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Singtel says IMDA should issue 5G licences ‘for free’ to ease CAPEX requirements

12 Jun 2019

The Straits Times quotes Singtel’s Yuen Kuan Moon as saying that the country’s telecoms regulator, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), should give out the two 5G licences it proposes awarding ‘for free’ to cut the investment burden on the companies looking to offer next generation services. However, the CEO of the operator’s Consumer division went on to add that if the IMDA does assign airwaves as anticipated, Singtel has ‘all the right ingredients’ to win the rights to operate the network in the city-state and furthermore ’will put up a very strong proposition for the beauty contest’. With the government keen to see two nationwide networks being rolled out as early as next year, the regulator is currently conducting a public consultation on its planned 5G regulatory framework, including how it plans to pick operators. Whilst the IMDA is apparently less keen on a full auction, Yuen was quoted as saying that Singtel hopes the watchdog will reconsider its plan to hand out the licences to the two winning proposals. ‘Some other countries have given 5G licences for free, without an auction or without a beauty contest,’ he told the paper.

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