RHB keeps telco sector at 'neutral' as competition heats up

SINGAPORE (Dec 24): The mobile revenues of Singapore telcos will remain under pressure in 2020.

In a report released on Dec 19, RHB Research's team of analysts says it expects competition to be the key downside risk facing the industry in the coming year.

According to the report, the local mobile market is both competitive and fragmented with SIM penetration at over 150%.

Circles.Life launches world's first multi-country digital telco platform in Taiwan

SINGAPORE (June 24): Homegrown mobile virtual network provider Circles.Life is launching its digital mobile services in Taiwan on the back of a partnership with one of island’s largest telco players.

Circles.Life Taiwan enables customers to sign up on the Internet with a SIM card being delivered the very next day, as well as flexible and no-contract plans which free customers from paying for unused data, unlike the current rigid plans that bind them.

Circles.Life deal gives M1 competitive edge for now, but TPG entry remains a threat

SINGAPORE (July 5): Maybank Kim Eng is maintaining its “hold” call on M1 with an unchanged price target of $1.63 cents on the belief that expected earnings pressure on the group has been largely priced in by the market.

The research house forecasts a 3% CAGR decline in wireless service revenues over 2017-20E.

Competition heats up in telco sector and the catchphrase is 'free'

SINGAPORE (June 12): UOB Kay Hian continues to rate the telecommunications sector as “market weight” as competition within the sector has intensified even before TPG Telecom has launched its mobile services on a commercial basis.

So far, TPG has launched a mobile plan just for senior citizens aged 65 and above, giving them 3GB of data and unlimited local calls for free for the first 24 months.

In its 1H18 results briefing, TPG disclosed that its data centre and core network in Singapore has been completed and a large number of base stations have already been installed.

Maybank adopts wait-and-see stance over Circles.Life's free wireless plan

SINGAPORE (May 23): Maybank Kim Eng is keeping Singapore’s three telco incumbents at “hold” as it awaits how they will counteract Circles.Life newly launched free wireless plan that offers 1GB of monthly data, 30 minutes of voice and 10 SMS with no “hidden fees” or contracts.

In a Tuesday report, Maybank analyst Luis Hilado says Circles’ market segmentation that started with $28/month 6GB plans and later $20/month for an additional 20GB and $3/day of unlimited data options has morphed plans for a new segment dubbed “Less-wireless-data-savvy consumers”.

Why investors should 'buy' Singtel in spite of rising competitive risks: RHB

SINGAPORE (Mar 15): RHB is reiterating its “buy” call on Singtel given its underperformance over the past year following its selldown.

RHB has also updated the target price to $4.10 to reflect a higher effective stake in Bharti Airtel.

The rerating comes after Singtel’s recent completion of its purchase of an additional 1.7% stake in Bharti Telecom for $539.4 million, which effectively raised its stake in the latter’s subsidiary Bharti Airtel to 39.5% from 38.6% previously.

Circles.Life offers unlimited data on demand

SINGAPORE (Mar 1): Circles.Life is launching two new plans that offers customers cheaper roaming and unlimited data on demand ahead of the expected entry of a fourth telco here this year.

Users will have access to unlimited data usage for $3 a day. There is no lock-in period. The virtual mobile telco says speeds will be throttled once users consume over 100 GB in a month.

Year of trepidation for telcos on MVNO threat

SINGAPORE (Jan 12): UOB Kay Hian has turned defensive on the telco sector as channel checks indicate TPG Telecom's network deployment is progressing smoothly and is on track for its year-end commercial launch.

Singapore has attracted a slew of startups offering mobile services based on the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model which usually targets niche and customised segments.

M1’s biggest selling point is now its drawback

SINGAPORE (Oct 16): DBS Group Research is maintaining M1 at “fully valued” with a target price of $1.49 given lower dividends on earnings decline as revenues come under pressure and costs escalate.

Dividend yield has been the most critical factor for M1’s stock price in the past. However, with M1’s FY18 dividend yield of 5.6%, coupled with potential annual earnings decline of 12% over FY17-19, the stock is not attractive compared to Singtel’s 5% yield with potential earnings CAGR of 3%, says analyst Sachin Mittal in a Monday report.

How long can Singaporeans last without using mobile data?

SINGAPORE (Aug 1): One in two of Singapore’s mobile consumers have exceeded their monthly mobile data limits in the last six months, with nearly a quarter having overshot their mobile data limits by at least 3 gigabytes (GB).

This is according to mobile digital telco Circles.Life, which recently commissioned research firm Survey Sampling International (SSI) to survey over 900 Singaporeans aged 16-54 years old on their mobile data usage habits.

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