M1 doubles up with next-gen 4G network launch
By Gabey Goh December 3, 2014
- Upgraded network promises up to 300Mbps download speeds for customers
- Company's Q3 net profit up 12.7% to S$44.5 million
M1 LIMITED has launched what it is calling “Singapore’s first nationwide next-generation 4G network,” promising download speeds for customers of up to 300Mbps.
In a statement, the telecommunications company said that all existing and new mobile customers with devices that support the Long-Term Evolution – Advanced (LTE-A) technology will be able to enjoy the faster download speeds.
Chief operating officer Patrick Scodeller said that M1 continually invests in its networks to ensure customers consistently enjoy a better experience.
“In 2012, we launched South-East Asia’s first nationwide 4G (Fourth Generation) network with download speeds of up to 75Mbps, and further enhanced our network to 150Mbps download speeds nationwide earlier this year.
“Today, we have yet again doubled the download speeds to 300Mbps nationwide, which our customers, who enjoy Singapore’s best-value smartphone plans, can experience at no additional charge,” he added.
As at end-September 2014, M1’s mobile customer base was 1.9 million. Postpaid customer base grew 22,000 year-on-year, while prepaid customer base declined due to the regulatory reduction of prepaid SIM cards per subscriber from 10 to three, which came into effect in April.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) reduced the number in order to lower the security risks associated with the anonymous use of prepaid SIM cards in facilitating illegal activities.
Commenting on the rollout of the new network, Forrester Research's senior analyst Clement Teo noted that smartphone users check their device “over a hundred of times per day.”
“They are conditioned to expect that any desired information or service is available on any appropriate device, in context, at their moment of need,” he said.
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Teo said that companies need to recognise the mobile mind shift and be visible in this environment, or risk becoming irrelevant.
“M1 is making itself relevant by shortening the response time for users, and as a result, improving the mobile customer experience. We expect its users’ data usage to grow as a result of the launch,” he said.
In mid-October, M1 released its the unaudited group financial results for the nine months ended Sept 30, 2014, reporting a 1.1% year-on-year bump in revenue to S$619.8 million.
[S$1 = US$0.77]
This was driven by higher revenue from mobile data and growth in its fixed customer base, with mobile data revenue now accounting for 34.5% of service revenue, up by 6.3%.
Net profit after tax increased 9.7% year-on-year to S$131.2 million. For the third quarter, net profit rose 12.7% year-on-year to S$44.5 million.
Quarter-on-quarter, prepaid revenue was stable at S$20.3 million, while monthly postpaid churn was stable at 1.1%. During the quarter, the company’s fibre customer base grew to 98,000.
In its filing with the Singapore Exchange (SGX), M1 said that it will continue to focus on delivering a better user experience and value to further drive adoption of fibre services in both the residential and corporate segments.
With competition likely to remain keen, the company said that based on the current economic outlook, it estimates moderate growth in net profit after tax for the year 2014, barring unforeseen circumstances.
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