Singapore telecom operators Singtel and StarHub have acquired the majority of spectrum that was auctioned in Singapore of three frequency bands, which generated SDG1.15 billion ($822 million). The auction was held by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) which auctioned off 175MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 2.5GHz bands. Winners will be able to use their new spectrum on July 1.
The auctioned spectrum included spectrum to be re-used from 2G services which were canceled on April 1 to make way for more modern usage. Singtel battled its rival StarHub for the spectrum on sale, spending a whopping SGD563.7 million for 75MHz of spectrum in all three bands, while StarHub managed to acquire 60MHz in three bands for SDG349.6 million.
Other operators to get their hands on the auctioned spectrum included M1 which acquired 30MHz in the 700MHz and 900MHz bands for SDG208 million, and also Australia-based newcomer TPG Telecom which purchased 10MHz in the 2.5GHz band for SDG23.8 million. TPG was in the spotlight in December when it beat rival MyRepublic to win Singapore’s fourth mobile license.
“The strong interest in the radio spectrum is a testament to the mobile network operators’ confidence in the mobile market moving forward,” said Tan Kiat How, CEO of IMDA. “Similar to past spectrum auction proceeds, IMDA plans to invest the monies received to help our infocomm media companies and workforce develop their capabilities, strengthen digital infrastructure, and ready themselves for the digital economy.”