Showing posts with label Singapore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Singapore. Show all posts

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Singapore plans 5G gaming trial

Razer, Singtel and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) are preparing to launch Singapore’s first 5G cloud gaming trial.

Throughout the trial, Razer will provide the 5G cloud gaming use case and test scenarios, leveraging their unique know-how and intellectual property for the development of cloud gaming technologies and hardware, while Singtel will provide the 5G platform and technical test scenarios.

The trial will commence in the next few months and will be conducted at three locations – Shaw Centre and Ngee Ann City on the Orchard Road shopping belt, and Razer’s new Southeast Asia headquarters at one-north. At the end of the trial, Razer and Singtel plan to hold a cloud gaming showcase that will be open to the public.

The trial aims to gain insights on:

  • 5G network characteristics and requirements of cloud gaming;
  • Design and engineering of low latency hardware for cloud gaming that can deliver quality performance and a broader range of gaming experiences, from ultra-fast responsiveness to portability to seamless device-to-device sync to cloud servers.


Monday, June 17, 2019

Singapore to deploy 5G-ready SDN alongside power grid

Nokia is collaborating with SP Telecom to roll out Singapore’s first 5G-ready software-defined network, which sits alongside the country’s power grid, to support critical communication services.

Nokia will be supplying a full suite of tech to SP Telecom, including its FP4-based Service Router, optical transport, cloud software, service automation and network orchestration.

SP Telecom infrastructure serves as an alternative fibre network in Singapore. It uses unique fibre pathways that combine leased SP Group infrastructure and owned fibre pipes, laid alongside the power network cables. It is also a highly efficient network that supports ultra-low latency for 5G players. SP Telecom is a joint venture of ST Engineering and SP Group.

“SP Telecom constantly looks for new ways to bring the latest technologies and best-in-class partners together, developing solutions that can generate new and positive changes in the industry,” said Titus Yong, CEO of SP Telecom. “We are well poised to facilitate the rollout of 5G in Singapore, working closely with our technology partners to deliver a reliable, high-performance and seamless network for 5G players and their customers.”

http://www.sptel.com/media-centre/

Monday, January 7, 2019

Equinix to build 4th data center in Singapore

Equinix will invest US$85 million to build its fourth International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Singapore, called SG4. The new seven-story data center is scheduled to open in Q4 2019, offering an initial capacity of more than 45,400 square feet (approximately 4,220 square meters) of colocation space and 1,400 cabinets in the first phase.

Equinix said the facility will accommodate more than 4,000 cabinets at full build out, with a total colocation space of more than 132,180 square feet (approximately 12,280 square meters). The new SG4 will be strategically situated at the East of Singapore in one of the country's five data center clusters — Tai Seng Industrial Estate — providing location diversity from the three existing Equinix IBX data centers in Singapore.

SG4 will also provide software-defined interconnection through Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) to more than 1,300 businesses including some of the largest cloud service providers (CSP) among them Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud and Tencent Cloud.

Currently, the three Equinix IBX data centers in Singapore comprise more than 445,000 square feet (41,400 square meters) of colocation space. In Q3 2018, Equinix announced the completion of an expansion of the SG3 IBX data center in Singapore that nearly doubled the size of the facility.

Monday, November 26, 2018

StarHub complete 5G New Radio pilot in Singapore with Nokia

StarHub completed the first outdoor pilot of 5G New Radio on 3.5GHz frequency band in Singapore. Nokia 5G radio technology was demonstrated interworking with StarHub's 4G core network. Nokia deployed AirScale Radio Access technology with 5G New Radio 3GPP-compliant software and the Nokia AirFrame data center solution, leveraging its services expertise to optimise deployment.

Chong Siew Loong, Chief Technology Officer of StarHub, said: "As 5G inches closer, we are intensifying trials to identify new business opportunities and chart our network transformation roadmap to meet the demands of our customers. This successful pilot with Nokia showcases the readiness and possibilities of 5G to enhance consumer services and boost efficiencies for enterprises. It aligns with StarHub's goal to support and accelerate Smart Nation initiatives in Singapore."

Monday, September 17, 2018

Singapore's National Supercomputing Centre picks Mellanox

Singapore's National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) has selected Mellanox 100 Gigabit Ethernet Spectrum-based switches, ConnectX adapters, cables and modules for its network.

"We are excited to collaborate with NSCC to interconnect the Singapore's research and educational facilities in the most efficient and scalable way," said Gilad Shainer, Vice President of Marketing at Mellanox Technologies. "The combination of our Ethernet RoCE technology, Spectrum switches, MetroX WDM long-haul switch, cables and software provide the highest data throughput, enabling users to be at the forefront of research and scientific discovery."

Mellanox ConnectX-5 with Virtual Protocol Interconnect supports two ports of InfiniBand and Ethernet connectivity, sub-600 nanosecond latency, and very high message rate, plus embedded PCIe switch and NVMe over Fabric offloads. It enables higher HPC performance with new Message Passing Interface (MPI) offloads, advanced dynamic routing, and new capabilities to perform various data algorithms.

