The Singapore government has offered a $250 million ($181 million) sweetener to operator of the planned next-gen broadband network (NGN).
The IDA called for proposals from would-be operators of the NBN on Monday. The network is expected to start operating in 2010 and be available nationwide by 2015.
IDA said in its RFP that it was looking for a single operator, or OpCo, to run the NBN’s “active infrastructure”. Under the planned structure of the new high-speed network, the operating company will wholesale services to retail service providers on a non-discriminatory basis.
To do this the OpCo would need to be operationally separated from other carriers and be subject to price control and universal service obligations, the IDA said.
Eleven companies have pre-qualified to bids for the OpCo contract, although others are welcome to apply for pre-qualification, IDA said.
IDA chairman Yong Ying-I said the government was actively seeking private sector participation in the NBN project.
OpCo RFP submissions will close on August 20, 2008 and a decision is likely by the first quarter of 2009.
The IDA has already committed S$750 million to the winner of the tender to build the network, launched last December. The network tender will close in May and is expected to be announced in the third quarter of 2008.