Singapore to increase airwaves for mobile broadband services

PHOTO: The Straits Times

Singapore plans to offer more airwaves for mobile broadband services and to facilitate the entry of a new mobile operator, as demand for data services rises, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore said on Tuesday.

Singapore is one of the world's most wired countries, with a mobile phone penetration rate - or subscriptions divided by population - of 148 per cent in 2014, IDA data showed.

The IDA, which oversees the development of information technology and telecommunications in Singapore, said it planned to set aside 60 MHz (megahertz) out of 225 MHz of new spectrum at a lower indicative reserve package price of S$40 million (S$29.50 million), in an auction open only to potential new entrants.

Singapore has three nationwide mobile infrastructure companies - Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, StarHub Ltd and M1 Ltd. The IDA on Tuesday said the country is unable to sustain more than four. The IDA said public consultation on the plans begins the same day, and will close on Aug. 12.