The major telecom providers, Singtel, M1 and StarHub were recently joined by other companies such as Circles.Life and MyRepublic. The advent of lower cost plans offered by the new players and incumbent telcos’ sub-brands, such as Singtel’s Gomo and StarHub’s Giga, have led more to seek new SIM-only and off-contract plans across multiple telcos. In financial year 2020, the operating revenue of Singtel was valued at approximately 16.54 billion Singapore dollar. In comparison, StarHub's total revenue ammounted to approximately 2.36 billion Singaporean dollars in financial year 2019.
Singapore has a large number of computer users and most households have computers and Internet access. A significant proportion of the population now have more than one mobile broadband account. The number of mobile-cellular subscriptions in Singapore reached its peak in 2019, with nine million contracts. The high internet usage and the further development of digitization were partly responsible for the increasing number of mobile subscriptions. In the fourth quarter of 2019, the average mobile data usage in Singapore amounted to 42.51 petabytes per month. Total 4G subscriptions in Singapore was at 7.43 million subscriptions in 2019. The mobile broadband market will be driven by increasingly faster speeds offered by the mobile operators as they roll out their 4G and 5G networks.
Telecom operators in Singapore currently face a wide range of challenges including rapidly changing customer patterns, and financial and technological challenges. M1 is the least diversified of the three major telcos, with a large majority of its business coming from mobile services. As such, telcos need to diversify their revenue streams into new business models. New digital services, such as Skype, Apple’s Facetime and Tencent’s WeChat, are also offering more attractive and innovative communication services. Around 170,000 subscribers have left pay TV services since January 2016 — when Netflix entered the Singapore market — with around 75 per cent coming from StarHub’s customer base.