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Singapore Telecoms Industry Report - 2023-2030

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  • 78 Pages
  • April 2023
  • Region: Singapore
  • Idem Est Research
  • ID: 5785406

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 the period 2023-30. Internet user penetration will grow at an annual average of 1.7% in the forecast period and 95% of the population by 2030.

In 2022, the Singaporean telecommunications market represents 1.92% 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 fiber-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 center assets.

Simba (ex-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 Singaporeans in line with other neighboring countries.

Capex Investments

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 spending 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.

Operator Profiles

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 2016 and 2022, both both revenue and EBITDA shares remained remarkably stable, with only Starhub losing some share of the telecoms market EBITDA pool in 2022.

Mobile Subscribers and Revenue

Average annual mobile revenue growth was much lower (-7.4%) than mobile service subscriptions growth (2%) during the period 2016-2022, highlighting the structural challenges faced by mobile operators. Declining voice & SMS revenue only partially offset by wireless data monetization is putting pressure on ARPU, compounded by bundling discounts to stem churn.

IoT connections are a major growth driver for mobile operators, a slowdown in mobile subscription growth will put long-term pressure, dialing up competition for the three mobile operators fighting for fewer new customers.

According to our 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 smartphone users to digital shoppers and therefore increase mobile operators’ consumer's share of wallet. Mobile operators are increasing market segmentation and delivering 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 fiber 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-fiber 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 centers, submarine cable, and fibre infrastructure.

Investment funds are assigning high valuation multiples to telecommunications infrastructure assets such as mobile towers, data centers, submarine cables, and fiber infrastructure. This report outlines real market examples of how investors view and value these investments with real industry examples and EV/EBITDA comparatives and benchmarks.

Our 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 center, 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.

Why Should You Buy the Singapore Telecoms Industry Report

  • Benefit from the latest market opportunities
  • Understand the threats to your operations and investments and protect your company against future risks
  • Gain insights on emerging trends supporting, enhancing, or disrupting your activities in the market
  • Get a full view of the competitive landscape to assess your market position.
  • Forecasts as a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the telecoms market
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the telecoms sector through our reviews of the latest industry trends, regulatory changes, and major deals, projects, and investments
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Operators Profiles

Table of Contents

1  Key Statistics
1.1   Singapore’s Population
1.2   Singapore’s Economy

2  Overall Telecommunications Market, 2016-2030
2.1   Market Overview
2.2   Singapore’s Race to Lead in 5G and Beyond
2.3   Historical Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2016-2022
2.4   Overall Telecommunications Market Forecast, 2022-2030
2.5   Telecommunications Market Capital Expenditure, 2016-2030
2.5.1 Historical Telecommunications Capex Spend, 2016-2022
2.5.2 Capex to Revenue Country Benchmark
2.5.3 Capex to GDP Benchmark
2.5.4 Telecommunications Capex Spend Forecast, 2022-2030

3  Telecommunications Operators Profile
3.1   Singtel Profile
3.1.1 Singtel Revenue and EBITDA Mix
3.2   Starhub Profile
3.2.1 Starhub Revenue and EBITDA Mix
3.3   M1 Profile
3.3.1 M1 Revenue and EBITDA Mix
3.4   SIMBA (TPG Singapore)
3.4.1 SIMBA Singapore and EBITDA Mix

4  Singapore Mobile market
4.1   Singapore Mobile Subscribers Historical and Forecast, 2016-2030
4.1.1 Singapore Mobile Subscribers Historical, 2016-2022
4.1.2 Singapore Mobile Subscribers Market Share, 2016-2022
4.1.3 Singapore Smartphone Share, 2022
4.1.4 Singapore Mobile Subscribers Forecast, 2022-2030
4.1.5 Singapore Mobile Subscribers by Generation Forecast, 2022-2030
4.2   Singapore Mobile Revenue Historical and Forecast, 2016-2030
4.2.1 Historical Singapore Mobile Revenue, 2016-2022
4.2.2 Singapore Mobile Subscribers ARPU, 2016-2022
4.2.3 Singapore Mobile Revenue Forecast, 2022-2030
4.3   Spectrum Holdings
4.3.1 Spectrum Regulation
4.3.2 5G and Other Spectrum Auctions
4.3.3 Mobile Frequencies Portfolios Analysis
4.3.4 Spectrum Depth Benchmark by Country
4.4   Mobile Download Data and Pricing Trends
4.5   Mobile Speed Tests
4.5.1 Ookla Mobile Speed Tests
4.5.2 OpenSignal
4.6   Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
4.7   Internet of Things (IoT)

5  Broadband Market
5.1   Fixed Broadband Subscribers Historical, 2016-2022
5.2   Fixed Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2022-2030

6  Fixed Telecommunications Infrastructure Investments
6.1   Fixed Digital Infrastructure
6.1.1 Overview of the National Broadband Network
6.2   Submarine Cables

7  Singapore Telecom Towers Infrastructure Landscape
7.1   Singapore Telecom Towers Market Analysis, 2022
7.1.1 Singapore Telecom Towers Market Overview
7.1.2 Tower Density Benchmark

8  Thematics / Opportunities
8.1   Consolidation Opportunities
8.2   Diversification Opportunities
8.3   New Telecoms Operating Model
8.3.1 The Attraction of Infrastructure Multiples
8.4   5G Developments
8.4.1 5G Overview
8.4.2 5G - Relative Capex Investments and Frequency Range
8.4.3 5G OpenRAN
8.4.4 Beyond 5G and Towards 6G

