Why are telcos finding it hard to generate a profit from internet-hungry consumers? In its latest 1HFY2021 results ended September, Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) recorded a 19% drop in its revenue from the Singapore consumer segment to $871 million from $1.1 billion a year ago, bringing Ebitda to just $326 million, 14% lower than a year ago. Singtel attributed the drop to the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in declines in roaming, prepaid customers (foreign workers & tourists) and equipment sales. This lowered average revenue per user (ARPU) for Singapore mobile by 25% y-o-y to $29 while prepaid ARPU fell 22% y-o-y to $13.

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