Game On! TPG Telecom Clinches The Coveted Spot to Be Singapore’s Fourth Telco

The results are finally in!

Australia’s TPG Telecom and MyRepublic had been vying to be Singapore’s fourth telco. In the end, it was TPG Telecom which delivered the knockout punch courtesy of a winning bid of S$105 million in the New Entrant Spectrum Auction (NESA), according to a statement released by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) yesterday.

Go for the win

The NESA auction was conducted to facilitate the entry of a new telco into Singapore’s mobile space. Bids started at S$35 million for 60 MHz of spectrum from the 900 MHz and 2.3 GHz bands.

The S$35 million figure was about half of what the incumbent telcos might pay and would help grease the wheels for new companies to enter the mobile space which is currently shared between Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SGX: Z74)StarHub Ltd (SGX: CC3), and M1 Ltd (SGX: B2F).

With a bid of S$105 million, TPG laid claim to 60MHz of spectrum, with 20MHz in the 900 MHz band and 40MHz in the 2.3 GHz spectrum band. MyRepublic’s final offer was S$102.5 million.

As I noted in a previous article, TPG Telecom plans to finance its expansion into Singapore through a mix of existing debt facilities and cash generated from its current operations in Australia. If you would like to find out more about TPG Telecom’s business, you can head here.

Next steps

Winning the NESA auction would enable TPG Telecom to provide International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and IMT-Advanced Services (including 4G services) in Singapore.

According to the IMDA, the new spectrum rights are expected to kick in from 1 April 2017. TPG will be required to provide nationwide street level coverage within 18 months from the commencement of the spectrum rights, followed by road tunnels and in-building coverage within 30 months. Finally, coverage for MRT underground stations will have to be provided within 54 months.

The fourth telco entry will add to the challenges that the incumbents already face. As it stands, Singtel, StarHub, and M1 are currently slugging it out to offer more mobile data at competitive prices. With the fourth telco entering the ring, things might get even more interesting.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Chin Hui Leong doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.