Singapore’s telecoms regulator the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has pushed back the deadline for 5G licence bids to give the city-state’s mobile network operators (MNOs) more time to submit their proposals. Citing MNOs’ requests for ‘more time’, the IMDA announced yesterday (9 January) that it is extending the initial Call for Proposal deadline that opened on 17 October 2019 and was originally set to close on 21 January 2020. With the authorities keen to auction frequencies to support four fifth-generation networks, the extension is not expected to affect the timeline for Singapore’s rollout. The IMDA has said that the rollout of new networks can begin this year, but notes that nationwide coverage may take much longer and be initially limited to only two networks – due to the current scarcity of suitable 5G airwaves for island-wide coverage. Wider coverage will start being provided in 2022, The Business Times notes.
All four of Singapore’s MNOs – Singtel, StarHub, M1 Limited and TPG (Singapore) – have welcomed the regulator’s decision.