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Singapore gives two players go-ahead to participate in mobile spectrum auction

MyRepublic and TPG Telecom have been "pre-qualified" to take part in the upcoming spectrum auction, which will see the winning bidder become the country's fourth mobile operator.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

MyRepublic and TPG Telecom have received the go-ahead to participate in Singapore's upcoming spectrum auction, which winning bidder will become the country's fourth mobile operator.

Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said in a statement Wednesday that the two telcos had been "pre-qualified" to partake in the New Entrant Spectrum Auction, following a review of three documents submitted in September 2016. The industry regulator said both operators had met the criteria outlined to proceed to the auction of spectrum for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and IMT- Advanced services, such as 4G services.

MyRepublic and TPG would be bidding for 60MHz of spectrum from the 900MHz and 2.3GHz bands, IMDA said, adding that the auction was slated to be held by year-end.

It revealed that another applicant, airYotta, failed to meet the pre-qualification requirements and would not be participating in the auction.

In a statement released after IMDA's announcement, airYotta said it had "stepped out of the competition to become the fourth telco". Its CEO Michael DeNoma said: "Putting in place the components of what would be Singapore's first data-led telco in a limited amount of time was always to be a miraculous journey. "

IMDA said it had assessed the applicants based on several factors, including management acumen, competencies and operational experience in rolling out public telecom networks, and service provisions for consumers and enterprise customers. The participants also were evaluated based on their financial, technical, and engineering capabilities needed to establish a telecom system for 4G and IMT-Advanced services, the regulator said.

The eventual winning bidder of the new entrant spectrum auction would have the option to participate in a second phase of the auction, which also would be open to existing players--M1, StarHub, and Singtel.

The general spectrum auction was targeted to be held in the first quarter of next year.

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