M1 foots $17.2m for 1800Mhz spectrum

Melissa Chua
04 Apr 2011

Singapore’s M1 has forked out S$21.69 million ($17.2 million) for more 1800MHz spectrum.

Singapore’s smallest carrier by subscribers has secured the rights to a 2 x 5Mhz lot of spectrum on the 1800Mhz band.

M1 outbid larger rivals SingTel and StarHub for the spectrum in an auction that closed last month. The S$21.69 million closing bid was 54 times higher than the S$400,000 reserve price set by the IDA.

The additional spectrum will be used for expanding M1’s existing 2G services and for the provision of 4G services, Ivan Lim, M1’s deputy director for corporate communications and investor relations, told TelecomAsia.

Lim did not elaborate on how the newly-acquired spectrum would be put to use, but a Straits Times report said a significant portion of M1’s revenue comes from travelers roaming on its network, many of whom use 2G handsets.

Lim also told TelecomAsia that it would be premature to comment on when M1 would apply to amend its existing operator licenses to accommodate the provision of 4G services, lending speculation that the firm is likely to focus on using the newly gained spectrum for 2G services in the near term.

M1 has 1.9 million subscribers and reported a 4.6% rise in profit for 2010.

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