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City Telecom drops out of S'pore NBN bid

Hong Kong-based telco has left Infinity consortium bidding for tender in Singapore's national broadband network project. Local carrier StarHub takes over as lead.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Hong Kong's City Telecom (CTI) has dropped out of the Infinity consortium, which is making a bid to build the fiber infrastructure for Singapore's planned national broadband network (NBN).

The former lead for Infinity, CTI will be replaced by Singapore telco StarHub, which takes over as the consortium's leader, according to a statement released Wednesday by StarHub.

The group, together with local mobile operator MobileOne (M1), is bidding for the role of network company (NetCo) for the NBN, in a tender where the winning bidder will be responsible for building a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure for the next-generation network.

Once built, this wireline infrastructure layer will be managed by a separate group, known as the operating company (OpCo), which will provide wholesale broadband access to downstream operators.

When contacted, StarHub declined to provide further details--citing confidentiality agreement--behind the reason for CTI's withdrawal and whether there will be changes in equity shareholdership.

A StarHub spokesperson told ZDNet Asia that Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has joined Infinity--an addition, he said, that will help boost the consortium's chances of winning the tender "in part through [QIA's] substantial financial resources, as well as expertise in business operations and oversight of the management of the NBN roll out".

StarHub said it has submitted a revised bid to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, adding that the ICT regulator has given its approval for the change in consortium leads as well as the inclusion of QIA.

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