TPG Telecom wins right to be Singapore's 4th telco

TPG Telecom wins right to be Singapore's 4th telco

The spectrum rights will commence in April 2017, meaning that would be the earliest theoretical start for the new telco.

mobile phone
A mobile phone user. (File photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: TPG Telecom will be Singapore's fourth, and newest, mobile operator, after a successful bid for the spectrum needed to launch mobile services here, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said on Wednesday (Dec 14).

It made the winning bid of S$105 million for the spectrum on offer, IMDA added.

TPG Telecom will be provisionally allocated 60MHz of spectrum band - 20MHz in the 900MHz band and 40MHz in the 2.3GHz band - subject to the relevant spectrum fees being paid, according to the press release.

TPG Telecom told Channel NewsAsia in an email: "TPG is very pleased to have been successful in the new entrant spectrum auction. We congratulate the team at the IMDA on conducting a fair and rigorous process and we believe that the price we paid for the spectrum fairly reflects the value of the spectrum for the fourth entrant."

The company spokesman added that it is keen to get a return on investment "as quickly as possible", and called on Singaporeans to "watch this space for new and innovative products" by them soon.

Last month, both TPG and MyRepublic were assessed to be a pre-qualified candidate for the New Entrant Spectrum Auction (NESA), which is the first phase to facilitate the entry of a possible fourth telco and only open to those who do not currently operate a nationwide mobile network in Singapore.

In an earlier report, it was said that the potential new mobile operator will get to pay less for the airwaves, from the proposed S$40 million to S$35 million reserve price, primarily because of the changed composition of spectrum bands.

The spectrum rights will commence in April 2017, meaning that would be the earliest theoretical start for the new telco. IMDA said that the actual commencement date of the spectrum rights will depend on when the General Spectrum Auction is completed.

TPG will be required to utilise the allocated spectrum to provide nationwide street level coverage for 4G within 18 months from the start of the new spectrum rights, with road tunnels and in-building service coverage within 30 months, IMDA said.

Coverage for MRT underground stations/lines should start within 54 months from the start of the new spectrum rights, it added.

The regulator said it will proceed with the second phase of the auction, which will be open to the existing telcos M1, Singtel and StarHub. TPG may also participate during this phase, and it aims to commence this round of auction in the first quarter of 2017, IMDA said.

"INCREDIBLY PROUD" OF WORK DONE: MYREPUBLIC

In a statement after IMDA's announcement, MyRepublic said it made a "100 per cent cash-backed bid of S$102.5 million" but did not find it made business sense to bid any more than that.

“We are incredibly proud of the work our team has put in over the past 2 years,” said MyRepublic CEO Malcolm Rodrigues. “Bidding $105 million and beyond simply did not support our vision and business case for mobility in Singapore.”

The Internet service provider had targeted 9 per cent market share in its market projections, and felt that at S$105 million, the new entrant must "achieve a much higher market share to survive and be successful", Mr Rodrigues said.

MyRepublic Singapore's managing director, Yap Yong Teck, added that the company remained committed to the Smart Nation vision and a converged fixed-mobile future.

Source: CNA/kk

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