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Irene Tham, Technology Correspondent

Can a 4th telco shake up the market?

Published on May 1, 2014 4:43 PM

ON A typical weekend, readers of The Straits Times may be greeted with page after page of red, green and orange advertisements - the corporate colours of SingTel, StarHub and M1, Singapore's three telecommunications companies. The vibrant ads may lead people to think there's a highly competitive mobile service market here.

But it's hard to spot much innovation in those full-page coloured ads that dish out handsome subsidies on the latest smartphones to consumers who sign two-year contracts.

Could the lack of innovation be the reason why the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is looking to lay down new rules to woo more mobile operators here?

In its latest attempt to rejuvenate the market, the IDA has changed tack. It is focusing largely on mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), presumably to ease players into a market where the high cost of physical networks and airwaves have been a deterrent.

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