Mellanox Spectrum, the eighth generation of switching IC family from Mellanox, delivers leading Ethernet performance, efficiency and throughput, low-latency and scalability for data center Ethernet networks by integrating advanced networking functionality for Ethernet fabrics. Hyperscale, cloud, data-intensive, virtualized datacenters or storage environments drive the need for increased interconnect performance and throughput beyond 10 and 40GbE. Spectrum's flexibility enables solution companies to build any Ethernet switch system at the speeds of 10, 25, 40, 50 and 100G, with leading port density, low latency, zero packet loss, and non-blocking traffic.

Mellanox's MetroX provides RDMA Long-Haul Systems enable connections between data centers deployed across multiple geographically distributed sites, extending Mellanox's world-leading interconnect benefits beyond local data centers and storage clusters.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Singtel plans 5G pilot for Q4

Singtel expects to kickoff its 5G trial by the fourth quarter of this year. The 5G pilot network, which will be conducted in partnership with Ericsson, will occr a0t one-north, the country’s science, business and IT hub. Singapore's Info-Communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) has allocated spectrum for the trial.

“5G has the potential to accelerate the digital transformation of industries, as well as empower consumers with innovative applications,” said Mr Mark Chong, Group Chief Technology Officer at Singtel. “We are pleased to take another bold step in our journey to 5G with our 5G pilot network at one-north and invite enterprises to start shaping their digital future with us.”

“This is an encouraging step towards commercialisation with live 5G trial networks made possible with the regulatory sandbox IMDA has in place,” said Ms Aileen Chia, Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms & Post) at IMDA.  “IMDA will continue to work closely with mobile service providers such as Singtel in their journey to build communication capabilities of the future and complement Singapore’s efforts towards a vibrant digital economy.”

At a “Bringing 5G to Life” event held at Singtel Comcentre this week, Singtel and Ericsson demonstrated c3D augmented reality (AR) streaming over a 5G network operating in the 28GHz millimetre wave spectrum. The event also showcased emerging technologies from partners – Garuda Robotics, Intel, Meta, Rohde & Schwarz and Sony.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Huawei sets up ICT academy in Singapore

As part of its global initiative to support ICT skills development, Huawei announced a partnership with Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) to set up the first ICT Academy in Singapore. The not-for-profit academy, titled Huawei Authorised Information Network Academy (HAINA), allows NYP to deliver Huawei Certification training to their students.

The program is expected to benefit about 300 students at NYP's School of Engineering and School of Information Technology in the initial term of two years.

Huawei noted that it is currently cooperating with over 350 universities to open Huawei ICT academies around the world, with about 200 in China.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Telecoms Market Update: Singapore

by James E. Carroll

Singapore, which boasts the world’s highest mobile penetration rate at over 150% and which has been ranked as the most "Tech-Ready Nation" by the World Economic Forum, is often cited as a living laboratory for advanced communication services given the compact size of this city-state and its excellent overall infrastructure.


In the telecoms sector, Singapore is a mix of state-owned incumbent operators (SingTel and to a lesser extent Starhub), tight regulatory and media controls, and small business start-ups. As we enter the 5G era, it is worth tracking the changes underway in this very dynamic market.
Singapore’s official regulatory body for telecoms and media, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), has published an Industry Transformation Map, setting out the vision for transforming the city-state into a fully digital economy. The goal is to grow the media and communications at a 6% CAGR, roughly twice as fast as Singapore’s overall economy, creating approximately 13,000 new jobs. This would mean 210,000 workers would be directly employed by companies in this sector by 2020, compared with 194,000 in 2016. 

Singapore’s Industry Transformation Map has three main thrusts:
  • One – invest in the four “frontier technologies,” namely Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics; Cybersecurity; Immersive Media; and Internet of Things;
  • Two – strengthen the core of the ICM sector and focus on education for the next generation of ICM professionals and companies;
  • Three – guide companies and workers from the other sectors to adopt digital technology to improve productivity and efficiency.

Encouraging investment and education has long been core to Singapore’s DNA. These are the principal factors which have made Singapore so successful to date.

The four frontier technologies are not surprising either. Everyone is chasing these four sectors, but Singapore’s ambition is better planned. In May 2017, a fund called AI Singapore was set up with S$150 million to catalyse, synergise and boost AI capabilities. A nine-month AI Apprenticeship Programme (AIAP) has also been established offering a blend of classroom, online and hands-on project work. The first AI apprenticeships will begin in March 2018.

The AI Singapore ecosystem currently consists of National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
The third thrust is interesting as it entails building a community between developers and users. This will take the form of a Strategic Partners Programme (SPP), which formally got underway in July. 
New collaborations with Memoranda of Intent (MOIs) were signed in November with three platform partners namely, IBM, Microsoft and Samsung to groom selected Singapore-based tech companies in their respective ecosystems.  IMDA expects these new partnerships to benefit between 80-100 companies. Huawei is also a strategic partner, signed in July 2017, with a goal to propel 35 Singapore-based tech companies.

