Telcos pay $1.14b for mobile airwaves in government auction

Commuters on their mobile phones while waiting for the train at City Hall MRT Station.
Commuters on their mobile phones while waiting for the train at City Hall MRT Station. PHOTO: ST FILE

Singapore telcos have paid $1.14 billion for mobile airwaves - the largest amount ever for such a government tender.

Singtel, StarHub, M1 and new telco TPG Telecom took part in the General Spectrum Auction, which concluded yesterday. It was the most aggressive auction seen in 16 years.

Singtel paid $563.7 million for 75MHz of spectrum, the largest block awarded.

StarHub paid $349.6 million for a 60MHz block, while M1 paid $208 million for 30MHz of spectrum. TPG was awarded a 10MHz block for $23.8 million.

A total of 175MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 2.5GHz frequency bands went on sale, including airwaves previously used for 2G services, which will be shut down on April 18.

 

The airwaves are meant to meet the increasing demand for mobile data services.

Mr Tan Kiat How, chief executive of the Infocomm Media Development Authority, said: "High-speed mobile services will be critical in delivering the next generation suite of digital services and products to realise Singapore's digital future."

Auction proceeds will be used to help infocomm media companies go digital, and for workforce training.

The winning bidders can start using the spectrum to enhance their networks from July.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2017, with the headline 'Telcos pay $1.14b for mobile airwaves in govt auction'. Print Edition | Subscribe