Five operators to roll out NBN services in Singapore at start

August 31st, 2010 | by Alfred Siew

Besides SingTel, which unveiled its next-gen broadband prices today, Singapore’s new high-speed broadband network will have services sold by local bigwigs StarHub and M1, as well as smaller operators SuperInternet and LGA, which count many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as customers.

The news came at a news conference held today by Nucleus Connect, which runs the switching and other networking gear for the NBN. It also wholesales the bandwidth to retail service providers (RSPs).

Nucleus Connect CEO David Storrie said network coverage – or a lack of it – was the reason why only five RSPs have signed up so far, despite earlier estimates of hundreds of service providers coming forward to leverage on the open pricing offered by the new broadband network.

The physical network, built currently by Opennet, is expected to cover 60 per cent of Singapore by end 2010. It is expected to hook up 95 per cent of premises here by mid-2012.

Storrie said his company has been approached by a number of operators interested to hook up to the new network, which is sold based on open prices. This challenges the “duopoly” pricing offered by StarHub and SingTel, which used to own most of the telecom infrastructure in Singapore.

Despite the benefits, for now, coverage seems to be the biggest obstacle to more companies coming onboard, said Storrie.

“Overseas operators have said: ‘We like your offer, we’ll be back, when there’s more coverage,” he said, at the event today. He added that he expects “another five” RSPs coming onboard by the end of the year, without naming them.

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