Singapore Company Incorporation with Paul Hype Page
Company Registration at Paul Hype Page Singapore

Before starting a telecommunications company in Singapore, you must understand the telephone, Internet, general technology and the potential market in Singapore.

What is a Telecommunication Company?

How do you go about your company incorporation in Singapore if you want to set up a telecommunications business? What do you need to know before commencing your business in Singapore? Before you begin to register a Singapore company, you need to know what is a telecommunications company in the first place?

Telecommunication companies provide telecommunication related services to customers. Examples of these services include (but are not limited to):

  • mobile telephony services
  • normal telephony services
  • data hosting services
  • higher bandwidth services
  • satellite services and so on

What are the perks of starting a telecommunication company in Singapore?

The telecommunication service sector is growing fast in Asia-Pacific for the past few years. It’s all about Asia now, and as businesses start to grow, so does the consumer income. Asia-Pacific is the trendsetter when it comes to being connected with the rest of the world.

Singapore has long had the reputation of having one of the best telecom networks in the world. Companies here range from network equipment providers and InfoComm product developers to data centers and telecom operators. Singapore’s strengths are:

Singapore is poised to play a very important role as the launch-pad for companies. They can leverage the quickly expanding telecom market in Asia.

Want to Start business in Singapore
Want to Start business in Singapore

Types of Telecommunication License

  • FBO (Facilities Based Operator) License
    FBO licensees do not have any foreign equity limits imposed upon them. To apply for a FBO License, you’ll need to send an application to the IDA. In your application, you’ll have to provide a few details.This includes your vision for the company and your commitment to fulfilling your vision and plans. You must include:

    • The company’s competition strategies,
    • Organizational structure and financial capability,
    • The technical soundness of proposed plans and
    • The technical capability to implement said plans.

    The criteria for your FBO License approval depend on the benefits your company will bring to the telecom sector, local consumers, and Singapore’s economy.

    Provided all documentation is complete, a successful application will generally take 8 weeks to be processed. You’ll have to pay SGD1000 for administrative fees per application. Successful applications will be levied an annual license fee amounting to 1% of the licensee’s Annual Gross Turnover (AGTO). This is subject to a minimum amount that would depend on the services offered.

    You’ll also have to lodge the following with IDA:

    • A performance. The sum is 5% of the total budgeted capital investment that you committed during the application. This bond will cover things like the obligation to comply with IDA-issued directions.

    The FBO License’s duration of validity will differ, with the exact period depends on the scope of your company’s operations.

  • License for In-Building Terrestrial Telecommunication Systems
    If you plan on laying in-building cables in:

    • telecommunication riser ducts,
    • provide cable access service to other providers, or
    • telecommunication services to tenants

    You’ll need to need to acquire the relevant and necessary licenses to do so.

  • Satellite Downlink License
    Are you intending to provide and operate a satellite downlink service for broadcasting signals? Then you’ll need a Satellite Downlink License. This license is not valid if you intend to uplink broadcasting signals.The IDA places no restrictions on foreign ownership for this license. If you’re applying for the Satellite Downlink License, you’ll need to fill in and submit an application form to the IDA. This must be complete with supporting documents and information, such as:

    • a copy of the Business Registration Certificate,
    • a description of the company’s business activities,
    • the types of signals to be downlinked,
    • name of satellites accessed,
    • location of the satellite downlinking system, etc.

    The annual license fee is SGD200 and it is valid for 10 years, renewable on a 5-yearly basis.

  • Satellite Uplink/Downlink License for Broadcasting Purposes
    To provide and operate a satellite uplink/downlink service for broadcasting signals, you’ll have to acquire a Satellite Uplink/Downlink License from the IDA. Remember, this is only for broadcasting signals – holding this license does not allow you to provide telecommunication services.The IDA places no restriction on foreign ownership for this License.Before applying, ensure the proposed site for the earth station, and its electromagnetic environment is suitable for the operation of the satellite uplink/downlink facility. It must also not, in any way, interfere with other telecommunication systems/services.When you fill and submit an application to the IDA, you’ll have to attach other documents and information as well. These documents are:

    • a copy of the company’s Business Registration Certificate,
    • description of the business,
    • details of the board of directors,
    • details of company shareholding,
    • paid-up capital, the name of satellites to be accessed,
    • type of signals to be uplinked/downlinked,
    • location of satellite uplinking/downlinking system, etc.

