In mid-2003, SingTel was at a key point in its history. The last decade had seen dramatic changes, as SingTel transformed itself from a Singapore-based government-owned telecommunications firm with no foreign operations and no domestic competition, to a credible regional competitor. By 2003, SingTel had invested more than $20 billion in substantial international operations in East and South Asia, Australia and Europe, and had survived perhaps the biggest collapse the telecommunications industry had ever suffered. SingTel was confident enough for its CEO, Lee Hsien Yang, to claim that the firm was "the leading communications company in Asia". Yet there were many doubts about its performance. SingTel was accused of lacking a clear strategy in its overseas ventures, of having overpaid for several of its overseas acquisitions, and most significantly, of having destroyed shareholder wealth. This case presents a brief outline of the main trends in the global and Singapore telecommunications industry and discusses SingTel's efforts to regionalize, with a focus on the Optus acquisition. The case ends with a call to evaluate the success of SingTel's regionalization efforts, in particular the Optus acquisition, and to discuss what SingTel's strategy should be for the future.
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