SingTel ready to expand pay TV service

Singapore Telephone (SingTel) wants to expand its Mio pay TV service beyond the Singapore market as part of a change of focus--and direction--from voice to video that is following the transition from analog to digital TV.

"We'll look at where are the opportunities, how big those markets are going to be, how strong is our telco presence and what's the value-add from TV," Allen Lew, CEO of group digital life at SingTel said during the carrier's fourth quarter earnings briefing, according to ZDNet.

Lew didn't offer up any specific details about where that expansion might take place, but SingTel's mobile footprint is expected to carry extra weight in any decision.

The expansion is part of a focus change for the company as it pushes the move from analog to digital across its business units. Mio has been affected by--and has affected--the changes within the company. The TV service added 6,000 customers in the quarter and now has 404,000 overall subscribers. SingTel's top rival, StarHub, meanwhile, reported a loss of 4,200 subscribers and now has 532,000 cable TV subscribers.

SingTel has friends as it expands. The company is associated with Australia's Optus, Indonesia Telkomsel, the Philippines' Globe, Thailand's AIS and India's Airtel. It also has a license in Myanmar. All these markets are transitioning from analog to digital TV and SingTel hopes to take advantage of that transition to build new business, Lew said.

"So just like 15 years ago when we had the opportunity to go into mobile and there was a switchover from analog system to digital, so now we're seeing the same thing for TV," he said.

As part of that strategy, SingTel has targeted about $1.6 billion in spending for "acquisitions in the digital space over the next three years," the ZDNet story said.

For more:
- ZDNet has this story

Related articles:
StarHub offering IPTV to commercial customers via Malaysia's nationwide broadband network
IPTV seen as important to Australian media and entertainment industry's future