Singapore’s IMDA confirms three bids for 5G licences

18 Feb 2020

Singapore’s telecoms regulator the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) has confirmed that at the closing of its ‘5G Call for Proposal’ deadline yesterday (17 February), it had received three bids from the city-state’s mobile network operators (MNOs), with Singtel and TPG (Singapore) each submitting separate bids, and the second and third largest cellcos – StarHub and M1 – handing over a joint bid for a concession. TeleGeography notes that in a press release dated 23 January, StarHub and M1 confirmed the signing of an exclusive agreement to cooperate and submit a joint bid for one of the four 5G licences due to be allocated by the IMDA. While the communique did not provide specific details on what type of licence they intend to go for – national or regional/local – it did confirm that they were working towards the 17 February 2020 closing date for 5G proposals. The successful bidders are expected to be awarded the spectrum by mid-2020.

‘IMDA is currently evaluating the submissions, and we expect to award the spectrum by mid-2020,’ the regulator said in a statement. The regulator will assess, among other things, telcos’ network security design and ability to achieve 50% islandwide coverage by end-2022.

In a related development, TPG (Singapore) said that as part of its planned network deployment, it has contracted ST Engineering and SPTel, the engineering firm’s joint venture with SP Group, to develop 5G use cases for several key verticals, namely, airports, maritime, smart estates, and the public sector. It is understood the tie-up will see ST Engineering’s electronics unit providing the ‘underlining platform as well as applications to facilitate these use cases, while SPTel will tap its software-defined network capabilities, including the provision of Multi-Access Edge Computing nodes, to support the delivery of such 5G applications.’