Singapore Telecommunications Limited (commonly abbreviated as Singtel, and previously stylised as SingTel) is one of the four major telcos operating in the Republic of Singapore, the others being Starhub, M1 and TPG Telecom. The company is the largest mobile network operator in Singapore with 4.1 million subscribers and through subsidiaries, has a combined mobile subscriber base of 640 million customers at the end of financial year 2017 The company was known as Telecommunications Equipment until 1995. Singtel provides ISP (SingNet), IPTV (Singtel TV) and mobile phone networks (Singtel Mobile) and fixed line telephony services.
Comcentre, the corporate headquarters of Singtel
|Traded as||SGX: Z74|
|Founded||1879 (as Private Telephone Exchange)|
1 April 1992 (as Singapore Telecom)
|Headquarters||31 Exeter Rd, Singapore 239732|
|Asia, Australia and Africa|
|Chua Sock Koong (Group CEO)|
|Products||Fixed-line and mobile telephony, broadband and fixed-line internet services, digital television, IT and network services|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||Optus, NCS Pte Ltd and Trustwave Holdings|
Singtel has expanded aggressively outside its home market and owns shares in many regional operators, including 100% of the second largest Australian telco, Optus, which was acquired in 2001 from Cable & Wireless and other shareholders of Optus, and 32.15% of Bharti Airtel, the third largest carrier in India.
Singtel controls significant market share in Singapore, with 82% of the fixed-line market, 47% of the mobile market and 43% of the broadband market in Singapore. Singtel is also the second-largest company by market capitalisation listed on the Singapore Exchange and is majority owned by Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Singapore government. Singtel is an active investor in innovation companies through its Singtel Innov8 subsidiary, founded in 2011 with S$200 million start up capital.
- 1883: Singapore's phone network was operated by the Oriental Telephone and Electric Company (OTEC). The Public Telephone Exchange set up 60 telephone lines connecting local businesses of that era.
- 1907: OTEC was replaced by a new Central Telephone Exchange in Hill Street
- 1955: The Singapore Telephone Board (STB) is incorporated as a statutory board with exclusive rights to operate telephone service within Singapore.
- 1974: Merger of STB and Telecommunications Authority of Singapore (TAS). Before 1974, STB was responsible for local services, while TAS provided international services.
- 1982: Merger of the Postal Department with Telecoms.
- 1992: SingTel is incorporated in March (as Telecommunications Equipment) and became a public company in October 1993.
- 1992: SingTel introduces the call zone service, made defunct in 1997.
- 1997 Singtel was compensated $1.5 billion by the Singaporean Government for early termination of its monopoly, based on projected earnings lost between 2000 and 2007 due to its loss of monopoly.
- In 2000, Singtel lost its domestic monopoly in Singapore, with the government deregulating the telecommunications industry.
- 2001: SingTel is awarded a 3G licence in April.
- In March 2001, Singtel purchased Optus for between $7.4 billion to $8.5 billion
- 2003: SingTel sells 60% of Singapore Post (SingPost) in May during an IPO in an effort to focus on its core telecommunications services business.
- 2003: SingTel divested its stakes in Yellow Pages in June, its directory business to CVC Asia Pacific and J.P. Morgan Partners Asia for S$220 million.
- 2003: SingTel announced that it has appointed Ericsson as the vendor for its 3G network in Singapore in July.
- 2005: SingTel launches its commercial 3G services in February.
- 2007: mio TV was launched commercially on 20 July 2007 and began its services on 21 July 2007.
- 2007: SingTel Generation mio was launched commercially on 9 January 2007 and began its services on 21 January 2007
- 2008: SingTel and Apple jointly announced that SingTel will be the first mobile operator to launch the iPhone 3G and its services to Singapore in June.
- In the month of June, SingTel becomes the title sponsor of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix in Singapore.
- On 10 July 2009, SingTel launched the iPhone 3GS commercially in Singapore.
- In May 2011, SingTel announced that they will be aiming to double the size of its satellite business, with two additional launches by 2013.
- In November 2011, SingTel launched Singapore's first e-book provider, Skoob, which was available through the web, iOS or Android.
- 2012: SingTel acquired mobile advertising technology company Amobee in March 2012 for $321 million.
- 2012: SingTel secured broadcast rights for the 2012 Summer Olympics and provided 15 new ESPN STAR Sports channels free of charge to its mio TV Services.
- 2012: Singtel was fined $300,000 for breaches of the Service Resiliency Code by the IDA.
- Since December 2012, SingTel started providing 4G LTE services across Singapore.
- Since 1 August 2013, mio TV was officially renamed SingTel TV.
- In 2013 SingTel announced the sale of its entire 30% stake in Warid Telecom (Private) Limited to Warid Telecom Pakistan LLC which took place on 15 March 2013
- In 2013 SingTel was fined $180,000 for the disruption of its mio TV service where 115,000 subscribers were affected while watching the Premier League games. The problems included screen freezing, blurred images and picture distortion that happened on 13 May 2012 from 10:15 pm. Full service quality was resumed at 12:15 am the next day.
- In late 2013, Singtel shutdown its Skoob e-book store.
- In 2014 SingTel was fined $6 million for its Bukit Panjang fire in the previous year. This is the highest fine imposed on a telco in Singapore.
