IMDA Pre-Qualifies Two Cos’ for Spectrum Auction

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has pre-qualified MyRepublic Limited (MyRepublic) and TPG Telecom Pte Ltd (TPG) to participate in the New Entrant Spectrum Auction (NESA). This is the first of a two-stage process to auction spectrum for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and IMT-Advanced services (e.g., 4G services).

The winner of the NESA will become Singapore’s fourth Mobile Network Operator (MNO). MyRepublic and TPG will bid for 60 MHz of spectrum from the 900 MHz and 2.3 GHz bands. IMDA targets to complete the NESA by the end of this year. Following a review of the three sets of Expression of Interest (EOI) documents submitted in September this year, IMDA is satisfied that MyRepublic and TPG have met the NESA pre-qualification criteria. airYotta Pte Ltd did not fully meet these requirements and will not be participating in the NESA.

IMDA arrived at its decision after looking at all relevant factors. This included whether the prospective new entrants satisfy the “fit and proper person” criteria, particularly whether they have the management skills, competencies and operational experience in deploying and operating a public telecommunication network and in providing retail telecommunication services to consumers and enterprise users. IMDA also looked at whether the prospective new entrants have the financial, technical and engineering capabilities required to establish a telecommunication system for the purpose of providing 4G and/or IMT-Advanced services.

IMDA’s pre-qualification checks are not an endorsement or approval of the pre-qualified companies’ business plans. The success of the fourth MNO will ultimately depend on how it innovates and competes in the market, and how it invests to keep pace with new technologies in a fast evolving market. Upon completion of the NESA, IMDA will proceed with the second stage, the General Spectrum Auction (GSA), which will be open to the existing MNOs — M1, Singtel Mobile and StarHub Mobile. The winner of the NESA can also participate in the GSA, if it chooses to do so. IMDA aims to commence the GSA in the first quarter of 2017.