TPG to complete Singapore outdoor mobile network by end of 2018

TPG has announced that its first Singaporean mobile network milestone of attaining city-wide outdoor coverage will be reached by the end of next year, with work already being done on core network, radio equipment installation, and datacentres.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Australian telecommunications provider TPG has announced that its Singaporean mobile network has seen "strong progress", with the outdoor portion set to be complete by December 2018.

TPG aims to provide nationwide outdoor coverage by the end of next year, having signed vendors to assist in building out the network.

"Key vendor contracts have been awarded, and work is under way for the implementation of the network, including: Site radio network equipment installation; primary and diverse datacentres; and core network and backhaul," TPG said during its FY17 financial results presentation.

TPG spent only AU$6.3 million in capex on its mobile networks during the most recent financial year, ahead of an expected acceleration during 2018.

"Aside from spectrum purchases, there has not yet been any significant mobile network expenditure. This will commence in FY18," TPG explained.

"In Singapore, the group is on track to achieve the first milestone of nationwide outdoor service coverage before the end of 2018. Capex projections are currently looking to be within initial assumptions."

TPG had in March said it is predicting a capex spend of between SG$200 million and SG$300 million for the rollout of its Singaporean mobile network.

TPG was successful in procuring 2x 5MHz in the 900MHz spectrum band and 8x 5MHz in the 2.3GHz spectrum band for a total of SG$105 million -- far above the SG$35 million reserve price -- in December.

The spectrum buy will allow TPG to become the fourth provider in the Singaporean mobile market alongside operators Singtel, StarHub, and M1.

"TPG was the successful bidder in the New Entrant Spectrum Auction in December 2016," the telco said in March.

"Recruitment and network planning activities progressing well. Anticipated network rollout capital expenditure: SG$200-300 million."

In April, TPG then announced spending a further SG$23.8 million on acquiring more spectrum in the Singaporean market, winning 2x 5MHz in the 2.5GHz band during the general spectrum auction.

"We are very satisfied with the allocation obtained in the new entrant spectrum auction, and are now very pleased to have successfully taken the opportunity to add to our portfolio of spectrum assets in Singapore," TPG CEO David Teoh said at the time.

"The additional 10MHz of spectrum will enable us to further enhance the value of the services we plan to offer to Singapore consumers."

During the general spectrum auction, Singapore's Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) also allocated 4x 10MHz in the 700MHz band, 2x 10MHz in the 900MHz band, and 3x 5MHz in the 2.5GHz band to Singtel for SG$563.7 million; 3x 10MHz in the 700MHz band, 1x 10MHz in the 900MHz band, and 4x 5MHz in the 2.5GHz band to StarHub for SG$349.6 million; and 2x 10MHz in the 700MHz band and 1x 10MHz in the 900MHz band to M1 for SG$208 million.

TPG has previously denied reports that it is similarly considering entering the New Zealand mobile market via an acquisition of New Zealand's third-largest mobile telco, 2degrees, however.

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