    The annual license fee is SGD5000. It is valid for 10 years and is renewable on a 5-year basis.

    A complimentary Satellite Communication Station License is required for establishing and operating a satellite communication station in Singapore.

  • Satellite Communication Station License
    A Satellite Communication Station License is required for the transmission and/or receipt of messages or data via satellite communications. The exact license you’ll have to apply for depends on the type of station you plan to set up. Some common Satellite Communication Station Licenses are
  • Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) License
  • Portable Satellite Communication Terminal License
  • Earth Station License
  • Tracking, Telemetry and Command (TT&C) Earth Station License
    The IDA has final approval on the access of any space segment, radio frequencies, or radio frequency bands. The applicant must comply with the relevant rules and regulations, and procedures imposed by the satellite operator for station access, booking, and fees.Successful applications are usually processed within 5 working days. The fees for the licenses vary. Portable Satellite Communication Terminal Licenses cost SGD 100 per annum. Others may cost SGD 50 per annum. Also payable are annual and A&P (one-time application and processing) fees, which are based on the frequency bandwidths used.
  • Service-Based Operator (SBO) License
    A Services-Based Operator (SBO) License is required for operators leasing telecommunication network elements. This includes Fibre, switching services, transmission capacity. This must be acquired from FBO licensees for either

    1. providing telecommunication services to third parties; or
    2. resell the telecommunication services of the FBOs to third parties.

    SBOs can be individually licensed or class-licensed, where the license you apply for would depend on the scope of operations and the nature of the services provided.

  • SBO Class licensees
    Licensees of the SBO Class License are not subject to any foreign equity limits. Applications to the IDA, along with all the necessary supporting documents, will take 2-8 working days to be processed. A one-time license fee of SGD200 applies; no renewal is needed.An SBO Class License permits provision of the following services:

    • Internet-Based Voice and Data Services
    • Call-back/Call Re-origination Services
    • Store-and-Retrieve (S&R) Value-Added Network Services*
    • Resale of Public Switched Telecommunication Services*
    • Audio text Services
    • Public Chain Payphone Services*
    • International Calling Card (ICC) Services

    *Note: No license fee is required for the provision of these services. Please check with the IDA beforehand to confirm whether you’ll need to pay a service fee for your telecommunication company’s services if you must pay a service fee.

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  • SBO Individual Licenses
    SBO Individual Licenses generally applies to those operators leasing international transmission capacity to provide their services. As with SBO Class Licenses, no foreign equity limits are imposed on licensees. Requirements for SBO Individual License applications:

    • SBO Individual licensees collecting deposits and/or issues prepaid cards for collection of payments upfront must have at least S$100,000 in paid-up capital at the point of licensing.
    • to apply for the SBO Individual license, you’ll need to fill in an application form, and submit it to the IDA. Supporting documents must be provided. Those SBO individual licensees must also include these supporting documents:
      • the latest audited financial statement,
      • the proposed source of funding for pre-paid services,
      • a sample of template design
      • a breakdown of the yearly cash flow for the company’s next 3 years of operation.

    The above is applicable for SBO Licensees who are collecting deposits and/or issues prepaid cards for the collection of payments upfront.

    This annual license fee for the SBO Individual License is SGD5000. For licensees who only provide Live Audiotex service, they pay a lower fee: SGD200, payable once every 5 years. The SBO Individual License is valid for 5 years and renewable on a 5-year basis thereafter.

    An SBO Individual License permits the license holder to provide these services:

