Broadband snapshots: Singapore

Opensignal looked at Singapore’s broadband market and analyzed our users’ real-world experience when they connected using a selection of the country’s major Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Our users on ViewQwest, MyRepublic, Starhub and Singtel all experienced average download speeds faster than 100 Mbps, ranging between Singtel’s 103.9 Mbps and ViewQwest’s 122 Mbps. M1 was the only ISP in our analysis where our users observed average download speeds below the 100 Mbps threshold, clocking an average download speed of 91.8 Mbps.

We observed quite consistent upload speeds on four out of the five Singaporean ISPs we analyzed, with the average experience ranging between 68.8 Mbps and 76.5 Mbps for all except our ViewQwest users, who on average saw 89.5 Mbps in upload speed.

Singapore’s fixed broadband market is quite different compared to the mobile market, with multiple new factors determining users’ broadband experience. While in the mobile market we find multiple operators building and owning their infrastructure, which in turn explains a large part of the differences in mobile experience our users have on the mobile networks, in Singapore’s fixed broadband market a single Network Company (NetCo) — Netlink NBN Trust — owns Singapore’s full-fibre Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN). On a separate layer, we find the Operating Companies (OpCo) which design, build and operate the network’s active infrastructure including switches and routers, and then resell internet services to end-users. This helps to explain why we see only slightly different average speeds on Singapore’s ISPs: while most ISPs make use of the same access network infrastructure, they will manage different central network infrastructure where user profile management, data traffic management, and peering to other providers and content delivery networks will all have an impact on users’ real-world experience.

Moreover, in the broadband market, it is much more common than in mobile to have unlimited packages with speed tiering, which means that users’ composition and choice of broadband packages will also affect their download and upload speeds. The quality of home Wifi, as well as the number of concurrent broadband users on the same line can also affect users’ experience. That said, Wifi is often part of the ISP experience because ISPs usually include WiFi technology for sharing the broadband connection around the home alongside the broadband home gateway or modem. These and other factors help explain the variation in users’ real-world broadband experience.