Singapore’s M1 Limited (M1) has selected Huawei Technologies of China to help it launch the city state’s first cloud-based virtual enhanced packet core (vEPC) network solution. Telecomasia notes that the operator is looking to further enhance its core network resiliency, while also ‘enabling dynamic and more efficient use of network resources to support wide-ranging Smart Nation use cases, and shortening the time to market in the deployment of new Internet of Things (IoT) services’. M1 believes that by deploying vEPC and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technologies in its networks, it will be better placed to dynamically deploy core resources on an as-needed basis, and provide flexibility to swiftly scale up and down resources based on customer demands.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes that M1, Singapore’s smallest telecoms operator by subscribers and revenue, released its financial results for the year ending 31 December 2016, showing that net income slumped 16.1% year-on-year amid turbulent changes in the local market and the impending arrival of a fourth telco. The company booked net profit of SGD149.7 million (USD105.6 million), down from SGD178.5 million in 2015, impacted by lower international voice and roaming revenues, weakening demand for retail traffic and lower handset sales. Revenue slipped 8.3% y-o-y to SGD1.06 billion, it said, as the company reflected on what it terms a challenging time for the industry – a situation it expects to continue for at least the next few quarters. Turnover derived from mobile declined 4.2% on an annualised basis to SGD460 million, while international call services plummeted 10.8% to SGD61 million and handset sales plunged 23.7% to SGD255 million. The only bright light was reported from M1’s fixed operations where, buoyed by strong take-up for fibre broadband, revenues climbed an impressive 21.4% y-o-y to SGD104 million; net fibre broadband connections climbed 32,000 to 160,000 at end-2016. Nevertheless, mobile continues to be the main contributor to sales and M1 continues to grow its base, fuelled by demand for mobile data. It reported net additions of 52,000 post-paid and 39,000 pre-paid customers, boosting the total to 2.02 million, and noting that average smartphone data usage in 4Q16 increased to 3.6GB per month from 3.3GB in the corresponding year-ago quarter. Indeed, data now accounts for 54.0% of total mobile revenues it said, up from 46.3% in FY2015.