the period, with many people even needing to upgrade their services and plans to enable a shift to working and schooling from home. Singapore’s modern infrastructure and capacity weathered the storm well.
Most telecom operators suffered financially, with declines in revenue and profit as subscribers tightened their belts and reduced discretionary spending. The downturn was roughly in line with the retraction in the Singapore economy. All the major players continued to provide services, and to proceed with their investment programs, particularly in 5G networks (with a focus on standalone). The operators are voicing strong optimism for the coming months as travel restrictions are reduced and economic activity starts to bounce back. While forecasting should be viewed as a very risky activity in such uncertain times, there is a high degree of confidence across the industry that penetration rates in Singapore will quickly return to pre-Covid-19 levels.
Singapore continues to push ahead with its 5G rollout. 5G networks and services are expected to form the backbone of growth in the telco sector over the coming years as service providers seek new ways to engage customers in a market that is otherwise already saturated.
Singtel, StarHub, M1, TPG Telecom
Paul owns and manages the world's largest online Telecommunications Consultancy and is very active on the international telecommunication scene. A very hard worker who is extremely well informed and well connected with all tiers of the ICT industry. He is the force behind the NBN project implementation and a catalyst for the progress of the Digital Economy between the Industry and the powers that be, in the government
Sharif Ahmed, Senior Consultant, Digisoft Microsystems
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