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Singapore's 4th telco must spur competition and bring innovation: minister

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THE company that eventually wins Singapore's fourth wireless telecommunications (telco) carrier licence must be able to spur competition and bring benefits to consumers, said Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim in parliament on Monday.

THE company that eventually wins Singapore's fourth wireless telecommunications (telco) carrier licence must be able to spur competition and bring benefits to consumers, said Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim in parliament on Monday.

"We don't just want another telco. We want a telco that can bring innovation to the market and therefore cause the existing telcos to also innovate," he said.

Dr Yaacob was speaking in response to a question regarding public transport operator SMRT's recent announcement that it would work with OMGTEL to bid for a fourth telco licence.

Any potential operator will first need to take part in a spectrum auction by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), which has yet to determine the rules of this auction.

In its previous auctions, IDA had stipulated qualifying criteria for all applicants to have strong technical capabilities and financial positions, said Dr Yaacob. This is to ensure that only "serious and capable" players participate in the auction.