SINGAPORE : Singapore telcos will be tendering for spectrum rights for their 4G services in the middle of this year.
The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said this will pave the way for nationwide deployment of 4G services in Singapore in 2015.
Loading videos on one’s mobile phone to see if all is good at home via a webcam will be a much faster process when 4G coverage expands in 2015.
The potential market for mobile data is huge, given that Singapore now has 6.3 million 3G subscribers — bigger than its population of five million.
The IDA is putting up two frequencies — the 1,800 megahertz (MHz) and 2.5 gigahertz (GHz) — for auction.
The rights for the 1,800 MHz band will start on July 2015 and the 2.5 GHz band will commence on April 2017.
Successful bidders must provide nationwide street level coverage within 12 months and coverage of MRT underground stations/lines and road tunnels within 36 months.
IDA said the total reserve price for the spectrum to be auctioned is S$360 million.
Leong Keng Thai, deputy chief executive officer of IDA, said: "The successful bidders — they will have certainty of the kind of resources that they will get from this auction. And therefore, they can commence to do long—term planning in a deployment of 4G services."
Experts said initial disruptions are to be expected when 4G networks are up and running.
Currently, all three telcos have introduced 4G or Long Term Evolution (LTE) services using their existing spectrum rights.
The IDA has also set aside some bandwidth should a fourth mobile operator wish to enter Singapore’s telecommunication market.
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