Competition in telco market set for a boost

In a bid to woo more mobile operators to start up here, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) - Singapore's telecommunications regulator - is looking to lay down new rules.

Mobile consumers can look forward to more choices and faster mobile surfing, if plans to introduce more telco operators into Singapore's market come to pass.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is the press release from the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA):

IDA is seeking views through a public consultation on proposals to optimise the use of radio spectrum and to introduce further competition, to enhance the vibrancy of the mobile and wireless landscape in Singapore.

Spectrum resources are used for the provision of mobile and wireless services such as 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi services. With increasing demand for mobile data services, optimal use of scarce spectrum resources is important to ensure continued investment, growth and innovation in the mobile sector.

Several spectrum bands such as the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 2.3 GHz and 2.5 GHz bands have been identified for allocation for mobile broadband services such as 4G and services using more advanced technologies (for example, the Long Term Evolution-Advanced, more commonly known as LTE-Advanced) in the next few years. IDA hopes to seek views from the industry on the technical considerations and suitability of these spectrum bands for mobile broadband services and the appropriate timeframes for allocation.

The spectrum allocation review will also take into consideration the Heterogeneous Network ("HetNet"), which is one of the ideas proposed as part of the Infocomm Media Masterplan. IDA is exploring the concept of a nationwide HetNet that will allow for seamless access and consistent user experience across cellular, Wi-Fi, and small cell networks. Through the public consultation, industry views are sought on the suitability of spectrum bands for HetNet deployment, and on technical and policy issues that IDA should consider. Some examples include the technical standards for seamless switching between wireless technology platforms, impact on quality of service experienced by end users, etc.

IDA also seeks views on possible approaches to facilitate the entry of Mobile Virtual Network Operators ("MVNOs") through the spectrum allocation process, while remaining open to other new full-fledged Mobile Network Operators ("MNOs") to enter the market. The introduction of MVNOs can potentially offer consumers more choices of service providers, and may bring about greater vibrancy and competition in the mobile market.

Mr Leong Keng Thai, IDA's Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General of Telecom and Post said, "It is timely to review spectrum allocation and policy options to ensure that the demands of the industry can be met. Moreover, with IDA aiming to establish Singapore as a 'Smart Nation' underpinned by high speed fixed and wireless networks, it is essential that the allocation of spectrum is able to facilitate such developments."

The public consultation began on April 22, 2014, and will end in four weeks on May 20, 2014.