24 Mar 2016
According to local newspaper the Strait Times, Singapore’s wannabe fourth operator OMGTEL says it is close to signing the paperwork on 40% of the SGD1 billion (USD732.9 million) total funding it will need for its bid, with chairman and founder of the unit’s parent Consistel, Masoud Bassiri, confirming: ‘We have serious investment offers. We only have to sign the papers’. Masoud says that if successful, OMGTEL will ‘remove the pain of pricey roaming charges, stray signals from Indonesia and spotty network coverage’, although he stopped short of providing any details of the investors involved in its funding round, citing intense rivalry in this space. OMGTEL believes it will be able to raise the total funding it needs by the third quarter of this year, in time for the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA’s) 4G spectrum auction. OMGTEL’s incoming CEO Bill Amelio says the would-be fourth operator will be ‘aggressive and hungry’ in the upcoming auction, which is expected to be contested by another hopeful, MyRepublic. Consistel, which is backed by the likes of Intel Capital and Jafco Asia, has been active in the city-state for 20 years. Its strategy is based on the rapid deployment of its new network – it says it will roll out an island-wide network as early as end-2017 using ‘its proprietary automation software for indoor network planning, among other systems’. Further, OMGTEL is targeting second spot in the domestic market; setting its sights squarely on current number-two StarHub – which controlled a 26.6% share at end-2015 with 2.188 million users. ‘We are not doing this to be the smallest operator,’ the start-up said.