5G-led data consumption to boost Singapore’s mobile services revenue to $2.1B: GlobalData

  • 5G will lead to a spike in the overall mobile services revenue in Singapore

  • 5G subscriptions to surpass 4G subscriptions in the next calendar year

  • Singtel to maintain its dominant position in Singapore’s mobile services market till 2028

The increasing uptake of 5G services in Singapore is likely to boost mobile data services revenue, leading to an increase in the country’s overall mobile services revenue to touch $2.1 billion by the end of 2028, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3%, according to GlobalData.

In line with the global trend, mobile voice service revenue will decline by 5.9%, while mobile data service revenue will continue to grow at 4.7%. Telcos worldwide are recording a drop in mobile voice services because of the growing popularity of platforms like WhatsApp for making calls.

“Though 4G will remain the leading mobile technology, in terms of subscriptions, until 2024, 5G service will see its subscriptions surpass 4G subscriptions in 2025, occupying an impressive 88% share of the total mobile subscriptions by the end of 2028,” said Kantipudi Pradeepthi, telecom analyst at GlobalData, in the press release.

“This growth in 5G subscriptions will be primarily driven by rising demand for high-speed data services, ongoing 5G network expansions by mobile network operators (MNOs), and a subsequent increase in the availability of 5G services across the nation,” Pradeepthi commented.

Singapore's 5G-led growth, with a CAGR of 3%, is almost in line with the 4% growth in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Backed by 5G mobile data services, the total communications services revenue in the APAC is likely to increase from $321.9 billion in 2023 to $388.7 billion in 2028, according to GlobalData.

Singtel dominates

GlobalData further forecasts that Singtel will continue to dominate the mobile services market in terms of subscriptions till the forecast period.

“Singtel’s market position is also supported by its strategy to offer data-centric plans with additional benefits and loyalty programs such as Red Memberships. Moreover, the operator is actively seeking partnership and collaboration opportunities with system integrators, app developers, IoT solution providers, and other ecosystem partners to develop new 5G solutions and use cases targeted at its enterprise customers,” Pradeepthi said.

The country was one of the earliest nations to start offering 5G services in 2021.

Singtel is the largest service provider in Singapore. It will face competition from Starhub and M1, the other major operators in the country. Both StarHub and M1 offer 5G services across the country. Earlier this year, StarHub announced 99% coverage of outdoor 5G network. All three telcos plan to retire 3G services by July 2024 to use the spectrum to expand 5G services.

Singtel claims to be the first service provider in Singapore to launch a 5G standalone (5G SA) network in 2021. Earlier this year, Singtel, along with Ericsson and Samsung, announced the implementation of app-based network slicing, enabling app owners to use a slice of its network to enhance the performance of their apps.

As per the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Singapore had 18,64,800 5G subscribers at the end of December 2023. Singtel claimed to have over 1 million 5G customers by the end of September 2023.