- In August 2014, SingTel announced it was joining forces with five other global companies, including Google, to build a super-fast undersea data cable linking the U.S. and Japan.
- In 2014 Bharati Airtel became first telecommunication company to serve 4G internet in India.
- On 21 January 2015, Singtel launched its new brand identity, the first in 16 years.
- On 19 March 2015, Singtel dismissed all connections with social media agency, Gushcloud. This is after a Singapore blogger Xiaxue, exposed Gushcloud's brief to its "influencers" to execute a negative campaign on M1 and Starhub, both who are direct competitors. SingTel apologised to both companies for the campaign.
- On 7 April 2015, Singtel revealed it would be acquiring US cyber security firm Trustwave for $810 million, its largest ever acquisition outside the telecoms sector.
- On 22 April 2015, the Singtel announced plans to delist from the Australian Securities Exchange due to low trading volumes.
- In April 2015, Singtel released a new Skype and WhatsApp competitor called Wavee. It allows users to make voice and video calls and send instant messages.
- In May 2015, Singtel was issued a 'stern warning' by Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) for a negative marketing campaign against its competitors: M1 Limited and Starhub through a marketing agency, Gushcloud. Singtel was required to "ensure appropriate management oversight and control over its marketing and advertising campaigns".
- On 11 April 2017, it was reported that Synack had raised $21 million from Microsoft Ventures, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Singtel.
Network and infrastructure
Singtel's international submarine cable network provides connections from Singapore to more than 100 countries. It is a major investor in many of the world's submarine cable systems, such as South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 3 Cable Network, South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 4 Cable Network, APCN 2, China-US, Japan-US, Southern Cross Cable and Unity (cable system) . Unity Cable Network was commissioned in March 2010.
In January 2010, Singtel announced it had signed an agreement to join a consortium to build and operate the new SJC (cable system) system (SJC). The construction of the SJC cable system started in April 2011 and became operational in June 2013. The SJC has a length of 8,900 km which could extend up to 9,700 km linking up to seven countries or territories. The SJC is connected with the Unity Cable Network and is designed to deliver the lowest latency connectivity between Asia and the US, specifically from Singapore to Los Angeles.
As of fourth quarter of 2014, Singtel Mobile's 4G outdoor coverage was at 99.41%, ranked first followed by M1's 99.04%, and Starhub's 98.85%.
Singtel signed a partnership with NETSTARS, (a Tokyo-based mobile payment technology company) in March 2019. This will allow travelers to use their home mobile wallets on Singtels VIA network to pay digitally at stores in Japan.
Key operating companies
The Singtel group of companies includes subsidiaries, associated companies, as well as shareholdings in overseas entities. Its mainstay is in the mobile phone industry, where it has a total subscription base of 638 million as of 31 March 2017:
Regional mobile subsidiaries
|Country Mobile Share Data|
|Mobile company||Country||Stake||Market Position||as at 31 March 2019||as at 30 June 2018||as at 31 March 2017||as at 31 March 2016|
|Advanced Info Service||Thailand||23%||No. 1||45%||45%||45%||47%|
|Bharti Group||India||40%||No. 2||28%||31%||23%||24%|
|Globe Telecom||Philippines||47%||No. 1||57%||52%||48%||46%|
|Optus||Australia||100%||No. 2||(no data)||28%||27%||30%|
- Singtel Mobile Singapore Pte Ltd – operation and provision of cellular mobile telecommunications systems and services, resale of fixed line and broadband services
- Optus Mobile Pty Limited – provision of mobile phone services
- Virgin Mobile (Australia) Pty Limited – provision of mobile phone services, wholly own subsidiary of Optus
Singtel Mobile is a fully owned subsidiary of Singtel and offers mobile telecom services in Singapore. Currently the largest mobile operator in the country with about 4.1 million subscribers or 49% of the mobile phone market share as of March 2017, it enjoyed a monopoly over the mobile telecommunications market until market liberalisation in the 1990s.
Singtel Mobile was the first mobile phone operator in Singapore to launch the iPhone in 2008.
As of first quarter of 2019, Singtel's 4G outdoor coverage was at 99.98%, ranked first followed by M1's 99.95%, and Starhub's 99.88%.
- Amobee – provision of mobile advertising
- Pixable – provision of mobile photo search and aggregation services
- DataSpark – provision of big data geolocation analytics
- Singtel Digital Media Pte Ltd (STDM) – development and management of on-line internet portal
- Singtel Idea Factory Pte Ltd – engaging in research and development, products and services development and business partnership
- Singtel Innov8 Pte Ltd – venture capital investment holding
Internet and TV
- SingNet – provision of internet access and pay television services
- Optus Broadband Pty Limited – provision of high speed residential internet service
- Optus Vision Pty Limited – provision of interactive television service
- Optus Internet Pty Limited – provision of internet services to retail customers
- Vividwireless Group Limited – provision of wireless broadband services
Associate of the group
- Singapore Post Limited – operation and provision of postal and logistics services
- Telescience Singapore Pte Ltd – sale, distribution and installation of telecommunications equipment
- Viewers Choice Pte Ltd – provision of services relating to motor vehicle rental and retail of general merchandise
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