In 2013, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) did not receive any Expression of Interest Document from any new entrants and the “4G Auction” resulted in three bids from existing providers (SingTel Mobile Singapore Pte Ltd, M1 Limited and Starhub Mobile Pte Ltd) who successfully obtained their proposed spectrum.
How will the 2016 auction compare to 2013? The IDA has issued their clarification on to queries on July 14 2016 relating to the 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 2.3 GHz and 2.5 GHz spectrum rights action. Interested bidders can submit their Expression of Interest Document by September 1 2016.
With the aim of Singapore being a Smart Nation, the IDA is doing what they can to boost innovation and competition in the mobile market. One of the key initiatives that they have presented in this auction is to provide a lower rate for pre-qualified parties (who do not currently operate in Singapore) by making 60MHz of spectrum of the 900 MHz and 2.3 GHz bands for a bid price of $35 million and also a start date of April 2017.
Secondly, the General Spectrum Action, will be only be held after the completion of the New Entrant Spectrum Auction is finalized where the existing Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s) and potential new MNO will be able to participate together for the reminder of the spectrum.
Currently there are two parties that have expressed interested (MyRepublic and OMGTel), only time will tell if a reduced rate is what it will take to bring a new MNO into the market and launch Singapore to be the Smart Nation that the IDA is gearing up to be.