9  Telco Transactions Database10     Methodology11     Copyright Notice
List of Figures
Figure 1 - Telco sector revenue as % of GDP in Singapore
Figure 2 -Revenue Profile Historical Mix (SGDm), 2016 - 2022
Figure 3 -EBITDA Profile Historical Mix (SGDm), 2016 - 2022
Figure 4 - Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2022
Figure 5 - Telecommunications Market EBITDA, 2022
Figure 6 - Telecommunications Revenue & EBITDA Share, 2022
Figure 7 - Total Telecoms Market Revenue and Growth Rate (SGD bn), 2022-2030
Figure 8 - Capex to Revenue Benchmark, 2016-2022
Figure 9 - Capex to GDP Ratio Benchmark, 2016-2022
Figure 10 - Telecommunications Capex Spend (SGDm), 2000-2030
Figure 11 - Singtel Revenue Mix - 2016-22
Figure 12 -Singtel EBITDA Mix - 2016-22
Figure 13 - Singtel Historical Revenue Mix, 2016 - 2022 (SGDm)
Figure 14 - Starhub Revenue Mix - 2016-2022 (SGDm)
Figure 15 - Starhub Historical Revenue Mix, 2016 - 2022 (SGDm)
Figure 16 - M1 Revenue Mix - 2016-2022 (SGDm)
Figure 17 - M1 Historical Revenue Mix, 2016 - 2022 (SGDm)
Figure 18 - Singapore Mobile Subscribers Share Comparison, 2016-2022
Figure 19 - Singapore Mobile Subscriber Share Comparison, 2016-2022
Figure 20 - Mobile Net Adds (000’s) Comparison, 2016-2022
Figure 21 - Singapore Mobile Subscribers Forecast, 2022-2030
Figure 22 - Mobile Subscribers by Generation Forecast, 2022-2030
Figure 23 - Mobile Subscribers ARPU (SGD), 2016-2030
Figure 24 - Singapore Mobile Revenue Forecast, 2022-2030
Figure 25 - Subscriptions per MHz of Spectrum, Select Asia-Pacific Countries, 2022
Figure 26 - Mobile Handsets Monthly Download Data, 2017-2022
Figure 27 - Data Pricing Trends in Asia-Pacific (US$ per GB per month), 2017-2022
Figure 28 - MVNO Share of the Mobile Market, 2022
Figure 29 - Spectrum available and IoT Landscape in Singapore
Figure 30 - Broadband Subscribers Share Comparison, 2016-2022
Figure 31 - Singapore Net-Adds (000’s) by Operators, 2016-2022
Figure 32 - Singapore Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2022-2030
Figure 33 - Singapore Tower Market Share, 2022
Figure 34 - Capita per Tower, 2022
Figure 35 - Telecoms Providers EV/EBITDA Ranges
Figure 36 - 5G Network Slices Structure
Figure 37 - Effect of Frequency on Range
Figure 38 - 5G Capacity and Coverage Layers
Figure 39 - Relative Capex Required for 5G Network Infrastructure Investment
Figure 40 - Telecom Infra Project - OpenRAN Vision

List of Tables
Table 1 - Singapore - Key Statistics
Table 2 - Singapore Telecommunications Market Revenue by Operators, 2016-2022
Table 3 - Total Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2022-2030
Table 4 - Historical Telecommunications Capex Spend, 2016-2022
Table 5 - Historical Singtel Revenue, EBITDA & Capex, 2016-2022
Table 6 - Starhub Revenue and EBITDA Mix, 2016-2022
Table 7 - M1 Revenue, EBITDA and Capex, 2016-2022
Table 8 - SIMBA Singapore Revenue and EBITDA Mix, 2020-2022
Table 9 - Singapore Historical Mobile Subscribers, 2016-2022
Table 10 - Singapore Mobile Subscribers Forecast, 2022-2030
Table 11 - Singapore Mobile Subscribers by Generation (3G, 4G, 5G& 6G) Forecast, 2022-2030
Table 12 - Historical Mobile Service Revenue, 2016-2022
Table 13 - Historical Mobile ARPU, 2016-2022
Table 14 - Mobile Service Revenue Forecast, 2022-2030
Table 15 - Spectrum Holdings by Operators and by Bands (MHz)
Table 16 - Mobile Frequencies by Operators and by Band (MHz)
Table 17 - Examples of MVNOs and their Wholesale Providers
Table 18 - Historical Broadband Subscribers, 2016-2022
Table 19 - Historical Broadband ARPU, 2016-2022
Table 20 - Singapore Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2022-2030
Table 21 - International Submarine Cable Systems with Landing Stations in Singapore
Table 22 - Technology Specifications (ADSL, FTTN, Fibre, 4G/LTE, 4G/LTE-A and 5G)
Table 23 - Telco Transaction Database, 2016-2022

Companies Mentioned

  • Circles.Life
  • Keppel
  • M1
  • MyRepublic
  • Netlink Trust
  • Simba
  • Singtel
  • Starhub
  • TPG


The publisher uses primary and secondary research as well as proprietary information sources to generate market analysis and forecasts for fixed and mobile services in terms of both subscribers and revenue. Interviews are conducted with key service providers in the region to determine current and potential market sizing as well as future service offerings. Information gathered through interviews is further cross-checked to validate the total market size.

The primary research is supplemented with a range of secondary source material, including related research, press releases, securities filings, media, Web-based materials, and trade publications.

Industry and population statistics are also leveraged for reference and to ensure consistency in the data collection. Extensive service provider primary and secondary research, together with the publisher's end-user research database, provides a strong basis for sizing and forecasting the market. The multiple reference points allow for validation of information provided by the service providers compared with that gathered from alternative sources.

Note: Forecasts are made in local currency, and no allowance is made for inflation. All numbers in this document may not be exact due to rounding.