End users benefit from more telcos in market

We thank Ms Felicia Ashley Chang for her letter (No one wins in over-competitive telco market; April 11).

A vibrant mobile market is expected to bring about a wider variety of innovative services and more competitive offerings to the benefit of end users.

Consumers benefited from more competitive service packages when M1 and StarHub Mobile entered our mobile market in 1997 and 2000 respectively.

In considering the entry of a fourth mobile network operator, the Infocomm Media Development Authority's (IMDA) study concluded that a new operator will likely bring about significant benefits to end users.

Singapore's pro-competition and pro-innovation approach is consistent with international developments.

Globally, the mobile market is a dynamic one, with the entry of new players and consolidation of existing ones as technology advances over time.

In Singapore, the IMDA has put in place regulatory frameworks to ensure that end users' interests are safeguarded in the event of mergers or market exits.

The prices operators placed on the spectrum resources in the recent auction are based on their own business considerations, and reflect their confidence in the future of the mobile market in Singapore.

These prices are comparable to what were paid for similar spectrum bands in markets such as Hong Kong, Australia and the Netherlands after adjusting for population size and purchasing power.

We see operators in these markets continuing to invest in technology and their networks while keeping service prices competitive to stay ahead of the competition.

With high-speed mobile connectivity being one of the cornerstones of Singapore's digital economy, there will be opportunities for our mobile operators to continue innovating, developing new businesses, and growing new revenue streams.

Karen Low
Director Communications and Marketing Infocomm Media Development Authority

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2017, with the headline 'End users benefit from more telcos in market'. Print Edition | Subscribe