Building on 99.9% Coverage Achieved To Date  


17 October 2000, Singapore -- StarHub, Singapore’s new info-communications service provider, announced today that it is investing an additional S$100 million in its mobile network over the next five months. This is to enhance mobile network coverage and to increase network capacity to handle up to 300,000 mobile customers by 31st March 2001, the end of StarHub’s first commercial year. StarHub will also be making further investments to extend the capacity on its current WAP platform to cater to 50,000 StarHub iPower subscribers by the same time. 


StarHub’s mobile network now covers 99.9% * of Singapore with about 700 base stations located in both outdoor and indoor sites. Network enhancements have been carried out to fine tune and ramp up StarHub’s mobile network coverage in Singapore, especially in the Housing Development Board (HDB) estates, to help meet surging customer demands and increased mobile phone usage in residential homes by StarHub mobile customers. StarHub is also upgrading the antennas on all its Nokia base stations over the next six weeks.


"StarHub’s GSM 1800 network is brand new, and deployed in a manner that allows for a smooth migration to a full 3G spectrum in future. Our competitors have introduced GSM 1800 networks – a testament that GSM 1800 is the way to go for the future since 3G networks will operate in the higher frequency band just above GSM 1800. The additional investment StarHub announced today first provides substantial network capacity increases and strengthens coverage in areas where signal strength needs boosting," said President and CEO of StarHub, Mr Terry Clontz.


Adding on, Mr Wee Way Kiat, General Manager, Mobility, StarHub, said, "With rising popularity of mobile phone usage and increasing types of voice and data applications that can be activated over mobile handsets, consumers are using their mobile phones more regularly and widely than ever before, even in their homes. By enhancing our mobile network coverage in residential areas, we aim to provide mobile coverage quality to meet our customers' ever-expanding needs."


When StarHub started its commercial operations on 1 April 2000, the company had already installed its base stations in more outdoor and indoor sites than that required by the Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore as part of its GSM 1800 license obligations. Apart from outdoor coverage, StarHub has successfully negotiated with building owners to extend its mobile network coverage to all common public access areas in 380 buildings where there is high traffic.


StarHub has continually enhanced its mobile network coverage via the deployment of additional base station sites and network performance optimization activities. Since StarHub started installation of its first base station in September 1998, its mobile network implementation team has been adding an average of one base station per day.


Added Mr Clontz, "We are very pleased with the number of customers who have chosen StarHub as their mobile service provider. Nevertheless, while network congestion is not cited as a problem like in other networks, some of our customers have provided feedback on experiencing coverage problems in certain areas of Singapore. StarHub remains committed to quickly resolving any coverage problems in order to consistently deliver a premium quality service to our mobile subscribers."


* Measured along IDA stipulated routes and HDB town areas.