TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Here’s why changes in the IDA’s pro-competition stance will give the new entrant a head start

But it won’t be easy for the new entrant.

Factors point towards a new player entering Singapore’s once seemingly-impenetrable telco landscape in 2016 thanks to the decision of the city-state’s infocomm development authority, and analysts say the battlefield will be slightly more favourable for the new entrant.

According to a research report by UOB Kay Hian, the total spectrum set aside for the potential new entrant remains unchanged at 60MHz but the composition of the spectrum has changed.

“The allocation for the 900MHz spectrum remains unchanged at 2x10MHz. The iDA no longer offers 2x10MHz of the 700MHz spectrum. On the other hand, the allocation for the 2300MHz spectrum has increased from 20MHz to 40MHz,” UOB Kay Hian said.

Meanwhile, the reserve price for the entire 60MHz block of spectrum is also reduced from S$40m to S$35m.

Despite this, entering Singapore’s telco landscape will need a dauntless effort, as the IDA will be instituting quality control through pre-qualification.

“The iDA has instituted a pre-qualification process to ensure that only capable and committed companies participate in the spectrum auction. The new entrant must provide evidence of technical capabilities and financial position, and submit its business plan, including service offerings,” UOB Kay Hian said.

Additionally, incumbents also have additional obligations to follow.

“Incumbent operators are required to provide interconnection and mobile number portability to the new entrant. They are required to negotiate in good faith with the new entrant on access to common antenna systems,” UOB Kay Hian added.

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