Fibre Network
For Enterprises

Why do ENTERPRISES need Fibre?

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Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative aims to digitise the entire economy and the global pandemic has greatly accelerated the digitalisation process among businesses, factories, government agencies, hospitals, schools, transport providers and etc.

Demand for online sales and digital solutions (for example, e-payment, e-invoicing, e-learning, telehealth, teleconferencing, cloud-based services, 5G, smart manufacturing, smart logistics, smart energy management, autonomous driving, Internet of Things (IoT) and etc.) is expected to surge as consumption patterns are altered and cost-competitive pressure mounts.

To fully digitalise the economy, there is a need for a robust and scalable fixed communication infrastructure that is capable of handling the ever-increasing amount of data affordably.

Benefits of Fibre

Fibre cables use light pulses to transmit data and they can transmit an almost infinite amount of data at scalable speed. They are also not susceptible to electromagnetic interferences and crosstalk issues.

Our coverage check portal is a free tool which allows you to check if your address is connected to the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network.

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How to get Fibre Broadband for Enterprises?

NetLink Trust designs, builds, owns and operates the passive fibre network infrastructure of Singapore’s Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN). We provide an open, wholesale access of our fibre network to telecommunications operators, who then sell fibre broadband plans to you.

In this way, telecommunications operators can focus on offering innovative products and services to consumers without incurring high fixed costs.

What is the Installation Process?

You can find out more about the installation process here. 

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Data Centres

The explosive growth of internet traffic has led to the proliferation of mission-critical data centres worldwide. As the digital landscape evolves, data centres have to constantly keep up with the ever increasing connectivity and the bandwidth demands. Fibre is the only network infrastructure that can transmit close to infinite amount of data at scalable speeds, making it ideal for data centre connections. NetLink provides fibre connections for data centres under the enterprise services customised agreement or tariff. With our most extensive nationwide fibre coverage in Singapore, you can be assured of quick and seamless deployment.

Case Studies and Opinion Pieces

Role of fibre in 5G Network
Tong Yew Heng, Chief Executive Officer, NetLink NBN Trust

We are transitioning into an intelligent world where real-time connectivity is unleashing greater efficiency through big data driven automation.  A plethora of connected objects collecting, sharing and analysing data automatically in real-time brings a number of benefits:

  • Save resource and reduce wastage
  • Reduce manpower cost through the automation of repetitive, time consuming tasks
  • Minimise downtime through active predictive monitoring
  • Track the location of vehicles, equipment and products 
  • Improve the quality of life
According to Statista, the number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices worldwide is forecast to almost triple from 8.74 billion in 2020 to more than 25.4 billion in 20301.  With the corresponding growth in data, 5G network is the latest wireless communication technology that is the answer to faster speed, greater bandwidth and ultra-low latency.

Despite the wireless nature of 5G, its deployment is heavily reliant on the availability of fibre optics to transport the vast amount of data from the mobile base stations to the physical core network.  Fibre is irreplaceable in 5G mobile backhaul as it is the only medium that can transmit an infinite amount of data at scalable speeds.  In 100% fibre networks, the data transmission speed is only limited by the transmitters and receivers at each end.  GSMA estimates that 5G will cover one-third of the world’s population2 by 2025, thereby intensifying the demand for fibre globally.

How 5G Shapes Fibre Deployment

5G uses millimetre waves to carry larger amount of data at much faster rate than 4G.  A lot of base stations and antennas are required to ensure good 5G coverage as shorter wavelength means shorter range, making it difficult to penetrate objects like walls, buildings, trees, etc.  Another key characteristic of 5G is network virtualisation – using software to manage both hardware and software resources to achieve greater efficiency and enable better customer experience.  

However, more base stations and antennas will invariably lead to more interconnected paths, making the fibre network more complex.  Even in Singapore where the nationwide fibre network is already extensive, new fibre cables still have to be laid to ensure efficient route planning to reduce cost, overcome distance and signal loss in 5G deployment. Based on our experience in the 5G Smart Estate Trial @ Singapore Science Park and the Singapore Maritime Drone Estate, fibre densification is about 2 times more than 4G.  

The first use-cases in Southeast Asia to develop intelligent mobility solutions in a commercial space, 5G Smart Estate Trial is a key initiative of the Smart Urban Co-Innovation Lab aimed at developing, testing, and deploying sustainable smart city products and services, such as better 5G network coverage or autonomous vehicles. 

