OpenNet to win S'pore broadband tender?

Reports have surfaced that the Axia-led consortium has won the next-generation broadband network bid, but Singapore authorities remain mum.

Reports have surfaced online stating that the OpenNet consortium has won its bid to operate Singapore's next-generation National Broadband Network (NBN), but other players involved say a decision has not been made by the authorities.

According to a Commsday report posted Tuesday, legal industry Web site, Asia Legal Business, earlier reported that OpenNet--led by Axia NetMedia--had secured its bid to be the appointed "Network Company" (NetCo) for Singapore's planned next-generation NBN. Under the tender agreement, the NetCo will design, build and operate the NBN's wireline infrastructure, which will carry the broadband network's traffic.

Commsday said Asia Legal Business carried remarks from Paul Supramaniam of Berwin Leigton Paisnera, who is the legal counsel for Axia NetMedia, announcing the success of OpenNet's bid.

However, the post has since been taken down from Asia Legal Business.

In addition to Axia, SingTel, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and SP Telecommunications, are also members of the OpenNet consortium. Axia and SingTel each own 30 percent of OpenNet, while SPH and SP Telecoms own 25 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

The country's ICT regulator, Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore, told ZDNet Asia that no announcement has been made, and that Asia Legal Business has since said its report was wrong.

An IDA spokesperson said in an e-mail interview: "With reference to recent media reports on Singapore's next-generation NBN NetCo request-for-proposal (RFP), the IDA would like to state that the RFP submissions are still under evaluation. As previously indicated, the results of the NetCo RFP are expected to be announced in the third quarter of 2008."

When contacted, SingTel told ZDNet Asia that the report was erroneous. StarHub, a member of rival consortium Infinity, also said it has not heard any confirmation from the IDA.

The next phase in the NBN initiative will involve the appointment of an "Operating Company" (OpCo), which will build and operate the NGN's active infrastructure, including the switches and transmission equipment required to handle the flow of network traffic.