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IMDA bags S$1.14b from sale of spectrum to telcos

THE Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Tuesday concluded the first stage of the General Spectrum for Singapore telcos, raising a total of S$1.14 billion by provisioning 175 MHz of spectrum among the four telcos, including new entrant, Australia-based TPG Telecom, which recently won the right to be the fourth operator.

Industry analysts agree that the telcos were "aggressive in their bids". Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) picked up 75MHz of spectrum for a whopping S$563.7 million. StarHub came in second with 60MHz for S$349.6 million. M1 spent S$208 million for 30MHz while TPG Telecom spent S$23.8 million for 10MHz of spectrum.

The spectrum is to be used by telcos for provisioning of high speed mobile broadband services. The 175 MHz spectrum included the lucrative 900MHz spectrum band, apart from 700MHz and 2.5GHz band. The 900MHz band is lucrative because this particular spectrum allows for better connectivity through walls.

Some of the auctioned spectrum included that re-farmed from the provisioning of 2G services. The spectrum rights in the 900 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands will commence on July 1, 2017, while those in the 700 MHz band will commence on Jan 1, 2018 at the earliest.

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