September 30, 2008

OpenNet Consortium Wins Singapore Broadband Deal

An OpenNet consortium led by SingTel and Axia NetMedia has won a deal from Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) to build Singapore's planned ultra high-speed broadband network. The consortium beat a rival bid from StarHub and Qatar Investment Authority.

SingTel and Axia NetMedia each hold a 30% stake in the consortium, Singapore Press holds 25% while the remaining 15% is held by Singapore Power Telemedia.

The consortium will provide fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network, leveraging SingTel's existing network of underground ducts for deploying a broadband network. SingTel will be responsible for roll out and maintenance of its fiber network to all residential and commercial premises in Singapore. The company is expected to invest about SGD2 billion ($1.4 billion) to design, build and maintain the network infrastructure, while the government will support its rollout with a grant of SGD 750m ($525m).

To meet IDA's requirement, SingTel will transfer certain passive infrastructure such as relevant manholes, ducts, and exchange buildings to a separate wholly-owned entity Asset Company (AssetCo) within two years, and will reduce its stake in the AssetCo within five years.

Allen Lew, chief executive at SingTel, said: "We are pleased that OpenNet's proposal, which exceeds the requirements of the iN2015 blueprint in areas like design and timeline, has been recognized and accepted by IDA. The compelling proposal is a result of the strengths of each consortium partner, such as SingTel's extensive high-quality network of ducts, technical expertise and our considerable experience in deploying fiber in Singapore."