06 Oct 2010
Singapore’s IDA has failed in its bid to add a fourth mobile operator through an additional 3G auction.
It has canceled the auction, which had been strongly opposed by the three existing operators, and will instead sell them spectrum at the reserve price.
The three cellcos – M1, SingTel and StarHub –were the only bidders by the October 4 deadline and will each pick up a block of spectrum in the 1900/2100MHz band for S$20 million ($15.7m), IDA said.
The auction – for three lots of paired 5MHz spectrum per block – was scheduled to take place next month.
The three operators had resisted the plan because of the high reserve price and the amount they had already invested in 3G..
With a mobile ownership rate of 143%, Singapore is already a saturated mobile market. Of the 7.1 million services in use, 55% are 3G.