The current market situation

There are three major networking infrastructure providers in Singapore, SingTel (Singapore Telecom, the previous incumbent operator), Starhub and M1. A fourth competitor, Australia-backed TPG Telecom, has regulatory clearance to enter the market and has launched initial services.  A local ISP known as MyRepublic is also attempting to become a mobile operator.



A brief background on StarHub

When Singapore first moved to abandon the monopoly status of SingTel in 1998, StarHub soon emerged as the likely favourite challenger. Starhub launched officially in April 2000 with the ST Telemedia, Singapore Power and two very powerful international carriers, namely, BT Group and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT). The new venture bought out some local ISPs and then merged with Singapore Cable Vision. During these early years, StarHub launched its mobile network and, with that, quickly established itself as a top consumer play for mobile, cable TV, and broadband Internet service. These consumer services remain core to the company today.

Temasek Holdings, which is a sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Singapore, holds an approximate 56% share of Starhub. The market capitalisation of Starhub is around S$5.032 billion (US$3.73 billion).

In 2009, Starhub was selected by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) to design, build and operate the active infrastructure of the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN). Four proposals were considered: Intellinet (Axia + Cisco), Kliq (M1), 1NNOV8 (Singtel) and Nucleus Connect (StarHub). The OpenNet consortium backed by SingTel was selected to serve as the Network Company (NetCo) of the Next Gen NBN. Under the NBN structure established by the government, the NetCo (OpenNet) is responsible for deploying fiber while the OpCo (StarHub) is responsible for delivering wholesale services to Retail Service Providers (RSPs).

StarHub in 2017 has been flat or mostly declining, except Enterprise

In Q3 2017, StarHub reported revenues of S$580.4 million, down 0.8 % compared to a year earlier. The slight decline was mainly attributed to lower service revenues from Mobile, Pay TV and Broadband services, along with lower sales of equipment. These trends have been playing out for the whole year, as the nine-month report showed a decline of 0.6% overall.

One positive area cited by the company in its quarterly report was Enterprise Fixed service revenue. The growth in fixed service revenue was partly due to the consolidation of Accel Systems & Technologies Pte Ltd (ASTL), a newly acquired cyber security solutions provider.

Revenue for PayTV services for StarHub continue to decline as they lose customers. StarHub’s income also declined as the government trimmed NBN grants by S$4.1 million in Q3. In Q3, StarHub’s CAPEX to sales ratio was 9%, fairly low for a network operator.

For its mobile division, StarHub’s subscriber base at the end of Q3 was 2.256 million, down from 2.275 million the previous year. PayTV is down 10k from last quarter and about 40k since last year. Broadband decreased by 1k over the last quarter and 9k over the last year.

CEO to step down, looking for new talent possibly from abroad

On November 17, 2017, StarHub CEO Tan Tong Hai announced his resignation, effective May 1, 2018. He has served as COO since 2009, later being promoted to the chief executive role in 2013. Under his leadership, StarHub underwent many changes, most significantly transforming from a strictly consumer-oriented service provider to include enterprise networking services. Sales to enterprise customers have grown to more than S$ 900 million annually. He chalked up several other notable achievements, including the acquisitions of mm2 Asia and Accel Systems & Technologies, the launch of an integrated fiber and cable home broadband solution, and the transition to an IPTV service.

The company has indicated that they are conducting a global search for his replacement. This is interesting because it suggests that StarHub may consider business ventures outside of Singapore going forward.

Another milestone this year has been the acquisition of Accel Systems & Technologies, a local cybersecurity specialist whose capabilities are expected to bolster StarHub’s enterprise portfolio. Accel will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Expanding the mobile infrastructure partnership with M1

For many years, StarHub has partnered with rival M1 to share mobile infrastructure costs. This has included combined antenna systems, in-building fibre and tunnel cables. In January 2017, the companies agreed to expand this relationship to include sharing radio access network, backhaul and access assets. It does not include the individual mobile core networks or support systems. The companies continue to compete for consumer mobile services. This infrastructure sharing agreement should benefit StarHub as it begins to roll out 5G.

APG submarine cable brings the capacity for new services, better prices

One of the factors contributing to the rise of StarHub’s enterprise division was the activation in late December 2016 of the Asia-Pacific General (APG) submarine cable network system. This added significant international capacity on the StarHub network. APG is a 10,900 kilometer submarine cable linking Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. APG gives StarHub direct access to telecom partners in each of the countries with a landing station, such as Shanghai Nanhui, Chongming as well as Hong Kong, where major Chinese telecommunication providers deliver connectivity and ensure competitive access to multinational businesses.

“Singapore is China’s largest foreign investor. To serve Singapore enterprises expanding to China, we are pleased to provide them with a new international connectivity on APG, catering for the growing economic activities between China and Southeast Asia,” said Benjamin Tan, Vice President of International Business, StarHub.

StarHub’s partnership with APG is also significant because it increases route diversity to other Asian countries via submarine cables such as Asia-Pacific Cable Network 2 (APCN2), Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) and Asia-America Gateway (AAG).

