SINGAPORE: StarHub and Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) have further intensified competition in the telecoms market by offering lower IDD rates to selected destinations over the weekend.
The discounts follow moves by SingTel and MobileOne to offer free incoming calls, a service that StarHub pioneered here when it began operations in April 2000.
StarHub said it was extending its free IDD call service to the US, China and Hong Kong. The service is currently available on calls to Malaysia.
The free IDD call service is only applicable to calls made using StarHub's '018' service and to StarHub mobile customers.
In response, SingTel said it had cut by up to 69% its IDD rates for Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan. The discounted rates apply only to SingTel's '019' service.
Both Starhub's '018' and SingTel's '019' are Voice over Internet Protocol call services.
Analysts said MobileOne would be most affected by intensifying competition in the mobile communications and IDD market.
Any impact on SingTel will largely be offset by improving contributions.
StarHub, which only began operating in April 2000, now has about 22% of the Singapore mobile market, SingTel has 47% and MobileOne over 30%. “Competition (in Singapore) has always been a concern. The market is saturated and operators just try to gain market share by attracting the other operators' existing customers,” ING Financial Markets analyst Syed Al-Idid said.
Al-Idid said he viewed SingTel and MobileOne's moves to introduce free incoming calls as a strategy to protect their market share from StarHub.
“This (competition) is more negative for MobileOne rather than SingTel,” he said. – AFX
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