IDA Singapore drafts 4G plans

Don Sambandaraksa
11 Apr 2012
Singapore's telecom regulator has issued a consultation paper for the city-state’s 4G plans on the 1800-MHz, 2.3-GHz and 2.5-GHz bands.
The regulator plans to issue new 15-year licences by 2015, and foresees a nationwide rollout one year later. However, it ruled out 700-MHz/800-MHz low-band re-farming any time soon.
IDA Singapore’s paper showed that on the 2.3-GHz band, 30 MHz will be up for re-allocation and 150 MHz on 2.5-GHz. Of the 150 MHz, 2x60 will be paired and 30 MHz will be offered as unpaired spectrum once existing wireless broadband access licences expire in June 2015. These will be made available for LTE or Wimax.
Winners of more than 30 MHz of spectrum will have to provide nationwide above ground 4G within one year of the commencement of the rights or 30 June 2016 and in tunnels and underground rail networks within three years (June 2018).
Meanwhile, 1800-MHz spectrum will expire in March 2017. Two 70-MHz pairs will be up for re-allocation. Winners of the auction will need to provide nationwide 4G services by march 2018 and underground and in-tunnel coverage by June 2020.
New entrants will be granted a longer lead-time. The IDA proposed that 2x20 MHz out of the 2x60 MHz on 2.5-GHz be reserved for new entrants.
The IDA proposed 15-year licence periods for 2.3/2.5-GHz and 13-year for the re-farmed 1800-MHz.
The consultation paper noted that the number of 2G users has dropped to two million as of December 2011, down 23% from 2.58 million at the end of 2010 and down 46% from 3.7 million at the end of 2009.


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