MyRepublic is raising US$178m to fund its bid to be Singapore's 4th telco

PHOTO: The Straits Times

Singapore-based telco MyRepublic expects to complete a US$178 million (S$250 million) funding round by April before the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) bids out the license for a fourth telco in the city-state.

Along with the funding round, MyRepublic says in an announcement today that it plans to roll out a next-generation "pre-5G network" that will make implementing new technologies and adapting to future 5G standards easier.

"Our planned network infrastructure will have a next-generation, fully virtualized core network. This is in contrast to older telco networks, which are hardware-based and where every function would require a specialised piece of hardware," explains the company's communications manager Fabian Lau.

Essentially, the new network would replace more expensive physical equipment with virtual machines running on servers. "This saves on costs while allowing for greater efficiency and easier changes. It would, for example, make it easier for us to implement internet of things since any system we would need to change would be software-based or virtual, not physical," Fabian continues.

The IDA today announced it was pushing through with its offer for a fourth player to set up in Singapore's telecommunications market, The Strait Times reports.

It said it would bid out in the third quarter 60MHz worth of mobile frequencies in the 900MHz premium band at US$21.4 million, cheaper than its early target of US$28.5 million. Newcomers will be prioritized in the bidding.

As expected, the IDA's plan has Singapore's three existing telcos - Singtel, StarHub, and M1 - up in arms.

The telcos' rights to their respective shares in the 900MHz band will expire in April 2017. They argue they need to keep their current holdings or else the quality of their mobile services would suffer.

But the IDA is not buying it.

Read the full article here.

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