Singaporean fixed and mobile operator StarHub is reportedly considering a network sharing deal with one of its city-state rivals in a bid to further drive down costs. Bloomberg quotes the carrier’s chief executive officer Peter Kaliaropoulos as saying that as the industry matures, protagonists ‘need to start sharing facilities’, confirming that a sharing agreement could come as early as next year. It is noteworthy that in January 2017 StarHub held preliminary discussions with smaller rival M1, in which they agreed to study widening their network sharing arrangements, with a focus on joint access to their radio networks and backhaul.
StarHub, Singapore’s second largest operator by subscribers, reported that net profit for the three months to 30 June 2018 declined 22.8% year-on-year to SGD61.7 million (USD45.2 million) from SGD80.0 million in Q2 2017, impacted by a decline in the sale of mobile services. The operator also saw its mobile subscriber base drop 1.4% year-on-year to 2.25 million in the face of intense domestic competition; four MVNOs have entered the market since 2016 and a fourth MNO is due to launch soon in the shape of TPG Telecom. In early October, meanwhile, the operator initiated a cost-cutting programme designed to improve productivity and announced it will eliminate about 300 non-customer-facing, full-time positions.