Leveraging economics of scale

Don Sambandaraksa
17 May 2012

Best Asian Telecom Carrier


Last year's winner:Softbank Mobile

Best Regional Mobile Group


Last year's winner:Axiata
Business segments:Mobile, ISP, IT services, managed and network services, cloud satellite
Chairmand and CEO:Simon Israel, chairman; Chua Sock Koong, group CEO
Key stats:434 million subs; 23,000 staff; revenue of S$18.07 billion ($13.60 billion), net profit after tax of S$3.82 billion ($2.88 billion) for financial year ending March 31, 2011

SingTel, one of the world's largest telcos with operations in 25 countries, was recognized by our judging panel this year for its strong financial results, operational excellence, diversified portfolio and market-leading performance from its key businesses.

"I think we have proven in the past that SingTel has been extremely disciplined in finance and in our focus of execution," Yuen Koon Moon, CEO of SingTel Singapore consumer group, told Telecom Asia.


The group also embarked on a long-term reorganization plan in March. 


Structurally, it is moving from a country-centric approach to one with consolidated business units over multiple territories. Yuen says it's the first year of a multi-year transformation process.


Its consumer group will consolidate operations in Singapore and Australia for cost and scale benefits. The ICT group merges e-services, SaaS, cloud carrier business and security and will focus on providing services to government, healthcare, education and financial services sectors.


The new digital life group covers all new services and OTT offerings, and includes newly-acquired ad-network Amobee and mobile banking. Once developed, these services will be opened up to the consumer group and rolled out to all operating units, Yuen says.


SingTel started its regional expansion drive a decade ago not just as an equity partner, but with senior management in many of its operations. SingTel is now No. 1 in India (Airtel), Indonesia (Telkomsel) and in Thailand (AIS) and has invested management, technology and knowhow to enable the carriers to be first or second in their respective markets.


Singapore and Australia were among the first countries in the world to deploy 3G and now 4G, so with 3G just starting in Indonesia and India, Yuen says the lessons learned on monetizing and avoiding pitfalls in pricing structure can be shared. And then of course there is the economies of scale that comes with serving more than 400 million customers.


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