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5 Things You Should Know About SingTel

Singtel1

There will be few Singapore residents who haven’t heard the name Singapore Telecommunications Ltd – commonly known as SingTel (SGX: Z74).

The telecommunications giant can be found lurking in numerous homes in Singapore, supplying some combination of Internet Protocol TV (Mio TV), Internet (SingNet), mobile phone (SingTel Mobile Singapore) and telephone landline services.

Indeed, arguably the biggest discussion in every new, Singaporean household concerns the dilemma “So which internet and TV supplier do we go for – SingTel or Starhub (SGX: CC3)?” (Incidentally, the answer is often ‘if you have kids: Starhub; if you like sports: SingTel)’

But did you know…

1.SingTel is majority owned by Temasek Holdings (the investment arm of the Singapore government) and is the largest company by market capitalisation listed on the Singapore Exchange.

2. As of 31 December 2012, the SingTel Group had 473 million mobile customers, an increase of 39.2 million or 9% from a year ago.

3. It isn’t confined to its homeland – indeed SingTel owns 100% of the Australia’s second largest telecommunications (telco) company Optus, and 32% of Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telco company.

4. While some residential customers may raise their eyebrows a little at this, SingTel was recently voted Singapore’s Best Mobile Operator, and Best Provider of Mobile and Fibre Broadband Services at the 2013 HardwareZone.com, and HWM (HardwareMag) Tech Awards.

5. And while interest is high regarding the rollout of the next generation of mobile broadband 4G (LTE) SingTel claims to be able to offer coverage to 95% of the island, offering healthy download speeds of 3.4Mbps to 12Mbps. In Australia, Optus now provides 4G coverage to major cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

SingTel is certainly not immune to problems and its customers may have mixed opinions regarding its residential customer service.

But dividend investors may be interested to know that it has maintained or increased its dividend over the last 10 years. And with such large stakes in Australian and Indian telcos investors instantly benefit from some geographic diversification.

Love it or hate it, it’s hard to escape it!

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.