Three telecom operators have filed their Expression of Interest documents with the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore on Thursday, the final day for submission to take part in the upcoming 4G airwave auction. This is the first in 15 years that new companies are expressing interest in the market.
The fiber broadband provider MyRepublic, Australian telecom operator TPG Telecom, and a newly formed company airYotta are the three companies that submitted the application. Among the three, airYotta is an eight-day-old company that has been formed by the former executives of OMGTel. After the formation of airYotta, OMGTel (partly owned by local wireless systems specialist Consistel) has ceased to exist.
After the submission of the documents, airYotta and MyRepublic announced their new investors. MyRepublic’s investor is Leonie Hill Capital, a Singapore-based investment firm. However, the amount of investment is not revealed. Commenting on the participation in the auction, Malcolm Rodrigues, MyRepublic chief executive officer said, “It’s not about cutting prices; we want to build a telco that runs on new economics, built from the ground up for the next generation of mobile services.”
airYotta’s leadership team includes the chief executive officer Michael DeNoma and chief technology officer Philip Heah. “The mobile industry is facing a major disconnect between demand and supply of mobile data capacity, exacerbated by video-streaming, new applications, and services,” Mr. Heah said.
The spectrum auction will see 900MHz and 2.3GHz spectrum made available to approved new entrant bidders. IDA looks forward to increasing the competition in the market by making a fourth player in the market by April 2017.
There are two phases for the auction in Singapore. The first phase is open to bidders that do not currently operate a nationwide mobile network in Singapore. The second phase is for the existing mobile providers Singtel, M1, and StarHub. The first phase will be held in Q3 2016.