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IDA to hold spectrum auction in Q3 to facilitate entry of 4th telco

THE Republic is set to welcome a fourth telco this year.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) on Thursday announced a spectrum allocation framework that will facilitate the entry of a new mobile network operator (MNO) to "enhance innovation and competition" in the mobile market.

The IDA will make available 60 MHz of spectrum from the 900 MHz and 2.3 GHz bands for the New Entrant Spectrum Auction, at a starting bid price of S$35 million, down from the initially proposed S$40 million.

The New Entrant Spectrum Auction will take place in Q3 2016, and spectrum rights for the new entrant will commence in April 2017.

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A General Spectrum Auction will be held after the conclusion of the New Entrant Spectrum Auction and be open to the incumbent MNOs - M1, Singtel and StarHub - as well as any new MNO which emerges.

The framework, the IDA said, is "timely" given growing mobile data demand, and also ensures there is "sufficient" spectrum for the incumbent MNOs to continue to provide quality mobile services.

Each incumbent, for example, will be offered at least 2x5Mhz in the 900MHz band - a move welcomed by M1, which told BT it is evaluating IDA's decision and will be seeking clarification.

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