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Circles.Life to hit 5% market share target by end-2018: CEO Rameez Ansar

MOBILE virtual network operator (MVNO) Circles.Life is on track to nab 5 per cent of Singapore's postpaid market by year-end, it told the press on Monday. 

The latest update beats out its previously stated target of cornering between 3 per cent and 5 per cent of the market come 2019.

A back-of-the-envelope calculation puts the number of Circles.Life subscribers in the neighbourhood of 264,600, based on the 5.3 million postpaid mobile users in Singapore as at end-September, according to Infocommunications Media Development Authority data.

In comparison, market leader Singtel had 2.51 million postpaid subscribers as at Sept 30.

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The privately-held Circles.Life has been coy about its subscriber numbers in the past.

These figures are booked under M1's customer count in the listed host's quarterly reports, with M1 most recently reporting some 1.36 million postpaid users.

A spokesperson told The Business Times that Circles.Life also plans to launch telco services in two other unspecified countries by the end of Q1 2019.

But Circles.Life has been less coy about a vision of branching out into digital lifestyle products.

It recently unveiled Discover, a mobile events platform app, and has now made an EZ-Link tie-up launched in May available to non-subscribers as well.

Under the deal announced on Monday, public transit users will be able to convert their journeys into points that can be redeemed from companies such as Grab, FoodPanda and Lazada.

To support its expansion in this sphere in the year ahead, Circles.Life opened a so-called "data innovation centre" in Bengaluru, India, in August with 25 employees - a headcount that it plans to double in the first quarter of 2019. It also said that it has committed to investing S$25 million in areas such as machine learning, to grow its digital data platform.

Rameez Ansar, chief executive and co-founder of Circles.Life, said in a statement: "As we are reaching 5 per cent market share this year, we are continuing to develop the blueprint of the telco's future. After the launch of Discover in November, we opened our app to non-customers and we build on that vision with Ride for Rewards with EZ-Link."

Circles.Life, which offers consumer mobile services on network frequency leased from M1, set up shop in May 2016 - the first of the four MVNOs that are now competing in Singapore.

These asset-light entrants have triggered price-slashing in the consumer field, a move that has taken its toll on incumbents' average revenues per user.