The IT and telecommunications industry is experiencing a period of rapid growth, especially the Internet market. To position Singapore as a leading and vibrant info-communications hub of the Asia-Pacific region, it is important to ...
Singapore, 13 September 1999 | For Immediate Release
The IT and telecommunications industry is experiencing a period of rapid growth, especially the Internet market. To position Singapore as a leading and vibrant info-communications hub of the Asia-Pacific region, it is important to attract new players, including foreign players, to enter the Singapore market. In such a competitive market, existing operators will be spurred on to enhance the overall quality, standard and range of the services they provide.
For the Internet Access Service Provider (IASP) and Internet Exchange Service Provider (IXSP) market, TAS currently imposes a maximum direct foreign equity limit of 49% on these licensees. The maximum indirect foreign equity limit on the local partner is also 49%. Therefore, at present, the effective maximum foreign equity limit on these licensees is 74%. Currently, interested companies that meet TAS' licensing requirements and the foreign equity limit are automatically granted IASP or IXSP licenses. So far, there are four IASPs and two IXSPs.
TAS has received numerous queries from interested foreign players. However, the industry feedback is that it is difficult to find suitable local partners. Some foreign parties also prefer to own majority shareholdings in the IASP and IXSP licensees.
In response, the Government has reviewed the existing foreign equity limit for IASP and IXSP licensees. The direct and indirect foreign equity limits for these licensees will be lifted with immediate effect. This will allow the entry of new foreign players who will stimulate market growth and help to realise the full potential of the Internet market. This move will also benefit consumers and contribute towards Singapore's journey towards becoming an Information Society. The maximum foreign equity limit for other public telecommunication licensees remains unchanged. The Government will continue to monitor global trends and market developments, and review the foreign equity limit for other public telecommunication licensees.
Background Information for Editors:
The IASP market was first liberalised in September 1995, and fully liberalised on 8 October 1998. Singapore currently has four IASPs - Cyberway, Dataone, Pacific Internet and SingNet.
The IXSP market was liberalised on 22 June 1999. Internet Exchanges (IXs) are physical interconnection sites for Internet Access Service Providers (IASPs) to access the global Internet backbone and exchange traffic with one another. Such exchanges will aggregate IASPs' traffic before they are sent via leased circuits to the US Internet backbone and the regional countries, and reduces the need for each IASP to set up its own direct links. This will translate to lower cost and more efficient bandwidth utilisation for the IASPs, as well as faster connection times for their Internet users. Singapore currently has two IXSPs - Singapore Telecommunications and UUNet.
Further information on the IASP & IXSP licences, including related media releases and the Licensing Application Guidelines are available in the Policy section.