Vodafone partnership opens a door to the outside

Unlike Singtel, which has numerous overseas investments and partnerships, StarHub has generally focused on only its local operations. Its most significant overseas partnership is with Vodafone, with whom it began a relationship four years ago, focused on mobile connectivity as well as co-branding and knowledge sharing initiatives. In November 2016, the companies agreed to expand this relationship to include high-speed data on Vodafone’s 4G networks for consumers. The partnership also gave a boost to StarHub’s enterprise services by helping them expand their businesses overseas via Vodafone’s International Enterprise network.

What’s next for Starhub?

In terms of revenue mix, mobile services have accounted for approximately 50% of Starhub’s turnover for past few years, with PayTV making up 15%, Broadband 8%, Enterprise 16% and sales of equipment (mobile phones, home gateways, etc.) making up the rest. There is little churn in Singapore’s mobile market but ARPU is falling as operators offer more and more generous data packages to subscribers. In the Pay TV segment, cord cutting continues to take hold. Starhub is losing subscribers every quarter even as it adds content with unique media partnerships. In broadband, Singapore’s excellent Nationwide Broadband Network (NBN), of which Starhub is a foundational player, delivers great performance/value to consumers but makes it difficult for operators to differentiate their services.  Outgoing CEO Tan Tong Hai has been right to focus on Enterprise services as a big growth opportunity, bring competition for advanced services and international connectivity to Singapore’s business community. Is it time to seek expansion opportunities abroad?

An Overview of Singtel’s international operations

The Singtel Group has been one of the most internationally expansive mobile operators, putting it in the category of Vodafone, Orange, Telefonica, Digicel, Etisalat and Zain. While most of the world’s mobile network operators find success only in their home market, Singtel is quite the global player. But instead of using its own brand wherever it goes, like Orange, the Singtel Group typically invests in a local player, keeping its distinct Singtel logo and Singaporean identity out of the public eye.
Through its six overseas investments, the Singtel Group currently touches 670 million mobile customers in 22 countries, with the largest concentrations being in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. In contrast, the population of Singapore is only 5.6 million – so you could say the company broadened its reach 100x by pursuing outside opportunities. For its own data network, Singtel has 370 PoPs in 325 cities.

Singtel’s major overseas holding include:

Australia - Optus – 100% share – Australia’s No. 2 mobile operator with 9.8 million customers for a 29% share of the market. Over 6 million of these subscribers are on the 4G network. The network footprint covers 95% of the population. Optus also serves 1.2 million broadband customers in Australia. For its most recent quarter, Optus delivered strong free cash flow of A$267 million up 21 percent from a year ago, despite higher capital investment in the network. Optus operating revenue was stable year-on-year at A$2,117 million with growth in mobile, mass market fixed and ICT & managed service revenues offset by lower equipment revenue.  Over the past few months, Optus went live with the world’s first three-carrier channel aggregation massive MIMO in Sydney, delivering speeds of over 800 Mbps. Optus expects to roll out this technology to other capital cities in the next six months.
Optus has also moved quickly down the path to transform into a mobile-led, multimedia content provider. The first step was the launch of Optus Sport, a 24/7 sports channel with on-demand and live multi-screen capability to broadcast Premier League football.  This has proven popular. Optus users have watched almost 13 million hours of Premier League and international football content including live matches, highlights, and expert analysis, since launch in 2016. Optus also offers data-free music and content streaming in selected prepaid and postpaid plans.  Its streaming partners include Netflix, Stan, ABC iView, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, and Google Play.

India – Bharti Airtel, in whom Singtel holds a 36.5% effective interest. Airtel is still the no.1 mobile operators in India with approximately 282 million customers for a 24% market share.  However, Airtel is under intense pressure from Reliance Jio, which is really shaken up the market with low pricing and generous data allowance. Earning here are under threat.
Through Bharti Airtel, which has its own international expansion strategy, the are 2 million more customers in southeast Asia and 82 million customers in Africa (Ghana, Niger, Chad, Gabon, Congo, DR of Congo, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Madagascar, and the Seychelles..

Indonesia – Telkomsel, in whom Singtel holds a 35% share. Telkomsel is no.1 in Indonesia with 190 million mobile customers for a 47% share of the market. Most recently, the company posted its fifth straight year of double digit revenue growth.

Thailand – AIS, in whom Singtel holds a 23% share. AIS has 40 million mobile customers, ranking it no.1 in the country with a 45% market share. The carrier has rapidly expanded its 4G network over the past year and now covers 98% of the population.

Thailand – Intouch, in whom Singtel has a 21% share. Intouch is an active investor in local telcos and media, and technology firms.

Philippines – Globe, in whom Singtel has a 47% share. Globe has 59 million mobile customers, giving it a 50% market share. For the first nine months of 2017, Globe’s service revenues climbed 6% over last year.  There were 3 consecutive quarters of record revenues for both mobile and home broadband. Mobile data contributed about 43% of total mobile revenues for the first nine months of 2017, versus 38% a year ago. Mobile data service revenues reached P31.3 billion as of end-September 2017, or 20% above the P26.1 billion reported in the same period last year driven by higher data usage and the continued growth in smartphone penetration, which increased to 70% for the period. Mobile data traffic likewise improved by 73% from 249 petabytes (PB) in 2016 to 430 PB this year. Globe home broadband business likewise reported a robust 8% year-on-year growth, delivering a total of P11.7 billion revenues as of end-September this year. An interesting note is that Globe is a big proponent of fixed wireless for home broadband service.


