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Starhub eyes corporate clients with new network
Nex gen network will allow it to tap some 20,000 buildings currently served by SingTel.
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SINGAPORE (Reuters) StarHub , Singapore's second-biggest telcom firm, said on Thursday a new broadband network in the city would enable it to significantly scale up its presence in the corporate data segment dominated by bigger rival Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel).

The next generation broadband network (NGNBN) would allow the company to tap some 20,000 buildings in the city-state currently served by SingTel, up from around 1,000 currently, StarHub chief executive Neil Montefiore told Reuters in an interview.

"The next generation broadband will give us access to some 20,000 new buildings over the next couple of years, 60 percent of them should be available as early as this year,” said Montefiore, who joined this year after a stint with smaller rival M1 .

The new network, which will be fully deployed by 2012, could provide Singapore users with Internet connection speeds that are up to 10 times faster than the current 100 megabytes per second.

It is being built under a government initiative and two independent consortiums including StarHub and SingTel are involved.

StarHub, which is 56.8 per cent owned by Singapore Technologies Telemedia – a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings – said it has around S$1 billion (US$733 million) in cash reserves to fund its investment and does not plan to cut dividend payouts.

Montefiore said the company will maintain the policy to give away around 80 per cent of its annual free cash flow as dividends.

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