Marketplace and Customers
Singtel is committed to increasing stakeholder value. We are committed to being a responsible and innovative market leader in the markets where we operate with innovative ICT services and care for our customers that help improve their lives and the way they run their businesses. Our strategy is underpinned by delivering an unparalleled customer experience,developing responsible and innovative products and services, and ensuring that our principles of sustainability and responsible business practices are adopted in our supply chain.
In this fast-paced and competitive telecommunications and media industry, customer choice and loyalty are defined by the quality of service and care, as well as the range of innovative services and value offered by the operators. The Singtel Group understands these dynamics and aims to meet the increasing expectations of our customers. Recently, we embarked in Singapore on a new brand promise to enrich customers’ lives with better service, technology and content, and deliver seamless and effortless experiences. Enhancing customer satisfaction, pushing the barriers of innovation and improving the quality of our products are three key areas we have identified to achieve this aspiration.
Singtel continues to lead the market with our policies and initiatives in corporate governance. We have also established close working relationships with governments and are known for our responsiveness to industry requirements. This is attested to by the number of awards and accolades we have received in this area.
Corporate governance, transparency and business ethics are at the core of the Singtel Group. We continue to receive recognition and accolades for our commitment and performance in these areas. For example, Singtel was among the 2016 World’s Most Ethical Companies ranking by Ethisphere Institute for the sixth consecutive year.
Our Audit Committee provides Board-level oversight of the adequacy and effectiveness of our fraud risk management framework, policy and process, including review of significant investigations into incidents of alleged fraud and corruption and whistleblower complaints.
We ensure that the Group’s zero tolerance policy towards fraud, corruption and unethical actions is strictly adhered to. Our Group policies on Fraud Investigation and Whistleblower help with our fraud risk management. We conduct fraud and control awareness programmes throughout the year to constantly refresh and update our people in this area. Every employee is bound by clear principles and standards set out in our staff manual and code of conduct to carry out their daily task. All new hires are required to complete a fraud awareness training via e-Learning within one month of joining the company. Our whistleblower hotlines allow staff, customers, suppliers, and business partners at any location to report any incident of misconduct. Click here for the Whistleblower Policy.
We disclose the high level nature of such incidents as part of our corporate transparency. We are however not at liberty to disclose specific details as these could prejudice ongoing investigations by the relevant authorities or criminal trials.
Singtel aims to lead the market, not just in financial performance but also in the way we conduct our business.
Products and Services
With increasing concerns over inappropriate content and access by young users, we have stepped up efforts in promoting awareness on how parents can protect their children on computers and mobile devices. In Singapore, our Family Protection plan and its mobile app allow parents to keep their children safe from exposure to inappropriate content, social networking risks, strangers and other online threats. In Australia, Optus partnered the Kids Helpline and developed ready-made lesson plans on cyber bullying aimed at educating the young people. We will continue to promote awareness on cyber wellness and responsible digital citizenship.
Sustainable Supply Chain Management
The Singtel Group is committed to collaborating with transparent, ethical, and environmentally and socially responsible suppliers. In our ongoing efforts to improve the way we purchase goods and services, our preference is to procure from vendors who currently are or working towards being responsible and sustainable companies. The Singtel Group has extensive infrastructure and connectivity through our investments in our fixed and mobile networks, international submarine cables and satellites, data centre facilities, and IT and customer care delivery centres.
We contract local and global vendors for our different lines of businesses. On average, we contracted around 6,000 suppliers worldwide. For our mobile services, which contribute the bulk of the Group’s revenue, we work mainly with network infrastructure and equipment suppliers as well as handset and device manufacturers. Similarly, for fixed broadband and pay TV services, our key suppliers include modem, router and other related-equipment such as set-top box. Our main suppliers for digital and entertainment services are advertising agencies and content providers.
We carefully select our suppliers to help us provide our customers with the best quality products and services. We seek to work with transparent, ethical, environmentally and socially responsible suppliers. Our procurement policy aims to award tenders fairly based on merit. All suppliers are required to abide by the Singtel Group Supplier Code of Conduct. Senior officers are also randomly put on a roster for tender bids verification to ensure an impartial process.
