The public tender for the licensing of up to two more public cellular mobile telephone services (PCMTS) operators from 1 April 2000 will open on 1 October 1997. And from 1 April 2000, the annual recurrent licence fees for mobile ...
Singapore, 17 September 1997 | For Immediate Release
The public tender for the licensing of up to two more public cellular mobile telephone services (PCMTS) operators from 1 April 2000 will open on 1 October 1997. And from 1 April 2000, the annual recurrent licence fees for mobile and paging operators will be reduced to a flat rate of 1% of Annual Gross Turn-Over (AGTO). These announcements were made by Dr John Chen, Minister of State for Communications, today at the opening of the "Revolution of Information and Communication in Asia" symposium organised by The Mainichi Newspaper.
The tender for the PCMTS licences will commence on 1 October 1997, with TAS' releasing of the tender document on that day to assist interested parties in preparing their tender submissions. Interested parties will be given three months till 31 December 1997 to put together their tender submissions in accordance with the general guidelines and detailed information requirements stated in the tender document.
The results of the mobile phone services tender are expected to be announced by mid-1998 together with the results of the basic telecommunication services tender. The successful licensees will have at least 20 months to build, rollout and test their networks and services before launching commercial services from 1 April 2000. The timing of the basic telecommunication and mobile phone services tenders has been synchronised. This is to allow for parties who may be tendering for and are successful in both tenders, to enjoy the possible synergies and savings offered by joint infrastructure development and network roll-out.
As part of TAS' larger ongoing review of the overall telecommunication industry, the annual recurrent licence fees will be lowered to a flat rate of 1% of Annual Gross Turn-Over (AGTO) for both mobile phone and paging services operators from 1 April 2000. This new annual recurrent licence fees will also apply to all mobile phone and paging services licensees, including existing operators, from 1 April 2000 till the expiry of their licences. This fee revision is expected to result in S$300 million savings to mobile phone and paging services operators, which in turn will translate to lower prices of mobile and paging services for consumers. The initial one-time licence fee for the PCMTS is S$1 million.
The licence fees reduction is to ensure that the mobile phone and paging service markets will continue to grow and thrive, and to bring in more competitive prices and enhanced quality of service standards to consumers. The fee reduction initiative by TAS helps maintain fair and reasonable operating costs for both mobile phone and paging services operators, keeping part of the costs (within TAS' regulatory control) of doing business low. With the increased competition, these costs savings would be passed on to end users in terms of more attractive tariffs, which in turn, will generate greater demand and boost service take-up rates further. Operators will also be able to channel more resources towards enhancing the attractiveness and quality of their services. The alignment of annual recurrent fees for all TAS' public licences is also undertaken in recognition of the growing convergence across various public telecommunication services.
Note to Editor:
1. To ensure all segments of the telecommunication market are equally competitive, the Government made a concurrent announcement in March this year that we would further liberalise the mobile phone services market upon expiry of the current duopoly situation from 1 April 2000. In line with our managed and phased approach, TAS intends to award up to two more mobile phone operators by way of public tender. The number of operators to be licensed will depend on the quality of the tenders received and the attractiveness of the tenderers' business proposals.
2. The annual recurrent licence fees before the revision for paging services operators is 3% of the AGTO subject to a minimum of $50,000, $100,000 and $150,000 for the first three consecutive years. For mobile services operators, the annual fee is 6% of the Licensee's AGTO up to $250 million; 9% of the AGTO exceeding $250 million and less than $500 million; and 12% of AGTO exceeding $500 million - subject to a minimum of $0.5 million, $1.5 million and $2.5 million for the first three consecutive years of operation.