Forging ahead with next-generation networks

As we transition to a 5G future, our associates continue to strengthen their core business offerings and maintain their positions as some of the leading telcos in their respective markets, with a collective S$8 billion invested in network capabilities to ensure faster, seamless connections for our growing customer base.

Our associates have made significant progress in 5G deployment. With Globe’s launch of Globe at Home Air Fibre 5G plans, the Philippines became the first Southeast Asian country to experience commercial 5G fixed wireless broadband, allowing customers to enjoy speeds rivalling those offered by fibre.

AIS acquired 5G spectrum in February 2020 and became the first operator in Thailand to launch 5G. It is focused on research and development, testing and trialling 5G use cases with its partners to develop commercial use cases in both the consumer and enterprise segments. In Indonesia, Telkomsel successfully conducted 5G trials in Batam and deployed an additional 24,000 base transceiver stations. Its LTE network now reaches 95% of the population, ensuring 4G penetration continues to increase.

Engaging young, digital-first customers

Over a third of our 700 million customers are young and digitally savvy and we continue to engage them with innovative digital products and services. Telkomsel launched its first digital prepaid mobile service by.U, giving Gen Zs the flexibility of customising services directly, while Airtel relaunched #AirtelThanks, its flagship customer programme delivering tailored content, lifestyle rewards and experiences.

Our associates collaborate with leading brands across e-commerce, entertainment and games on exclusive digital content and service bundles for customers. AIS engages youth who are heavy data users with their ZEED Prepaid SIM, partnering Facebook Gaming and YouTube to provide unlimited data. Globe and Telkomsel deliver a growing line-up of content offerings through their GoSurf prepaid plans and MAXstream streaming packages respectively and Airtel’s Amazon partnership offers free subscriptions to Prime bundled with voice, data and SMS.

Singtel also serves the passions of young gamers through PVP Esports, which has firmly entrenched itself as a force for gaming in the region. In 2019, PVP Esports’ social content reached over 21.8 million across Southeast Asia, and as the official esports presenter of Singapore Comic Con, PVP Esports attracted 50,000 visitors to its community league finals. Building on this success, the 2020 edition has been scaled up to two editions with more game titles.

We also announced a regional joint venture with AIS and South Korean gaming giant SK Telecom to reinforce our presence in gaming by developing new gaming-related revenue streams with partners’ gaming and entertainment content offerings.

Enhancing mobile financial services

As lifestyles become increasingly digital, we have enhanced our mobile financial offerings to become a meaningful part of customers’ lives, providing added convenience and driving financial inclusion.

In Singapore, our mobile wallet Dash has evolved beyond enabling payments for everyday activities like shopping and public transit, to providing lifestyle services like restaurant reservations and travel insurance.

Dash has enabled customers to stay safe and stay home during COVID-19. Customers have been able to make payments for their online purchases with the Dash Visa Virtual Account and remit money to their loved ones in any of the seven countries served by Dash including Malaysia, the latest addition to its network. This led to a 70% spike in remittance and more than double the number of new remittance customers in April compared to February. Dash also supported remittance customers with complimentary COVID-19 insurance, in partnership with Income.

Regionally, we saw the successful launch of LinkAja!, a merger of Telkomsel’s e-wallet service with those of other state-owned banks. Airtel Africa partnered leading financial institutions like Finablr and Mastercard to improve access to financial services. We have also strengthened our cross-border mobile payment alliance VIA, expanding to welcome new partners and reach new markets.

Together with Grab, we are taking a further step in mobile financial services with a joint application for a digital full bank licence in Singapore. We aim to create a differentiated banking experience to cater to the underserved needs of both consumers and enterprises.