Virus impact over each market - telecom operators, government agencies and regulators' responses - revised forecasts for the next 5 years.
Singapore has become a world leader in telecom services, combining effective competition, high-quality fixed and mobile networks, and a progressive regulatory environment.
The Next Generation Broadband Network (NGNBN), based on FttP and wireless networks, is essentially complete and there has been a rapid migration from copper to fibre-based services. Singtel had migrated its subscribers from cable to fibre-based networks in 2018, as did StarHub in 2019.
Singapore has also been working to establish itself as a ‘Smart Nation’, deploying data and analytics and smart infrastructure in its society and economy. Associated projects include smart sensor networks for water and air, smart logistics that enable interoperability standards throughout the supply chain, and smart sensors in the homes of the elderly or chronically ill. The mobile network operators have also trialled a range of 5G-enabled solutions which will complement the smart strategy.
The nation state is also a regional data centre hub for large enterprises across a range of industries, a role facilitated by its access to a number of regional submarine cables. The diversity and number of local and international cloud providers entering Singapore data centres has significantly increased over the last three to five years.
Singtel’s FutureNow Innovation Centre (FIC) helps enterprises accelerate their digital transformation and it also serves as an innovation platform supporting the government’s Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs), focused on Singapore’s six key industry clusters.
Growth in the mobile market has been slow in recent years in response to the high penetration rate. The market is highly competitive, with TPG Telecom having launched services in March 2020 and with room still for new MVNOs to enter the market.
Slow growth is also anticipated in the fixed broadband market over the next few years, with most movement being in the fibre segment.
BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.
On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.
Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.
The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.
Singtel; StarHub, MobileOne (M1), MyRepublic, TPG (Telecom)
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