Lack of interest derails S'pore 3G spectrum auction

Incumbent carriers SingTel, M1 and StarHub will each be allocated 3G spectrum lot following local regulator's decision to scrap auction due to insufficient bids.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor on

SINGAPORE--The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) will award 3G spectrum lots to each of the three local carriers after a planned auction for the lots failed to draw the interest of a fourth bidder.

According to a statement issued by the local ICT regulator on Tuesday, only three applications were submitted indicating interest in the 3G spectrum rights auction, which was initially scheduled for November this year. The interested parties were Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), M1 and StarHub, stated IDA.

Each carrier will have to fork out the reserve price of S$20 million (US$15.23 million) for their respective high-speed wireless spectrum lot, said the ICT regulator.

This announcement will likely be welcomed news for three local carriers which had voiced their disagreement over the proposed auction when IDA unveiled plans to do so. The operators cited various reasons including the lack of demand as shown in the country's previous auction which was canceled, and the large amount of investment the existing operators have already put in to develop 3G capabilities.

M1's chief technical officer Patrick Scodeller lauded the decision. "We are delighted that M1 has been awarded its choice of 3G spectrum lot at the reserved price. It will complement the modernization of our network to drive innovative services and excellent customer experience, as well as support the growth of our data traffic," Scodeller said in a statement.

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