The international strategy has largely been successful. This year, the regional associates in whom Singtel is a major shareholder deliver 48% of the Group’s overall profits.  Its Optus subsidiary in Australia accounted for 22% of Singtel profits. Meanwhile, operations in its home city of Singapore yielded just 30% of profits. The good news is that consumers across Asia are upgrading to smartphones and signing up for 4G data plans. In the first nine months of 2017, the number of data subscribers surged past 220 million – a 12% increase from the previous year. Mobile banking is another clear opportunity.  In India, Airtel received a bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India and in January it launched Airtel Payments Bank to offer banking services across the country, with 250,000 Airtel retail outlets. The same is happening in the Philippines.

An Overview of Singtel’s domestic operations

The SingTel Group long held the title of being the most valuable company in southeast Asia by market capitalisation. This crown was lost in late November when DBS Group Holdings Ltd., which is Singapore’s largest bank, shot past SingTel on an upward stock price trajectory. Bragging rights aside, SingTel presently has a market cap of US$61.5 billion, which is roughly 12 times greater than that of its nearest rival, Starhub, which is currently worth about US$5 billion.

Though it is now organised as a publicly-traded company in a market open to competition much of its incumbency status in the city-state of Singapore remains. It’s top ten shareholders are revealing:



Notably, the majority share of 51% belongs to Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. This same fund also owns a 56% share in Starhub – of course raising questions about whether competition is free flowing or managed. Would Temasek really encourage or even allow a serious price war to break out in telecom services in Singapore if it were to damage one of its key investments?

Next on the list of Singtel investors are “old money” – the established banks that guide the export economy of this Asian tiger. This suggests a conservative board that’s more likely to favor safe and predictable dividends over fast growth opportunities. The company has consistently delivered on these expectations and senior management is right in line. Singtel has headed by Ms. Chua Sock Koong (59) as Group CEO since 2007.  She joined Singtel in June 1989 as Treasurer before becoming Chief Financial Officer in April 1999. Her background is as a distinguished accountant. Bill Chang (50) serves as CEO of the enterprise and ICT division.


A brief timeline

·         Singtel enjoyed monopoly status until 1998 but rival Starhub really got going in the early 2000s.
·        In 2001, Singtel completed its acquisition of Optus Australia. Also in this year, Singtel was awarded its first 3G license.
·         In 2012, Singtel acquired Amobee, a mobile advertising technology company, for $321 million
·         In late 2012, Singtel activated its LTE network.

A networking showcase, especially for mobile

In Singapore, Singtel currently holds approximately 82% of the fixed-line market, 49% of the mobile market and 43% of the broadband market. Fixed line connections continue to evaporate here, as they do everywhere else in the world, but mobile and broadband churn are very low.

In its local mobile market, Singtel currently serves some 4.1 million subscribers, capturing 49% of the mobile phone market. As seen in the official market statistics covered in part 1 of this article, mobile Singtel network footprint is practically ubiquitous within the city-state. There is no place you can go where there is not LTE and/or any of Singtel’s 1,000+ Wi-Fi hotspots available. Of course, this level of penetration is easier to achieve when there is only 278 square kilometers to cover in the whole country. The geography and the population density make Singapore an ideal place to showcase the latest mobile technologies.  Already, Singtel’s 4.5G LTE delivers mobile data speeds at 500Mbps nationwide.

One example is Singtel’s interest in Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology. In a joint trial conducted recently with Ericsson, Singtel witnessed 1.1 Gbps of performance. The test leveraged 256 QAM and 4x4 MIMO, and aggregated two licensed and three unlicensed spectrum bands on a TM500 Test System device. Singtel and Ericsson are also working on 4.5G LTE and 5G in Singapore. Earlier this year, high download speeds of up to 800Mbps were achieved on Singtel’s LTE network by deploying 256 QAM downlink, 4x4 MIMO and triple carrier aggregation techniques. In October 2017, Ericsson and Singtel established a 5G Centre of Excellence to facilitate 5G development in Singapore.

In August, Singtel confirmed that it is working with ZTE to complete the live deployment of the 2.6 GHz Pre5G massive MIMO network at one Marina Bay site in Singapore to enhance Singtel's 4G service.  ZTE noted that its Pre5G massive MIMO is suitable for high-density scenarios and will be deployed to help guarantee service quality during the high data traffic volumes that will result from the crowd gathered at the location during Singapore National Day. The higher speeds will help to address the surge in mobile data traffic seen by Singtel.

