Singapore wireless systems developer Consistel has confirmed its intention to fight MyRepublic for the fourth telco licence when the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) launches its much anticipated spectrum auction later this year. In an interview with The Business Times, Consistel CEO Masoud Bassiri said his company – which is looking to offer wireless services through its OMGTEL unit – has selected an investment banker to help it to generate more than SGD1 billion (USD732.9 million) through a mix of equity and debt to fund its bid. Consistel, which is backed by the likes of Intel Capital and Jafco Asia, has been active in the city-state for 20 years and has previously worked with the incumbent cellcos Singtel, StarHub and M1 on providing 3G coverage in major buildings. The paper quotes the would-be mobile carrier’s CEO as saying: ‘To truly compete with the existing mobile telecommunication operators, the new entrant must build and deliver to its customers a network that is equal or superior to what they experience now. The infrastructure needed for such a network would cost just over SGD1 billion in the medium to long term.’
In recent weeks a price war has broken out in the market in the wake of its rival for the fourth telco spot, MyRepublic, promising to slash mobile data prices if it secures the spectrum it is after. Consistel, however, is more circumspect in this regard, noting only that it is too soon to discuss pricing strategies and that, in its opinion, quality is a more important criteria. ‘Applying for the fourth telco licence should not start with a marketing exercise. It should be about ensuring that our technology brings amazing value to our customers. That means high speed, broad access and transparent pricing plans that make sense,’ Bassiri said. To date, Consistel has constructed a network infrastructure comprising 800 sites in Singapore, including at the Sports Hub and Marina Bay Sands.