IDA sets deadline for fourth telco applications

Singapore's Infocomm Development Agency (IDA) has set a deadline of September 1 for prospective new entrants to the nation's mobile market to submit applications.

The regulator subsequently aims to conduct the auction to select Singapore's fourth mobile operator the following month, the Straits Times reported.

This gives the two candidates that have expressed an interest in the license less than two months to secure the funding they will need to satisfy the requirement to demonstrate the ability to pay for a license and subsequent rollout.

ISPs MyRepublic and Consistel's OMGTel have both indicated an interest in the bid and have been busy securing funds for the auction.

But due to ongoing economic uncertainty in the wake of the Brexit vote as well as the tight deadline to line up the funding needed, financial analysts told the Straits Times that the prospective new entrants face significant barriers.

One analyst said given the financial difficulties it is doubtful the Singapore mobile market will see a fourth entrant at all.

Consistel has set a target of raising S$400 million ($296.7 million) ahead of the auction, and of spending S$1 billion to roll out a nationwide 4G network. MyRepublic by contrast believes it can secure nationwide coverage with just S$250 million, and has so far secured half of this.

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