The Singapore Maritime Drone Estate provides a conducive space to test bed and develop transformational drone technologies for maritime applications, such as shore-to-ship deliveries and remote inspections of ship and container cranes.  Innovative applications of drone technologies can bring benefits, such as increased productivity, reduced need for manpower and lower costs.

The planning of fibre deployment is an important, but often overlooked part of the entire process. While many assume that fibre losses are low in general, careful planning is required to design the fibre network so that it meets critical parameters such as latency, distance and losses, particularly in crucial applications like 5G and advanced technologies like Quantum Computing.  The extensive fibre network in Singapore is being continually improved and refined to ensure that direct connections are being implemented with the latest fibre cores to meet future technological challenges. It will remain a cornerstone in providing a steady and resilient platform for Singapore to advance its digital ambitions.  


Need to Accelerate 5G Deployment

As seen from the above, nationwide fibre coverage is a requisite for 5G deployment.  Laying fibre cables to the premises (FTTP) will incur high fixed costs, even in a highly urbanised environment like Singapore. 

Governments across the world have taken different approaches to fibre deployment.  For example, private telecommunication operators like NTT and Verizon provide majority of the fibre infrastructure in Japan and the United States.  In some countries, fibre networks are being deployed by utility companies (e.g. Open Fiber and M-Net) and online service providers (e.g. Facebook and Google). 

At the other end of the spectrum, governments in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore have decided on the use of publicly funded national broadband network deployments (i.e. National Broadband Network (NBN), Ultra-Fast Broadband Network and Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) respectively)  to accelerate the pace of implementation.  

The Next Gen NBN provides telecommunication operators in Singapore with a non-discriminatory, open and wholesale access to the nationwide fibre network, thereby allowing them to focus on offering innovative products and services to consumers and businesses without incurring high fixed costs.  Singapore has achieved relatively good success via this mode of fibre deployment - it was the first country to offer 1 Gbps on a nationwide basis, with prices that are amongst the most affordable in the world – 1 Gbps below US$383.

It is important to note that technological advancements have significantly blurred the lines between the service offerings of telecommunication operators and tech companies.  For example, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology and instant messaging service have significantly eroded the earnings of telecommunications operators. With digitalisation affecting all industries, telecommunications operators need to quickly evolve into digital players where differentiation is increasingly hinging on software and network virtualisation, rather than physical infrastructure. Apart from 5G deployment, telecommunication operators globally are venturing into areas like cybersecurity, data analytics, digital banking, digital advertising, Internet of Things (IoT), industry 4.0, etc.  

Non-discriminatory, open and wholesale access to nationwide fibre network can significantly accelerate 5G deployment and allow telecommunications operators to focus on critical areas of innovation and software differentiation in the age of digitalisation.

1 Number of IoT connected devices worldwide 2019-2030 by Statista

2 5G Global Launches & Statistics

3 Innovative Business Models for Expanding Fiber-Optic Networks and Closing the Access Gaps by The World Bank Group (December 2018)
Building The Fibre of a Smart Nation 
Chye Hoon Pin, Chief Operating Officer, NetLink Trust
 
“Singapore was the first country to offer 1 Gbps on a nationwide basis, with prices that are amongst the most affordable in the world – 1 Gbps below US$381.” 
 
~ International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ~
 
Singapore’s recent shift to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), which mandated work-from-home and home-based learning to be the default, was uneventful. The population adapted quickly, following the successful transition during Singapore’s Circuit Breaker period when people had to work and learn from home, and businesses activities go online. This was made possible by the country’s stable and reliant fibre and internet infrastructure built over the years to cater to the needs of digitisation. 
 
When Singapore first entered the Circuit Breaker in April 2020, internet usage in Singapore surged by approximately 60%2, putting the nation’s Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) to the test. While some users experienced longer wait times when browsing sites or buffering online content, internet usage in Singapore was well within the network operators’ capacity, according to the Ministry of Communications and Information.
 
Global pandemics like COVID-19 highlight the importance of having a robust and resilient network infrastructure. Early on, the Singapore government recognised the need to implement an affordable, nationwide ultra-high-speed broadband access across the country to realise its all-encompassing Smart Nation initiative to digitise all aspects of the economy through collaborations with businesses, citizens and non-governmental organisations.
 
The Challenge
 
Internet service was first made available to Singapore’s public in 1994, via the public switched telephone network in the form of dial-up connections. Utilising existing telephone lines in every residential premises, users could dial into their internet service providers using a modem; the maximum theoretical speed was about 54 Kbps. 
 
