SINGAPORE: Fibre broadband provider MyRepublic, Australian telco TPG Telecom and a newly formed company, airYotta, have submitted bids to be Singapore's fourth telco with the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) on Thursday (Sep 1).
IDA said it had received Expression of Interest Documents submitted by the three companies by the submission deadline at 5pm on Thursday.
It added that it will announce the identities of the pre-qualified applicants for the New Entrant Spectrum Auction (NESA) after assessing the bids. The NESA is the first phase to facilitate the entry of a possible fourth telco operator, and is only open to interested pre-qualified parties which do not currently operate a nationwide mobile network in Singapore. The second phase will consist of a general auction, which the new entrant will also be invited to take part in.
While MyRepublic previously stated its intent to be the nation's fourth telco, both TPG Telecom and airYotta are new entrants.
airYotta is led by former executives from OMGTel, which previously signalled its interest in submitting a bid, but did not as of the deadline. Chief executive of airYotta Michael DeNoma is the former chief executive officer of OMGTel, while airYotta Chief Technology Officer Philip Heah was formerly OMGTel vice president for Networks and Infrastructure.
The new company is backed by a regulated fund that is fully financed by an unnamed investor exclusively dedicated to wireless ventures, it said in a press release on Thursday.
"The investor was galvanised by the company’s digital-first proposition, and shares its vision for the role a new telco can play in Singapore," airYotta added.
It said if its bid is successful, it will launch Singapore’s first 4.5G LTE Advanced Pro network, which will have an architecture common to 5G and be "a critical turning point in Singapore’s journey towards a 5G world".
“The mobile industry is facing a major disconnect between demand and supply of mobile data capacity, said Mr Heah.
"airYotta is a response to this insatiable demand for data, and will allow Singapore to realise its Smart Nation vision," he added.
MyRepublic said its goal was to roll out a network that is "Pre-5G", one built to deliver "better speeds, lower latency and seamless connectivity" for consumers. Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) technologies, such as small cells and seamless wireless handover technologies, are an important part of its plan. The company conducted a trial for its HetNet technologies in Jurong in October last year.
MyRepublic chief executive officer Malcolm Rodrigues said that the company already had an estimated 80 per cent of a mobile telco's capabilities in place, with its existing IT capabilities and synergies with its current business.
"It's a logical next step for us as an Internet Service Provider to bring high-speed Internet to everyone, everywhere," he said.