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Fourth-telco race comes down to two companies which will bid for spectrum

AFTER months of speculation, it's final. Singapore will get a fourth telco next year and the race to be the new entrant will be a two-horse affair between broadband services provider MyRepublic and Australian telecom services provider TPG Telecom.

The two will participate in what is called the new entrant spectrum auction (NESA) which will occur before a major spectrum auction to be held later this year. The winner of the NESA will become Singapore's fourth mobile network operator.

MyRepublic and TPG will bid for 60 MHz of spectrum from the 900 MHz and 2.3 GHz bands which have a reserve price of S$35 million. With two contestants, there will be a bidding in which the final price will go up.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), which will oversee the auction process, hopes to compete the NESA by the end of this year.

Apart from the two entrants, another company, airYotta Pte Ltd, had also submitted its interest in becoming the fourth telco. Following a review of the three sets of expression-of-interest documents submitted in September this year, IMDA said in a statement it is satisfied that MyRepublic and TPG have met the NESA prequalification criteria.

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An IMDA spokesman added: "airYotta did not fully meet these requirements and will not be participating in the NESA."

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