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BMI View: Singapore’s telecommunications industry has outperformed many of its regional peers with
strong adoption of the latest products and services. Partially due to the country’s small landmass and
population size, the telecoms market has rapidly grown to a stage where it is approaching saturation.
Next generation technologies, both mobile and fixed, are therefore the next step in fostering new
developments and revenue streams, and industry players – the regulator and operators – have rightly
moved in that direction.
?? 3G subscriber growth is showing signs of weakness in light of maturity; we have further
downgraded our expectations following a poor performance in H112.
?? The number of fixed-line subscribers has remained flat for three consecutive quarters,
suggesting that the start of a downtrend could materialise in the near future.
?? Wireless technologies remain the main growth driver for the broadband industry, although the
fibre broadband market is starting to take off.
Key Trends And Developments
Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), StarHub and M1 launched NFC-based mobile services in
August 2012. StarHub unveiled its digital wallet NFC service SmartWallet’ on August 3, while SingTel
and M1 launched their NFC mobile payment service on August 22. Meanwhile, Netherlands-based digital
security systems specialist Gemalto has announced that NFC services management has gone live in
Singapore. The service is driven by Gemalto’s Allynis Trusted Services Manager (TSM) solution, which
is hosted at the firm’s local TSM datacentre. The project lines up a consortium of local partners, inclusive
of operators, banks and service providers.
Despite issues hindering greater service adoption, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
reported that the number of fibre broadband subscribers reached 177,200 at the end of June 2012, up by
Singapore remained in second position in BMI’s Asia Pacific Telecoms Risk/Reward Ratings with a
Telecoms Rating score of 73.3. Although Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) suffered a
rebuke of its recent policies in 2011′s general elections, we believe that the party will retain its dominance
in parliament over the medium term in view of a weak and fragmented opposition. Furthermore, the party
has shown that it is capable of adjusting its policies in order to adapt to evolving public sentiment, and, as
such, we expect to see continued tightening of immigration. Still, as long as the PAP is in power, we hold
that the government is unlikely to embrace any measures that will seriously inhibit the city-state’s
enviable business environment.