Singapore reserves spectrum for new entrant in 2013 4G auction


Following last year’s consultation, Singapore’s regulator announced on 16 January that  it would be auctioning 270 MHz of spectrum for 4G, comprising 150 MHz of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band and 120 MHz of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. The auction will be held in the middle of 2013, with licences taking effect on 1 July 2015 for spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band and 1 April 2017 for spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.

The IDA has decided to set aside 40 MHz of the spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band4 for any new mobile operator that wishes to enter the market, but will include this ‘set-aside’ amount in the main auction if there is no new entrant.

The key points to note are:

Spectrum for allocation and allocation approach

IDA will allocate the following spectrum via auction:

Spectrum band 1800 MHz 2.5 GHz
Amount to be allocated (MHz) 150 (2×75 MHz paired) 120* (2 x 60 MHz paired)* including 2 x 20 MHz set aside for a new entrant, which will be committed to the main auction should a new entrant not emerge.
Reserved (MHz) - 70 (2 x 10 MHz paired and 50 MHz unpaired)

Reserve prices

The total reserve price for all the spectrum in the 1800 MHz and 2.5 GHz to be auctioned in this round amounts to S$360 million.

The reserve price is S$16 million per 2 x 5 MHz lot for the 1800 MHz band and S$10 million per 2 x 5 MHz lot for the 2.5 GHz band. Successful bidders will also be required to pay an annual spectrum management fee of S$26,400 per 2 x 5 MHz spectrum lot per year, and a one-time application and processing fee of S$5,400 per 2 x 5 MHz spectrum lot.

Commencement and duration of spectrum rights

Spectrum band 1800 MHz 2.5 GHz
Date of expiry 30 June 2030 30 June 2030
Spectrum right duration ≈ 13 years 15 years

Nationwide coverage requirements

  Nationwide coverage requirements (except MRT underground stations/lines and road tunnels) Coverage requirements for MRT underground stations/lines and road tunnels
Bidders which have been allocated at least 2 x 15 MHz of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz bands by 30 June 2016
(i.e., 12 months after the commencement of new spectrum rights in the 2.5 GHz
by 30 June 2018
(i.e., 36 months after the commencement of new spectrum rights in the 2.5 GHz band)
Bidders which have been allocated any other combination of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band and/or the 2.5 GHz band(E.g., spectrum in the 1800 MHz band only; or less than 2 x 15 MHz of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band) by 31 March 2018
(i.e., 12 months after the commencement of new spectrum rights in the 1800 MHz band)
by 31 March 20201
(i.e., 36 months after the commencement of new spectrum rights in the 1800 MHz band)
New entrant acquiring ‘setaside’ spectrum by 30 June 2018
(i.e., 36 months after the commencement of new spectrum rights in the 2.5 GHz band)
by 30 June 2020
(i.e., 60 months after the commencement of new spectrum rights in the 2.5 GHz band)

1 This date has been corrected from 30 June 2020 as stated in the Consultation paper.

Spectrum caps

IDA will set an overall spectrum cap (2 x 55 MHz) and sub-cap for spectrum in the 1800 MHz band (2 x 30 MHz).

Schedule

Milestone Tentative timeframe
Issuance of draft Information Memorandum and Auction Rules and submission of written queries March/April 2013
Issuance of final Information Memorandum and Auction Rules April/May 2013
Binding Expression of Interest by New Entrant May/June 2013
Allocation of ‘set-aside’ spectrum to New Entrant (if any) May/June 2013
Submission of Initial Offer and Bank Guarantee for Main Auction May/June 2013
Announcement of whether Auction will proceed To be announced

About Rob Bratby

International technology, telecoms and outsourcing lawyer.
This entry was posted in ASEAN, Broadband, Government policy, Mobile, Regulatory action, Singapore, Telecoms and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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