Average data usage per post-paid subscriber
March 2015 – 1.9GB
March 2016 – 2.4GB
March 2017 – 3.5GB

Monday, October 9, 2017

Iron Mountain to buy data centres in London and Singapore

Iron Mountain has agree to acquire two Credit Suisse data centers in London and Singapore for approximately $100 million. As part of the transaction, Credit Suisse will enter into a long-term lease with Iron Mountain to maintain their existing data center operations. The two facilities combined add 273,000 square feet and over 14 megawatts (MW) of capacity (including future expansion) to Iron Mountain’s growing portfolio – of which 4.2MW is leased to Credit Suisse. The London data center is 120,000 total square feet and located in the Slough Trading Estate, while the Singapore data center is 153,000 total square feet located in Serangoon.

The deal represents the first international expansion of Iron Mountain's data center business.

Iron Mountain plans to fund the purchase with proceeds from a new share issua.


  • In September, Iron Mountain acquired the FORTRUST data center business.
  • Also in September, Iron Mountain opened the first of four planned data centers at a new, 83-acre campus in Northern Virginia. The first is a Tier III, 165,000 square-foot, 10.5-megawatt multi-tenant and cloud facility located in Prince William County. The company invested over $80 million in the first phase of this data center and expects to invest $350 million to bring the full campus to completion. The first phase opens with more than half of its first phase capacity pre-leased, including customers like Virtustream, a Dell Technologies business. 
  • Northern Virginia is Iron Mountain’s fifth U.S. data centre market. Additional locations include Boston, Denver, Kansas City and Western Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Google Joins INDIGO Undersea Cable Project

A consortium comprising AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners and Telstra announced that they have entered into an agreement with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) for the construction of a new subsea cable system.

On completion, the new INDIGO cable system (previously known as APX West & Central) will expand connectivity between Australia and South East Asia markets, and will enable higher speed services and improved reliability.

The INDIGO cable system will span approximately 9,000 km between Singapore and Perth, Australia, and onwards to Sydney. The system will land at existing facilities in Singapore, Australia and Indonesia, providing connections between Singapore and Jakarta.

The system will feature a two-fibre pair 'open cable' design and spectrum- sharing technology. This design will allow consortium members to share ownership of spectrum resources provided by the cable and allow them to independently leverage technology advances and implement future upgrades as required.

Utilising coherent optical technology, each of the two fibre pairs will provide a minimum capacity of 18 Tbit/s, with the option to further increase this capacity in the future.

In addition to Google, the INDIGO consortium is made up of: AARNet, a provider of national and international telecom infrastructure to Australia's research and education sector; Indosat Ooredoo, an Ooredoo Group company providing telecom services in Indonesia; Singtel of Singapore, with a presence in Asia, Australia and Africa; and SubPartners based in Brisbane, Australia, which focuses on delivering major telecoms infrastructure projects in partnership with other companies.


ASN will undertake construction of the subsea cable system, which is expected to be completed by mid-2019

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Singtel Launches 450 Mbps Mobile Data Speeds

Singtel launched 450 Mbps 4G LTE-Advanced service in its home market of Singapore.

The 450Mbps service is available to all Singtel 4G customers at no additional charge. The first device to support the speed are the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.  LG V20 users will also be able to harness the higher speeds with a soon-to-be released software update. More compatible smartphone models are expected to be launched by early 2017.

“Singtel is investing ahead to deliver faster speeds and wider connections with the steady deployment of innovative technologies on our live network. With more customers consuming and sharing mobile videos, 450Mbps speeds will enable them to download movies in a flash and give them a better entertainment experience while on the go,” stated Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Singapore, Singtel.

The boost is made possible by Singtel’s nationwide LTE network upgrade to support 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, or 256 QAM, which increases the number of unique radio waveform shapes to carry up to 33.33% higher data and elevates spectral efficiency.

Separately, Singtel and Ericsson have demonstrated download speeds of up to 1Gbps in a live 4G network pilot at two sites in Pasir Ris. This was achieved by deploying 256 QAM downlink, 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (4x4 MIMO) and triple carrier aggregation technologies. 4x4 MIMO doubles the number of data paths between a cellular base station and mobile phones, delivering a speed boost of up to two times normal speeds.

Singtel said it plans to progressively rollout 4x4 MIMO technology on its network starting next year to deliver up to 1Gbps speeds at selected high-traffic locations. Supporting mobile devices are expected to be ready by end 2017.

http://www.singtel.com

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Singtel's odd but patient long term strategy - Part 1

Preamble

SingTel is an odd organisation, halfway between a telecom assets holding company and a real operational hands-on telco. It fully controls only two telcos, namely Singtel Singapore and Optus of Australia, which are consolidated into its financial reports, but holds very substantial financially unconsolidated minority positions in key operators in several major Asian countries and through its share of Bharti Airtel affiliate relationships with operators in 16 African countries as well. Singtel claims the core company and its regional mobile associates, all 'leading players' in their respective markets,
reach over 600 million mobile subscribers across the region.

