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TPG aiming for Singapore mobile market

AAP logoAAP 2/09/2016 Lilly Vitorovich

Internet provider TPG Telecom has made the first move toward becoming Singapore's fourth mobile communications operator.

Australia's second biggest fixed-line internet provider has submitted the necessary expression of interest to take part in the bidding process for mobile spectrum.

Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is conducting the auction and will announce the result later this year.

"The auction represents an opportunity to establish innovative and exciting mobile telecommunications products," TPG said on Friday in a rare statement.

"TPG notes the very positive step taken by the IDA to encourage a fourth entrant by making a substantial portion of spectrum available for sale to new entrants only."

The move by TPG - led by media-shy founder David Teoh - could be the first step in a wider regional expansion, Foad Fadaghi, principal analyst at research firm Telsyte, said.

"It's easier to get widespread coverage than the Australian market, Singapore is a smaller landmass, and there's good economy of scale that can be had by targeting that market" Mr Fadaghi said.

"It also might indicate what TPG's aspirations are in other markets in the region."

The market in Singapore is dominated by Optus-owner Singapore Telecommunications, with M1 and StarHub the other players.

TPG said the expression of interest is the first step in the confidential auction process to buy a total 10 lots of mobile spectrum.

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