According to Singapore’s telecoms regulator the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), a total of twelve bidding groups have pre-qualified to bid for a contract to build a broadband network on the island. They will now provide feedback on the state’s proposals for the network ahead of the tender which is scheduled to get underway in mid-August. The government is hoping to deploy a nationwide network capable of delivering connection speeds of at least 1Gbps and covering 95% of homes and businesses by 2012; wireless connectivity will extend coverage to public places such as shopping malls and stations.
Japan’s Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT), Siemens, and local telcos Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) and StarHub have each submitted applications in their own right. A third Singaporean firm, MobileOne (M1), has applied as part of a consortium including Hong Kong Broadband Network. SingTel is also involved in a separate consortium comprising the Australian investment bank Babcock & Brown (B&B), Australia’s Macquarie Bank and Cisco Systems. B&B is also a member of another consortium led by Alcatel-Lucent’s Singapore unit, and Citigroup is a member of two consortia. The winning bid will be announced by the end of December.