StarHub Ltd’s 2016 Annual Report: 3 Key Insights on Mobile

StarHub Ltd (SGX: CC3) released its 2016 annual report in late March this year. The company’s business is divided into five segments, namely, mobile, pay TV, broadband, enterprise fixed, and sales of equipment. It is worth digging through the report, as it contains insights on the future of the segments.

With this in mind, here are three key thoughts StarHub shared on its mobile business.

1. The future is blazing fast

In the annual report, StarHub shared updates on its experiments with 5G networks:

“While we stay on top of improvements in technology, we are constantly looking around the corner.

In November, we started exploring how 5G can be used to enrich our customers’ lives. Via Nokia’s AirScale integrated radio access network, we tested mobile speeds of a whopping 4.3Gbps – that is at least ten times faster than the 4G networks in use today.”

The future 5G mobile network is promising speeds that are at least ten times the speeds of current 4G mobile networks. We will have to await the schedule for the implementation of islandwide 5G coverage, which could be several years out. Meanwhile, the legacy 2G network was shut down on 1 April 2017 in Singapore.

2. The universal mobile identity

In November 2016, StarHub reached an agreement with its rivals Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX: Z74) and M1 Ltd (SGX: B2F) to adopt GMSA’s “Mobile Connect” authentication standard. In the annual report, StarHub said:

“With Mobile Connect, mobile customers can look forward to creating a universal trusted digital identity.”

The universal digital identity would allow customers to login into different websites without registering or creating new usernames and passwords. This identity is expected to limit customer frustration and save time.

3. From Singapore to the world   

In March last year, StarHub signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the China Mobile led Hand-in-Hand program. The program includes 14 international telcos and promises to foster collaboration in areas such as roaming, sharing of network resources, research and development, and others.

StarHub reported:

“Before the year was up, the Hand-in-Hand Program took one big step forward.

We are now part of the 14 mobile network operators in this program committing to better cross border connectivity and interoperability, thereby improving the roaming experience of all our customers.”

Although StarHub mainly earns its money in Singapore, its customers are likely to travel to other countries for vacation or work periodically. The Hand-in-Hand collaboration could go some ways to enable StarHub to improve the experience of its global customers.

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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 contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.