Singaporean fibre broadband provider MyRepublic, which is backed by Indonesian telco Sunshine Network and French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel, has set out its stall to become the city-state’s fourth telco by confirming its intention to bid for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile spectrum due to be auctioned by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). MyRepublic managing director Yap Yong Teck said: ‘Mobility is something we are seriously looking into and we will be putting in a bid in the next 4G spectrum auction. We have had discussions with the [IDA] on how to best facilitate a new fourth telco and they have been very open to feedback.’
Although no firm dates have been set aside for the next spectrum auction, the IDA’s website confirms that a number of spectrum licences are set to expire on 31 March 2017, and that an auction will need to take place before that deadline. Singapore held its inaugural auction of 4G LTE spectrum in January 2013, at which date the three incumbents received spectrum rights. Singtel was awarded 100MHz of spectrum priced at SGD136 million (USD97.9 million), StarHub got 90MHz of spectrum at SGD120 million and M1 got 80MHz of spectrum at SGD104 million.
Separately, Mr Yap said his company is keen to ensure that both fixed and mobile broadband users get a better deal, suggesting that: ‘Data plans of 10GB or 12GB should not be a premium, but the norm,’ adding: ‘It can most certainly be done and it should be done. Data is not an add-on. Mobile data is mobility.’ In terms of its fibre internet services, ChannelNews Asia quotes MyRepublic CEO Malcolm Rodrigues as saying that the company will be offering a 1Gbps free trial in order to get Singaporeans on the high speed broadband bandwagon. The two-month trial – with a waiver of all service installation charges and termination fees within that time and which can then be extended by the user on a 22-month contract at SGD49.99 per month – will commence on 19 March.