18 Feb 2016 - The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today announced the framework for the allocation of spectrum for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and IMT-Advanced services (e.g. 4G services). IDA aims to conduct the spectrum allocation exercise this year, with a total of 235 MHz of spectrum to be made available for mobile services.
Singapore, 18 February 2016 | For Immediate Release
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today announced the framework for the allocation of spectrum for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and IMT-Advanced services (e.g. 4G services). IDA aims to conduct the spectrum allocation exercise this year, with a total of 235 MHz of spectrum to be made available for mobile services.
To enhance innovation and competition in the mobile market, IDA will facilitate the entry of a new mobile network operator (MNO), if any, while making sure that there is sufficient spectrum for the incumbent MNOs to continue to provide quality mobile services.
The spectrum auction will take place over two stages:
The New Entrant Spectrum Auction will be held first, where only interested pre-qualified parties who do not currently operate a nationwide mobile network in Singapore will be eligible1 to participate. The pre-qualification process serves as a check to ensure that only capable and committed parties are allowed to participate in the auction.
IDA is making available 60 MHz of spectrum from the 900 MHz and 2.3 GHz bands for the New Entrant Spectrum Auction. The auction for this spectrum will start at the bid price of S$35 million. The spectrum rights will commence in April 20172.
The second stage, the General Spectrum Auction, will be held after the conclusion of the New Entrant Spectrum Auction. This will be open to the incumbent MNOs – M1, Singtel Mobile and StarHub Mobile – and any new MNO who emerges after the New Entrant Spectrum Auction.
IDA will allow a reasonable period for the new MNO to build up its own network, and will require the new MNO to achieve nationwide outdoor service coverage by October 2018. The new MNO will be required to comply with IDA’s relevant regulatory frameworks and requirements, including Quality of Service (QoS) and service resiliency standards, in phases.
IDA’s decision follows two public consultations that were conducted in April 2014 and July 2015 respectively on the allocation of radio spectrum for mobile broadband services and the introduction of further competition to enhance the vibrancy of the mobile and wireless landscape in Singapore. Several industry players supported the allocation of more spectrum in view of the increasing consumer demand for mobile data services and the Internet of Things (IoT). Studies have shown that the global mobile data traffic is expected to grow between 40% and 60% over the next few years3.
Potential new entrants also indicated strong interest to enter the mobile market. The entry of a new MNO will increase competition in the mobile services market. It is likely to bring about a wider variety of innovative services and more competitive offerings to benefit consumers. A new MNO is expected to bring about increased investments in the infocomm sector, leading to more advanced technologies and improved service quality.
Ms Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director, IDA, said, “Pervasive connectivity is a key enabler for our Smart Nation vision. This release of spectrum is timely as it will support the growth of applications that rely on data, as well as new growth areas such as the Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine communications.”
She added, “The spectrum auction is designed with the interests of consumers in mind. The spectrum made available will allow all mobile operators to roll out or enhance their high speed networks as early as 2017. Having more players in the market will give consumers a greater choice in selecting an offering that best suits their needs.”
For more information, please refer to the Explanatory Memorandum regarding IDA’s decision on the spectrum allocation framework. Further details on the spectrum auction rules and the relevant auction documents will be published at a later date.
1 Please see the factsheet for details.
2 The new MNO, if any, will be able to utilise the 900 MHz and 2.3 GHz frequency bands to provide commercial services from as early as April 2017.
3 Studies are based on inputs from industry players and consultancy firms such as Cisco, Ericsson and Gartner.
ISSUED BY THE INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The mission of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is to develop information technology and telecommunications within Singapore with a view to serve citizens of all ages and companies of all sizes. IDA does this by actively supporting the growth of innovative technology companies and start-ups in Singapore, working with leading global IT companies as well as developing excellent information technology and telecommunications infrastructure, policies and capabilities for Singapore. For more news and information, visit www.ida.gov.sg. Follow IDA on Facebook IDA.Singapore and Twitter @IDAsg.