Singapore mobile telephone penetration crosses 150 percent in 2011

Telecom Lead Asia: Singapore’s overall mobile telephone
penetration passed the 150 percent mark in late 2011, according to the latest
“Singapore – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband” report available from
Research and Markets.


The country’s 3G market continues to flourish. In May
2011, the country had around 5.8 million 3G subscribers, meaning 74 percent of
all mobile subscribers are 3G and effectively 100 percent of the households in
the country now have some form of high speed broadband Internet access.


The Singapore government’s large scale project to build
an island-wide broadband network called the Next Generation National Infocomm
Infrastructure (Next Gen NII) is proceeding. While the IDA had initially
reported good progress on the roll-out of this network, in early 2012 it
intervened in the construction process upon concerns with the slowing pace.


According to the IDA the network will deliver universal
coverage by the 2013 target.


A significant trend noted in Singapore telecommunications
market is that the fixed line telephone services remain remarkably resilient
with what the IDA describes as more than 100 percent of households connected to
the fixed network.


SingTel Group, through its alliance with Bharti Airtel in
India, has further market presence in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Africa. By the
start of 2012 the SingTel group had 434 million mobile subscribers across its
many markets.


Singapore’s mobile subscriber base has continued to grow
(152 percent penetration by December 2011) as well as its value-added data
services. The launch of 3G services has been particularly insightful. There was
an obvious period of uncertainty surrounding the introduction of 3G. After
launch in 2005 the take up rate was initially slow.


By early 2012, there were more than 5.8 million 3G
subscribers in a country where the total mobile market was around 7.8 million.
In other words 3G subscribers represented a compelling 74 percent of the total
subscriber base as 3G rapidly became the normal’ mobile service in the country.


The roll-out of the national broadband network seemed to
be proceeding at a good pace through 2011. Nucleus Connect had started offering
commercial services on the network in September 2010. Network coverage had
reached the required 60 percent of the population by end-2010 and by halfway
through 2011 was on track to provide 95 percent coverage by mid-2012. 


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