ST Telemedia


Charting the Next Phase

Jan 2024 / CEO Message

As we settled into our newly transformed, green office space last July, I was reminded of STT’s purpose and values. The deliberate shift towards a more collaborative, eco-friendly, and people-oriented workspace, to encourage innovation, a green mindset, and to promote wellbeing, is imperative as we prepare for STT’s next phase of growth and value creation.

2023 was a year of contrasts and greater resilience. The expected recession did not materialise, but there was an economic slow-down and more market volatility. And despite the unexpected collapse of three US banks in March that added to the stress of the global financial system, the world economy displayed remarkable resilience. However, we also faced increasing convergence of geopolitical, environmental, and technological disruptions. These events continually prompt us to acknowledge the importance of laying a solid foundation for adaptability and enduring success in an interrelated and complex world.

Amidst the uncertainty and turmoil, STT’s time-proven investment principles of forward-thinking, long-term view and prudent discipline offer stability and consistency to our employees, portfolio companies, business partners and broader stakeholder groups. Working closely, we navigated the changes, both planned and unplanned, fortifying our all-round resilience as one company and group, with trust and confidence.

Core Business Milestones

We continue to witness progress through our active support in re-engineering our communications portfolio into digital services companies that embody the transformation required in their businesses.

In 2023, StarHub maintained its revenue growth momentum as it continues to implement its DARE+ initiatives to seize digital and cloud opportunities. Its efforts to deliver exceptional mobile connectivity and a seamless and reliable network were once again recognised as ‘Singapore’s most awarded network’ in Opensignal Singapore Mobile Network Experience Report.

Despite persistent market and regulatory challenges, U Mobile pressed on with its strategy to be Malaysia’s preferred digital telco through innovative customer experiences. Its relentless focus on business execution is shown in its steady subscriber and revenue growth, and recognition by Opensignal for the fastest overall speeds and 5G availability in Malaysia in the 2023 September Mobile Network Experience Report.

Supporting the momentum of its transformation process, TeleChoice won a significant deal with global smart devices provider HONOR for full-service distribution, brand marketing, and retail management in Singapore. TeleChoice also promoted company veteran Pauline Wong as its first female CEO, to lead the company forward in the dynamic and challenging info-communications space.

On the data centre front, demand remains unyielding. ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC) continued its global expansion with 11 facilities in two new markets — Berlin, Germany (through UK-based VIRTUS), as well as Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It also added capacity in existing locations such as a third data centre in Thailand and expanded capacity across its three data centres in the Philippines. Its first Indonesian facility, STT Jakarta 1, a carbon-neutral operations from day one, was officially opened in 2Q 2023. STT GDC’s swift time-to-market solutions to meet customer needs was recognised by Frost & Sullivan with the 2023 Competitive Strategy Leadership Award.

Our infrastructure technology businesses hit notable milestones. Ollion, our global cloud-native enterprise tech consultancy formed through the merger of former portfolio companies, 2nd Watch, Cloud Comrade and CloudCover, officially launched its brand in October. We have also merged Singapore-based Quantum Security into US-headquartered Armor to strengthen the latter’s market position in cloud security and IT risk. Both companies are differentiated in their capabilities and geographies. Post merger, the teams are operating at full speed to realise synergies in terms of scale, product innovation, customer reach and growth.

Advancing Our Sustainability Commitments

The World Meteorological Organization’s sobering announcement of 2023 shattering climate records with devasting consequences, underscores the urgency for change and decisive collective action. As STT and our portfolio companies press forward with our ESG commitments, I want to highlight some of our environmental-related initiatives to build a more sustainable and resilient world for all.

U Mobile made positive strides in its sustainability endeavours in 2023 with the publication of its inaugural sustainability report. To underscore its commitment to integrate sustainability into its business, U Mobile also converted its banking facility into sustainability-linked financing, the first Malaysia-focused telco to do so.

In June, STT GDC forged a strategic venture with Australia-based Firmus Technologies, using the latter’s proprietary scaled, immersion-cooled HyperCube platform, to deploy large-scale GPU-based bare-metal cloud service for AI and visual computing workloads in Singapore, India and Australia. The first HyperCube platform in Singapore was deployed last December.

In January this year, StarHub was again named the World’s Most Sustainable Wireless Telecom Provider in the Corporate Knights Global 100 rankings announced at the World Economic Forum. The title is a strong testament of its efforts and commitment towards championing corporate sustainability.

Beyond environmental considerations, we continue to support local communities and causes impacting the world as part of our broader ESG commitments. I look forward to providing a comprehensive report of our 2023 progress in STT’s third sustainability report.

The Next Phase

STT’s achievements are possible because of the dedicated teams at STT and our portfolio companies, and the trust and support of our business partners and investors. My thanks to every one of you for your contributions to our success.

2024 holds several milestones for STT as a group. We turn 30 this year, while StarHub and TeleChoice celebrate their 20th listing anniversary on the SGX, and STT GDC commemorates 10 years since its inception. We will have an appropriate celebration that is meaningful and grounded, aligning with the timeless principles that have defined our growth through three distinct phases – laying our foundation in communications and media, going global to deepen our capabilities, and extending into data centres and cloud services to expand the breadth of our business focus. The evolution of our portfolio and business focus has enabled us to continually ignite new possibilities as customer requirements and expectations, and technologies keep evolving.

Just as our three business focus areas are responding to macro changes, STT is once again proactively exploring new adjacent business areas that leverage our core competencies and resources for continued value creation and growth. We are approaching this strategic development from a position of strength and will continue to push boundaries through innovation, entrepreneurship, and focus.

I firmly believe that with the collective effort and strength across the STT Group, as well as the trusting collaboration with our business partners, we can achieve continued success in 2024 and beyond.