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4th telco operator to be allocated spectrum at lower price: IDA

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The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) on Tuesday said it plans to release more spectrum for mobile broadband services, as it makes way for a fourth telco operator.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) on Tuesday said it plans to release more spectrum for mobile broadband services, as it makes way for a fourth telco operator.

IDA said it plans to make available, by next year, a total of 225 MHz of spectrum for mobile services. It will set aside 60 MHz out of the 225 MHz of spectrum at a lower indicative reserve package price of S$40 million, for the new and yet-named fourth operator. The selected company must deploy its own network and achieve nationwide rollout by end-September 2018, IDA said.

The lower price recognises that a new entrant will face entry barriers in a mature market, given the "significant upfront capital investments" required to deploy nationwide services for consumers, said IDA.

"Given the size of Singapore's mobile market and global market developments, IDA does not at this juncture see Singapore's mobile market being able to sustain more than four nationwide infrastructure players with new MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) also entering the market," it added.

In April last year, IDA consulted the public on the allocation of radio spectrum for mobile broadband services as well as the introduction of further competition in this area.

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IDA's latest proposal is up for public consultation from today. It will close on Aug 12.

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