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5G call for proposal closes with 3 bids received: IMDA

THE bidding for 5G network licences closed on Monday with three submissions received, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said in a statement.

At the close of the 5G call for proposal, one bid each was received from Singtel and TPG Telecom, and a joint submission from StarHub and M1.

IMDA is currently evaluating the submissions. "We expect to award the spectrum by mid-2020," it said. The telecom regulator will select two network operators to deploy two nationwide public 5G networks.

The two winners for this 3.5GHz spectrum can deploy wireless services on these full-fledged networks from 2021, and must cover at least half the island by end-2022. Licensees will also have to lease network at a wholesale price to other mobile operators.

Interested operators who aren't successful in bidding for the islandwide spectrum can console themselves with millimetre-wave spectrum packages that will allow them to deploy localised 5G networks which could serve hot spots such as laboratories or smart factories. 

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Bidders have been able to turn in their applications for the available licences since Oct 17 last year.

StarHub and M1 said in a joint statement: "We are unable to disclose further information till the evaluation process concludes."

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