Singapore Govt to Build its own Telecom Network But Telcos shine

Network is part of Country’s Smart Nation Drive

Shares of SingTel, StarHub and M1 Up

All three major telcos in Singapore saw their share prices edge up in the market today despite the government’s decision to build and own a separate telecommunications network to cater to its smart nation drive.

SingTel rose four cents to close at S$ 4.12 while StarHub closed at S$4.23, a five-cent jump from its price last Friday. M1 ended the day at S$3.78, up three cents.

So it appears investors were not perturbed by any potential loss of future revenue after the government completes this massive project, aimed at keeping all data secure.

The government has a stake in all the three telcos, directly or indirectly.

  • SingTel – Temasek Holdings’ interest is put at 52%
  • StarHub – its main shareholders are Asia Mobile Holdings Pte Ltd  and NTT Communications. Asia Mobile is a subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte Ltd, which is owned by Temasek Holdings, the investing arm of the Government.
  • M1 – Keppel Telecoms Pte Ltd, SPH Multimedia Private Limited and Axiata Investments (Singapore) Limited (28.69%) now jointly own 61.48% of M1

One of the three telcos is expected to get the contract to operate the new infrastructure on behalf of the government. The three telcos may also bid for the building of the backend frameworks. So this is an opportunity for them to seize.

According to reports in the media this morning, “the new infrastructure will run the equipment for linking, among other things, a network of sensors slated to be rolled out islandwide this year.”

The sensors, to start with, can be in the form of computer chips or surveillance cameras. The sensors are a part of Singapore’s smart nation vision and are expected to help solve a range of problems from flooding to pollution. Here is a link that offers further insights into what a smart Singapore will entail.

G Joslin Vethakumar


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