Today, Singapore has consistently ranked first in the fixed broadband category, with average download speeds of up to 245 Mbps3, approximately 4,500 times faster than in 1994. Dial-up internet connection through telephone lines had its shortcomings, mainly due to external interference and the quality of the lines, which limited connection speeds. Once connected to the internet, the telephone line could not be used for making calls, as connection would drop if the phone handset was lifted from cradle. In spite of these challenges, the consumption of internet service grew. 
 
In the late 1990s, two broadband internet technologies were introduced in Singapore - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL2+) using the telephone lines and Cable broadband using the co-axial cable TV network.  
 
Apart from speeds up to 25 Mbps, ADSL2+ connection had one big advantage over dial-up connection – both broadband and voice connection could share the same telephone line.  Although this was a relatively low cost and convenient method to have high speed internet access, the technology came with its limitation – the speed was only as good as the quality of the copper wires. Older houses with ageing copper wires often encountered disconnections and poor speed due to high signal losses and interference from nearby electrical devices.
 
Cable broadband, on the other hand, was able to achieve higher internet speed of up to 100 Mbps. However, this speed was shared with all cable modem users within the same block or within a landed residential cluster, making the speed slow during peak connection periods. 
 
The copper-based fixed communication infrastructure used by dial-up connections, ADSL2+ and cable broadband were struggling to keep up with the explosive growth of internet usage in the mid-2000s. The proliferation of bandwidth-hungry applications like IPTV, video streaming, online gaming, cloud-based file transfer service and cloud computing accelerated the demise of these infrastructures.
 
Moreover, voice, video, and data were traditionally delivered over separate physical communication networks using completely different technologies. Internet broadband offered the possibility of amalgamation of voice, video and data, and there was a pressing need for a unified communication network that could handle all three at higher speed.
 
Fibre and the Nationwide Broadband Network
 
Unlike copper, fibre uses light pulses to transmit data - researchers have demonstrated speeds exceeding 100 terabits (the equivalent of 100 000 000 megabits) per second over hundreds of kilometres4. Fibre is an ideal medium to support the unabated growth of online entertainment, video conferencing, 5G, cloud computing, autonomous driving, smart manufacturing, remote surgery and other digital applications.
 
The pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of digitisation, as how we learn, conduct business, and leisure, has now shifted. There is a new degree of reliance on the internet and our mobile devices. Trends such as the rise in digitalisation and e-commerce are here to stay, and the unparalleled ability of fibre networks in withstanding the increase network demands will remain crucial to consumers.  
 
However, replacing the existing communication infrastructure from copper to fibre would incur high costs as it involves the laying of fibre cables to every residential home.  Even in Singapore where the majority of the population live in high-rise buildings, the cost to put fibre into every home would be significant.  
 
In 2006, the government mooted the idea of a Next Gen NBN - the foundation in supporting Singapore’s goal to be a leading digital economy. It was one of the first networks in the world that involved the mandated separation of infrastructure assets1. By providing a non-discriminatory, open and wholesale access to the Next Gen NBN, telecommunication operators can focus on offering innovative products and services to consumers and businesses without incurring high fixed costs.  
 
In September 2008, OpenNet won the open bid for the Network Company (NetCo) licence and was responsible for designing, building and operating the passive fibre infrastructure of the Next Gen NBN. The Singapore government provided a grant of up to S$750 million to the NetCo in support of the network rollout.  Subsequently, OpenNet was fully acquired by NetLink Trust (NLT) in 2013 as part of a consolidation process.   
 
Project Implementation
 
Not only does the network have to be scalable and future-proof, but it also must fulfil the accommodation of multiple access technologies, extend coverage nationwide in the shortest time frame and at the most cost-effective manner, and allow multiple telecommunication operators non-discriminatory and equal access to the network.
 
In order to achieve nationwide coverage quickly and cost-effectively, NetLink Trust leveraged existing ducts and manholes which it procured from Singtel.
 
Gaining access to homes to carry out fibre installations were among the biggest hurdles for the Next Generation NBN. To circumvent this, a multi-pronged approach which included establishing good relationships with building managers and familiarising them with NetLink Trust’s mandate, embarking on media campaigns with IMDA, educating the public about the Next Gen NBN rollout during IT shows, partnering with telecommunication operators to promote fibre broadband and providing complimentary cable installation for every Singaporean home, was adopted.
 
The Results 
 
When the Next Gen NBN achieved 95% coverage in 2012, 1.11 million residential premises and 24,000 non-residential buildings in Singapore had access to fibre broadband services. Today, NetLink Trust has extended its coverage nationwide to all residential premises and non-residential buildings. 
 