Click here for the Singtel Group Supplier Code of Conduct.
Customer Health and Safety
Mobile base stations allow mobile phones to be connected for voice calls and data services via the transmission of radio frequency (RF) waves or electro-magnetic field (EMF). While there is no substantiated evidence of health risks at large, perceived health risks can still be a concern for our customers, the community and regulators. We take necessary precautions to ensure compliance with local and global standards. We continue to monitor research findings on EME risks and their implications on relevant standards and regulations in the markets where we operate and the rest of the world.
In Singapore, the Radiation Protection & Nuclear Science Department (RPNSD), an office of the National Environment Agency (NEA), is responsible for all matters relating to EME exposure. According to RPNSD, the levels of mobile phone radiation permitted in Singapore complies with the WHO’s recommended International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) standards and that radiation exposure from base stations is far lower than that from mobile phones. The ICNIRP Standards are adopted by many countries around the world and are considered best practice. Additional information from the Singapore Health and Sciences Authority can also be found here.
Whenever there are concerns from the public or building owners, Singtel engages NEA to conduct measurements near the mobile base stations, antenna locations and the locations of concern. The mobile phone handsets sold at our Singtel Shops also comply with regulatory guidelines set out by RPNSD and IDA.
In Australia, we design and deploy our network to comply with the relevant Federal Government mandated standards for exposure to EME. These standards are formulated and regularly reviewed by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA). ARPANSA is part of the Commonwealth Department of Health. ARPANSA’s Standards are based upon those recommended by the ICNIRP. We also conduct audits of base stations and undertake predictive EME modelling and testing to ensure compliance at our sites with the Australian standards. All of our sites have EME reports available to the public here.
In our ICT industry, customer trust is a key aspect of what our brand stands for. Hence, customer privacy and data protection is a big focus across our operations and supply chain. This goes beyond just meeting regulatory and compliance requirements, but embedding clear policies, systems, processes and checks within our organisation.
Data privacy and protection is of paramount importance to our consumer and enterprise customers. Due to the nature of our business and industry, we hold a lot of customer information and we strive to keep their information secure. Our policy is to be open and transparent about how we collect, use, and disclose our customers’ personal data. Click here to read more about Singtel's Data Protection Policy.
We respect our customers' privacy and they are empowered with the choice to unsubscribe to all promotional messages. In compliance with the Spam Control Act, the promotional messages sent by us are labeled as advertisements and we maintain an active list of customers who have indicated their wish to be unsubscribed from all our mailing lists.
In Australia, Optus meets all of its obligations under the Privacy Act and Privacy Provisions of the Telecommunications Act, as well as the Spam Act. We also abide by the Do Not Call Register, which protects consumers from unsolicited marketing calls. Optus has removed barriers to access to our products and services by customers, potential customers and staff, in accordance with the Disability Action Plan that was developed in consultation with representatives of disability organisations. For example, disability equipment is available to all fixed line residential customers. In addition, Optus continues to work with The Consumer Liaison Forum, which was established in 1995 to better understand key consumer issues.
We will continue to introduce measures to protect our customer privacy, for example, through compliance checks on our daily operations, and will work closely with our offshore and outsource partners. We will also continue to refine internal guidelines and drive awareness of the importance of privacy protection across the Group.
Singtel takes pride in upholding a high standard of business ethics and has a strong track record of compliance with applicable laws, regulations and obligations. Beyond regulatory compliance, our voluntary adoption of industry conduct codes and firm adherence to company policies also safeguard the interests and privacy of our customers.
For example, we adopt the Voluntary Code for Self-regulation of Mobile Content (click here) which Singtel jointly developed with the other mobile operators in Singapore. The Mobile Content Code was established to protect minors from being exposed to undesirable mobile content. It provides guidelines on prohibited content, images, games and chat services, as well as the handling of undesirable content from third party content providers, subscriber-to-subscriber communication and the Internet. Empowered with an enforcement mechanism within the Mobile Content Code, the mobile operators formed a mobile content Compliance Review Committee, together with MDA, to review cases of non-compliance.