Four telecoms companies bid for Singapore’s 5G licences
Singapore’s telecoms regulator has received three bids for 5G licences, including one from a joint venture of two operators.
Two of the bids, by the deadline yesterday, came from Singtel and TPG, the Australian company that last week had a court approve its proposal to merge with Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA).
The joint proposal came from two other Singapore telcos, StarHub and M1, in a joint venture for 5G.
It’s unclear how many 5G licences the regulator, the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), will award. Last year it said that the spectrum it will allocate for 5G might be enough only for two networks – but it might offer four, according to some sources.
In a consultation last year IMDA said it plans to allocate spectrum for 5G in the 3,500MHz band and the millimetre-wave 26 and 28GHz bands. This would be for an “initial tranche of spectrum allocation” and “will be sufficient for at least two nationwide 5G networks”, said the regulator.
IMDA said it is evaluating the submissions and expects to award the spectrum “by mid-2020”. It wants operators to have 50% coverage of Singapore by the end of 2022.
TPG owns AAPT, iinet and Pipe Networks and last week a court decided in favour of its proposal to merge with Australian operator VHA, a joint venture between Vodafone group and CK Hutchison of Hong Kong.