Listed New Zealand company Newcall Group is one of 10 telecommunications companies to be granted licenses in the new, deregulated Singapore market.
The first round of Services-Based Operator (SBO) licenses granted by the Singapore government take effect from 1 April. Newcall was awarded its license yesterday by the Singapore Minister of Telecommunications, Yeo Cheow Tong.
Newcall's managing director, Norman Nicholls, says the Singapore Government adopted strict merit-based criteria in the granting of licenses.
"The government agency responsible for the granting of licences, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), evaluated applications on such factors as the ability to deliver service and infrastructure, as well as commitment to quality of service standards," he says. "To be awarded a licence in the very first round is recognition of our solid performance to date as an innovative telco here in New Zealand.
"We are and will remain a New Zealand based telecommunications company," says Nicholls. "Our growth locally has been spectacular, with a 50% increase in revenues this year alone, and we are on target to meet our operational forecasts, achieving profitability before the end of the year."
Newcall transformed from its former identity as the New Zealand Salmon Company into a publicly listed telecommunications company in September last year.
Its principal investor is the Thai-based cable operator CTW Beta, and Nicholls says the company was established "with the long term intention of migrating the skills learnt and honed locally into Asian markets as they open up to competition. Our main shareholders are based in the Asia Pacific region and we already have a Singapore office for the wholesale telecommunications market in Asia. The consequent expansion into the exciting Singapore retail market is a natural progression for us."