The company's long term strategy is not completely clear, but it is assumed, other things being equal, that in the longer term Singtel hopes to build up its holdings in some or all of the telcos in which it is invested. Singapore is an extremely rich, very technology-based society and telecommunications is a core platform for broad-based, knowledge-centred social innovations in such societies. Continued success in developing and implementing such innovations will probably be crucial to Singapore's future and ensuring it maintains its position as one of the world's leading economies. Ownership of a broad
range of quality Asia and Asia-Pacific telecommunication assets is not only a potentially good investment in its own right due to high economic growth rates, but also with time and increased investment offers a scale of operations commensurate with operators in countries like China and Japan, which can be used as a platform whereby those social and technical innovations can be fanned out economically worldwide and give Singapore a new source of quality exports.

The argument for already having full operational control of operations in Singapore and Australia is obviously because these are the most sophisticated countries in the Singtel portfolio, and markets in which those innovations are most likely to be generated or be piloted.

Singtel telecom assets portfolio

SingTel's holdings include the following:

Singapore: Singtel, the incumbent operator in the city state.
India: Singtel currently owns 32.9% of Bharti Telecom, the No. 1 Indian operator, and is in process of raising that to 36.2%.
Australia: Singtel owns 100% of Optus, the No. 2 operator in Australia.
Philippines: Singtel has an effective interest in Globe Telecom via a mix of directly held common shares and indirectly held preferred shares held by Asiacom, a 50/50 JV with Ayala Corporation.
Thailand : it holds a 23.3% direct stake and is in process of raising that to 31.8% through an additional indirect holding.
Indonesia: Singtel has a 35% stake in Telkomsel, the No. 1 mobile operator.
Bangladesh: it owns 45% of Citycell, a rapidly declining operator that looks likely to close.

Singtel relationship to Temasek Holdings

It is impossible to discuss Singtel without referring to the company's controlling shareholder Temasek Holdings (otherwise known as Singapore's Sovereign Wealth Fund), which is an investment company owned by the government of Singapore. Incorporated in 1974, Temasek owns and manages a net portfolio of S$242 billion ($180 billion), mainly in Singapore and Asia. It is an active shareholder and investor, and its portfolio covers a
broad spectrum of sectors including financial services, telecommunications, media and technology, transportation and industrial, life sciences, consumer, real estate, as well as energy and resources.

Temasek revenue for the financial year ended March 31, 2016 was S$101.5 billion, up from S$74,6 billion in 2007 with a CAGR of 3.5%. Temasek net profit in FY 2016 was S$15.6 billion and over the same nine-year period has been rather flat, averaging about S$14.6 billion within the range S$6.8 billion to $22.5 billion.

As of the end of the company's last financial 2015/16 year in March 2016, Temasek held a 51.0% stake in the company (and together with five other local investors owned over 90% of Singtel). Apart from holding a majority of Singtel's stock, Temasek Holdings also has a huge range of equity positions in a very wide range of other businesses in Singapore and elsewhere, some of which could be of immediate or longer term interest to Singtel as it leverages its telecommunications assets to encompass all other sectors of a fully smart society.


Singtel five year financial history
For years ending March 31st, in S$ billions, it reported:

                                     2016;        2015;           2014;           2013;          2012.
Group revenue:         16.961;        17.223;        16.848;        18.183;       18.825.
Singtel:                         7.663;         7.348;          6.912;          6.732;         6.551.
Optus:                           9.298;        9.875;           9.936;        11.451;       12.275.
EBITDA:                        5.013;        5.091;           5.155;          5.200;        5,219.

Share of associate PTP: 2.791;       2.579;               2.201;          2.106;        2.005.
Underlying net profit:     3.805;        3.779;               3.610;;         3.611;        3.676.
Group FCF:                      2.718;        3.549;               3.249;          3.759;       3,462.
Cash capex:                      1.930;       2.238;               2.102;          2.059;       2.249.

Comments by Group CEO Ms. Chua Sook Kong

Telkomsel was the standout performer, with pre-tax earnings for the year jumping 15% to S$1.1 billion on the back of increased voice and data usage. It also saw a significant increase in 3G and 4G subscribers, which now make up 42% of its total customer base.

In Thailand, AIS continued with its migration of 2G customers to 3G or 4G networks, against an accelerated network rollout with the 1800 MHz spectrum acquired last year. Airtel has secured pan-Indian spectrum for its 4G services, allowing it to provide seamless data services across the country. Globe in the Philippines continues to take share, thanks to increased network investment and innovative offerings.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Singapore's StarHub Triple Upload Speed with Carrier Aggregation + 64 QAM

Singapore's StarHub completed a trial with Nokia that implmented carrier aggregation in the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands and the 64 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) technique to triple the upload speed over its LTE network.  The companies reported peak upload speeds of 150 Mbps.

StarHub plans to introduce the technology commercially in the Marina Bay and Orchard areas of Singapore in time for the city state's year-end celebrations, allowing customers with compatible devices to enjoy a smoother mobile data experience while sharing high definition videos and photos in real time. At such speeds which are three times faster than what most 4G networks offer today, a 200MB 4K resolution video can be uploaded to the Internet in as little as 11 seconds.

