The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has issued clarifications to queries relating to the 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 2.3 GHz, and 2.5 GHz auction. It has also issued the final auction rules to determine the fourth mobile network operator in Singapore. Interested bidders can submit the applications to IDA by 1 September. In order to compete, the bidders should demonstrate that they have sufficient funding.
IDA will respond to applications in 20 days. Meantime, the regulator will assess the application and provide training to participants on using the IDA’s computerized auction system. The sale of frequencies will begin in early October. The fourth MNO licensee will be chosen by April 2017.
Two service providers, Consistel and MyRepublic have expressed their interest in participating in the auction. According to Consistel, the provider has arranged commitments for as much as $400 million of the nearly $1 billion it aims to raise. It expects to secure the remainder this month. Singapore Business Review had reported earlier that Consistel is considering a mix of funding options, including loans and issuing equity for raising the amount.
Meanwhile, the service provider MyRepublic claimed it has already secured SGD130 million ($94 million) of the SGD250 million in funding it needed to roll out the fourth network. The company is a new entrant and claimed to have the cost advantage over the rivals. It needs less infrastructure cost, especially because the company can use existing facilities from its internet business to build the 4G network.
IDA has offered a 60% discount on the starting price of the auction and has limited the participation to new bidders. The new entrant, which successfully bids for the spectrum, has to build and deploy its own network. The roll out should be achieved by the end of September 2018. IDA expects the entry of a new mobile player to surge the competition in the market. A new entrant is likely to bring innovative services and competitive offerings to the end-users.