As at 31 March 2021, there were 1,446,784 residential fibre connections, 48,108 non-residential fibre connections, 1,996 NBAP connections and 490 segment connections. Since 2011, the number of households with fibre broadband subscriptions in Singapore grew steadily year-on-year (refer to the table below).  
 
Residential Wired Broadband by Type, Monthly 

 
High levels of government investment and support were therefore crucial to the success of the nationwide fibre network rollout.  Equally important is the partnership and trust from the telecommunication operators.
 
In Singapore, all telecommunication operators, including providers of ADSL and cable broadband services, were cognizant of benefits of the Next Gen NBN and went all the way out to promote fibre broadband.  The subsequent nationwide adoption of fibre broadband by citizens, public and private sectors over the years has a laid a strong foundation for the Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.  
 
From land use planning using big data analytics, real-time environmental monitoring to reduce energy usage, smart manufacturing to telehealth services, Singapore is getting progressively smarter by capitalising on the digital revolution.  
 
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the sudden surge in broadband and internet traffic did not affect the service quality, i.e. download and upload speeds across Singapore. Future demand for online sales and digital solutions (for example, e-payment, e-invoicing, e-learning, telehealth, teleconferencing, cloud-based services, 5G, smart manufacturing, smart logistics, smart energy management, autonomous driving, etc.) is expected to surge as consumption patterns continue to evolve and cost-competitive pressure mounts.  
 
The disruption brought about by COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of having a reliable, high speed and low-cost broadband service that is capable of supporting the accelerated pace of digital transformation in a progressively digitised world.  
 
Fibre Deployment for Pokémon Go Safari Zone Event
Southeast Asia’s inaugural Pokémon Go Safari Zone landed on the shores of Singapore on 18 April 2019. The five-day event drew an estimated 125,000 local and overseas players to Sentosa’s Palawan Beach. The event, organised by Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) in collaboration with Niantic and The Pokémon Company, saw some extremely rare Pokémon GO characters that were only available at the event.

For any gamer, on top of being equipped with the necessary tools, having a strong and steady connection adds to the whole gaming experience. Recognising the importance of having a stable connection, SDC spared no efforts in making the playing experience as seamless as possible.

Fibre Deployment

With an expected large turnout, SDC appointed M1 Limited (M1) as its internet service provider to enable a stable and seamless wireless connectivity throughout the event, with NetLink rolling out the backbone of the fibre network. As the nationwide operator for fibre network infrastructure, NetLink had the necessary resources, technical know-how and skillset to do this.

Four Non-Building Address Point (NBAP) connections were deployed by NetLink in Sentosa, to provide connectivity to wireless and mobile setup deployed by M1 for the event. This helped to support over a hundred outdoor access points broadcasting Wireless@SG, Wireless@SGx and private SSIDs for the players to connect to the Internet on their mobile devices when hunting for the Pokémons.

In spite of the short deployment timeline, NetLink worked closely with M1 who facilitated access with SDC and site surveys, to complete the set-up of the fibre connections in under 10 business days. The relentless support from all working partners was essential and of utmost importance in ensuring a smooth and successful deployment. This also helped in keeping the turnaround time short for deploying the connections.

“During the early planning stages of the Pokémon Go Safari Zone event, NetLink has been providing M1 with its fullest support. This has greatly smoothened the process in getting the fibre circuits up despite a tight project schedule. The provisioning teams from NetLink and M1 have shown great synergy, teamwork and communications, which contributed greatly to the speedy fulfilment of the required service.”

~ M1, Product Development and Corporate Solutions~

The Fibre Installation Experience
  • Seamless
  • Supportive
  • Speedy fulfilment
  • Experienced engineers and skilled contractors
  • Equipped with technical know-how

Installation Charges for Enterprises

Method Of Provisioning
Patch Cord handover at FTTB node of the Non-Residential Premises where NetLink Trust's Network ends
Installation of Termination Point inside the vertical telecom riser on the same floor where the Non-Residential Premises is located
Installation of Termination Point inside the Non-Residential Premises
Installation of Network Charge
SGD 43.87
SGD 528.58
SGD 767.19
Service Activation Charge
SGD 68.48
SGD 68.48
SGD 68.48
Relocation, Repair and Replacement and Removal Charge
SGD 43.87
SGD 528.58
SGD 767.19

All charges shown are inclusive of GST. Charges are correct as of 1 January 2018.  Charges are subject to change without prior notice.

About Us

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NetLink Trust designs, builds, owns and operates the fibre network infrastructure which is the foundation of Singapore’s Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network.

COPYRIGHT © 2022 NETLINK TRUST.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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