    • Resale of Leased Circuit Services
    • International Simple Resale (ISR)
    • Internet Exchange Services
    • Public Internet Access Services
    • Store-and-Forward (S&F) Value-Added Network Services
    • Virtual Private Network Services
    • Backhaul Bandwidth Capacity Services
    • Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS) Services
    • Live Audiotex Services
    • Managed Data Network Services
    • Mobile Communications on Aircraft
    • Mobile Virtual Network Operation
    • Satellite Mobile Telephone or Data Services
    • Bandwidth Capacity Exchange Operation Prepaid Services for other telecommunication services such as:
      • Call-back / Call Re-origination Services
      • Internet-Based Voice and Data Services
      • Store-and-Retrieve (S&R) Value-Added Network Services
      • International Calling Card (ICC) Services
      • Resale of Public Switched Telecommunication Services
    • Voice and Data Services with Masking of Calling Line Identity
    • IP Telephony Services
  • Mobile Network License
    You need a Mobile Network License if you intend to provide mobile network services. Some examples of these services are mobile cellular and pager services, mobile data, trunk radio, and similar services. This is the Mobile Network License is issued by the IDA to those operating Public Mobile Networks, Fixed Wireless Networks, and Wide-area Private Networks. All radio equipment used within such networks must be IDA-approved.All applications must be submitted to the IDA, along with any supporting document. The license fee and radiofrequency fees will depend on the type of network operated by the telecommunication company.Are there any other licenses or permits I might need to run my Telecommunication Company?
  • Others
    • General Radio Communication License – You’ll need this license if you intend to transmit or receive messages through radio communication.
    • Localized Private Network License – Intending to provide localized private network services, like offering walkie-talkie services within a localized area? Then you must apply for this license.
    • Localized Radio Communication License – To operate transceivers, alarm systems, wireless data systems (like wireless LAN) and/or any other radio-communication equipment that has been authorized by IDA.
    • Wide-area private Network License – if you provide wide-area private network services. Example: you provide walkie-talkie services, within a non-localized area.
    • Telecommunication Dealers License – For importers, manufacturers intending to import, manufacture, lease, sell, or sell telecommunication equipment.
    • Experimental Station License – Necessary if your company is conducting research and doing tests and experiments/demonstrations in radio communications, or via radio communications equipment.
    • Permit for Road Occupation Management – For Work which might affect public street or areas. Applications are lodged with LTA (Land Transport Authority).

Set up a Singapore Telecommunication Business FAQs

Who Oversees the Licensing Regimen of Singapore’s Telecommunication Service Sector?2020-11-20T17:21:30+08:00

The IDA, or Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, monitors the licensing and regulatory framework for Singapore’s telecom sector.

How many telecommunications are there in Singapore?2020-11-20T17:21:52+08:00

According to Statista, there are 11 telcos in Singapore.

What are the different types of business activities conducted by telecommunication companies?2020-11-20T17:26:30+08:00

Common business activities conducted by the telecommunication companies are as below:

  • Fixed Line Services (example: optical fiber, submarine cables, and so on_
  • Mobile cellular and radio paging services
  • Internet Access Providers
  • Web hosting services
  • Satellite uplink and downlink services
  • Third-party telecommunications or value-adding network operators
What are the licensing requirements for different types of business activities conducted by telecommunication companies?2020-11-20T17:22:54+08:00

Below are the licensing requirements for six different types of business activities conducted by telecommunication companies: 

Business Activities 

Licensing Requirements 

Fixed Line Services 


  • FBO (Facilities Based Operator) License 
  • Satellite Downlink License 
  • License for In-Building Terrestrial Telecommunication Systems. 
  • Services Based Operator (SBO Class) License. 
  • Services Based Operator (SBO Individual) License. 


Mobile Cellular and Radio Paging Services 


  • FBO (Facilities Based Operator) License 
  • Mobile Network License 


Internet Access Providers 


  • License for In-Building Terrestrial Telecommunication Systems 
  • Services Based Operator (SBO Individual) License 


Web Hosting Services 


  • Satellite Downlink License. 
  • Services Based Operator (SBO Class) License. 
  • Services Based Operator (SBO Individual) License. 


Satellite uplink and down-link services 


  • Satellite Communication Station License. 
  • Satellite Uplink/Downlink License for Broadcasting Purpose. 
  • Satellite Downlink License. 


ThirdParty Telecommunications Network Operators 


  • Satellite Communication Station License. 
  • Satellite Downlink License 
  • Satellite Uplink/Downlink License for Broadcasting Purpose. 
  • Mobile Network License. 
  • Services Based Operator (SBO Class) License. 
  • Services Based Operator (SBO Individual) License. 


2021-06-03T17:01:17+08:00January 9, 2015|2 Comments

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  1. shiv kumar July 27, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    i am shiv kumar from india. i want licence for cable tv and broadband internet services, i have read all licence in TELECOMMUNICTION BUSINESS licence. but there are more type of licence in TELECOMMUNICTION BUSINESS. i am confused to see all type of licence. please help me for looking ” cable tv and internet broadband” licence. and cost and process ?

    • Paul Hype Page August 2, 2017 at 3:17 am

      Dear Shiv,

      We would need more information about your business before we can proceed further. Do drop us an email should you require our incorporation services.


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