This report provides analyses of revenue and market forecasts as well as statistics of the South Korea telecoms industry including market sizing, 5-year forecasts, market insights, key telecom trends, and 5G.
Singapore Telecoms Industry Report at a Glance
Singapore has one of the most mature and competitive telecommunications markets in the world. Singapore is a world leader in telecommunications, with a progressive regulatory environment and a highly competitive market. It continues to promote itself as an information technology hub, driven by innovation.
The publisher forecasts that mobile subscriptions will grow and fixed broadband subscribers during over the period 2022-27. The number of fixed lines (including VoIP) will decline, at an over the same period. Internet user penetration will grow at an annual average rate of 1.8% in the forecast period and 91% of the population by 2027.
In 2021, the Singaporean telecommunications market represents 1.94% of Singapore’s GDP, a proportion in line with other developed countries. The government has completed the rollout of its Next-Generation National Broadband Network (NGNBN). This is a hybrid network based on a combination of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and wireless infrastructure and continues to form the basis of the government’s broadband strategy and implementation. The project is broadly regarded as a successful government policy, delivering world-leading gigabit services at affordable prices. Singapore is now in the fortunate position of being the world-leader in fixed broadband.
In 2019, Singapore Press Holdings and Singapore-based conglomerate Keppel Corporation announced their plan to acquire a majority controlling stake in telecom company M1, from Malaysian headquartered Axiata. In 2021, Keppel proposed an SGD1.6 billion acquisition of Singapore Press Holdings’ real estate assets. Keppel Corporation offered to acquire the non-media business of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), including jointly-owned telco (M1) and data centre assets.
TPG, the fourth new entrant with newly introduced SIM only plans and large download plans for less than USD7 will drive down unit pricing and bring Singaporean in line with other neighbouring countries.
The Capex from Singaporean operators is cyclical with mobile rollout leading to investments in line with the operators’ top-line growth. Capex investments peaked between 2016 and 2017 while all three operators built their respective 4G mobile network. Capex investments increased again in 2020 and will continue through to 2027, as mobile operators invest in 5G.Singapore sees 5G as the backbone of a wide range of technological advances including autonomous vehicles, smart cities and Internet of Things. All three mobile operators launched 5G services in 2020. The Capex to GDP ratio spiked between 2015 and 2016 and started to slide downwards and growing from 2020 onwards.
The publisher projects an increase in Capex spend throughout 2022 alone by installing more 5G base stations across all cities, ramping up Singapore’s 5G rollout island-wide and consolidating its 5G network leadership in terms of speeds and availability in the country.
The Singaporean three-player mobile market is a remarkably stable market, however with mobile revenue pressure, all operators are broadening their range of services from e-commerce, smart home to digital payments.
Between 2014 and 2021, both revenue and EBITDA shares remained remarkably stable, with Starhub losing some share of the telecoms market EBITDA pool in 2021.
Mobile Subscribers and Revenue
Average annual mobile revenue growth was much lower (-7.8%) than mobile service subscriptions growth (1.3%) during the period 2014-2021, highlighting the structural challenges faced by mobile operators. Declining voice & SMS revenue only partially offset by wireless data monetisation is putting pressure on ARPU, compounded by bundling discounts to stem churn.
IoT connections is a major growth driver for mobile operators, a slowdown in mobile subscriptions growth will put long term pressure, dialling up competition for the three mobile operators fighting for fewer new customers.
According to the publisher’s benchmark study of mobile data pricing, Singapore had among the biggest cost reduction per GB over the last 3 years, while India has the lowest rate in the world with just a few cents per GB.
The Singaporean mobile market rapidly transformed from a voice and SMS to a mobile Internet-dominated market. With a continued drive to convert smartphones users to digital shoppers and therefore increasing mobile operators’ consumers share of wallet. Mobile operators are increasing market segmentation and deliver innovative offerings targeting households with digital services such as music, video streaming, digital payments and bundles of other services such as home automation, IPTV and fixed broadband.
Broadband Subscribers – FTTH Push to Gigabit Speeds
After over 10 years of investments in fibre infrastructure, Singapore boasts the highest FTTH penetration in the world as well as one of the most advanced, consumer broadband products offering speeds up to 10Gbps. Most people use above 1GBps packages which are mostly bundled with mobile services by the three dominant players, Singtel, Starhub and M1.
Fixed broadband penetration is forecasted to grow modestly as Singapore’s investments in full-fibre networks are now reaching maturity with affordable packages and increased broadband household penetration growing towards saturation.
Thematics – Telecoms Infrastructure / 5G / M&A / Infrastructure
Infrastructure funds, pension funds and government funds are assigning high valuation multiples to telecommunications infrastructure assets such as mobile towers, data centres, submarine cable and fibre infrastructure.
Investment funds are assigning high valuation multiples to telecommunications infrastructure assets such as mobile towers, data centres, submarine cable and fibre infrastructure. This report outlines some real market examples of how investors view and value these investments with real industry examples and EV/EBITDA comparatives and benchmarks.
The Singapore Telecoms Industry Report transactions database analysis highlights the dearth of inbound (domestic) transactions in the Singapore telecommunications services market, with the largest transactions from Keppel with M1 purchase and Starhub bulking up its fixed broadband and IPTV business units and consolidating their position by acquiring smaller operators. Most other transactions are expected in the data centre, IoT and cloud computing sector with Singtel investing in e-Commerce and enterprise services.
The arrival of 4G moved the Internet off our desktops into our palms and pockets, 5G could transform the network from something we carry around to something taking us around either virtually (augmented reality or virtual reality) or in reality (autonomous vehicles), the 5G outcome and benefits beyond fast connectivity remain largely unknown in terms of business models, investments required and timeline.
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