Mock Pak Lum, Chief Technology Officer, StarHub, said: "The ability to upload quickly is fast becoming a necessity for our mobile customers. In fact, we saw a close to 50% increase in upload traffic year-on-year, as customers increasingly share high definition videos and photos instantly with the world. Collaborating with technology partners such as Nokia, we are driving innovation in 4G for the benefit of our customers amid continued growth in mobile data use."

http://www.nokia.com

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Tata Comm Sells Data Centers to Singapore's ST Telemedia

Singapore Technologies Telemedia (ST Telemedia) has agreed to acquire a 74% majority stake in Tata Communications’ data center business in India and Singapore for .

The deal includes Tata Communications’ fourteen data centers in key cities across India and its three Singapore facilities. The data centers serve a diversified customer base, including blue chip enterprises in Asia, e-commerce platforms and global multi-national corporations.

ST Telemedia said the acquisition will further expand and strengthen its global data center network to span four geographies, including strong bases in two of Asia’s largest growth markets - India and China.

Tata Communications, which will retain a 26% stake in the businesses, will focus on its advanced managed services portfolio, including IP, cloud enablement and unified communications services.

“This partnership marks another key milestone in STT GDC’s growth. Since ST Telemedia’s initial investment in the data centre business in mid-2014, we have made remarkable progress in building a formidable data centre footprint internationally with strategic presence in key economic hubs to capture industry demand. The latest addition of India to the STT GDC network will be a major impetus to advance the company’s ambition to be a significant global data centre service provider," stated Sio Tat Hiang, Executive Director, ST Telemedia.

http://www.tatacommunications.com/
http://www.sttelemedia.com/

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cellwize Secures Funding for its Self-Optimizing Network Software

Cellwize, a start-up headquartered in Singapore,  raised $14.5 million in a Series A funding round for its Self-Organizing Network (SON) solutions.

The funding round was led by Carmel Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners. In addition, Viola Credit (formerly Plenus) granted a $10 million credit facility to Cellwize. The funding will be used to boost Cellwize’s innovative SON customer-centric optimization capabilities and to expand its market presence including a planned significant increase in its workforce.

Cellwize said its optimization solutions are implemented in some of the world’s leading mobile operators serving over 300 million subscribers. Its elastic-SON solution autonomously delivers peak network performance, network reliability and operational efficiencies for increasingly complex heterogeneous networks.

“Cellwize has continuously invested in technology innovation and solution leadership, we will now be able to further accelerate our product road map and our market reach to take advantage of new SON opportunities,” said Ofir Zemer, CEO of Cellwize. “Our recent growth demonstrates even more, that enabling mobile operators to ensure a high quality of service for subscribers while maximizing profitability is essential in today’s highly competitive market space.”

http://cellwize.com/

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Singapore's National Supercompter Centre and A*STAR Deploy Infinera Cloud Xpress

Singapore's National Supercomputer Centre (NSCC) and its Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have deployed the Infinera Cloud Xpress to connect the two data centers in the bustling research campuses in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, Singapore. NSCC/A*STAR is the first publically announced customer using the new 100 Gigabit Ethernet version of the Cloud Xpress platform.

The Cloud Xpress leverages Infinera’s unique photonic integrated circuit technology to support up to one terabit per second (Tbps) of input and output capacity in just two rack units. The Infinera Cloud Xpress delivers a full 500 Gbps super-channel of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) line-side capacity on a single fiber without requiring external multiplexers or amplifiers. With the 100 GbE platform, the Cloud Xpress family includes three solutions, optimized for 10 GbE, 40 GbE and 100 GbE interfaces.

“Working with our partner Dimension Data, we are pleased to provide NSCC and A*STAR with a datacenter interconnect solution that meets their bandwidth demands in space and power-limited datacenter locations,” said Stu Elby, senior vice president of cloud network strategy and technology at Infinera. “Cloud Xpress is a purpose built datacenter platform that addresses the needs of Singaporean scientists, especially in the very fast growing area of genomics and bioinformatics.”

http://www.infinera.com

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Aliyun to Open Singapore Cloud Data Center

Alibaba's Aliyun cloud computing arm is completing construction of a new cloud data center in Singapore.  The facility, which will be Aliyun's headquarters for overseas business, is slated for an early September launch.

The new cloud data center leverages on Alibaba Group’s recent US$1 billion investment for cloud computing, and will enable more businesses to benefit from secure and reliable Aliyun-powered cloud services while riding on record foreign direct investment flows in Southeast Asia.

This is Aliyun's seventh data center globally. It will have direct connections to Aliyun's data center network via Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Silicon Valley.

“Singapore is a natural destination to be our headquarters for overseas expansion. The city state is a natural springboard into the Asia Pacific region, not only for us, but for our target audience. We are seeing healthy demand for cloud-related data management services in Singapore because of the ease of doing business, comprehensive transport and telecommunications connections and robust intellectual property regime. The stable geo-political climate and abundance of highly skilled talent are advantages too,” said Sicheng (Ethan) Yu, Vice President of Aliyun.

http://www.aliyun.com

See also