Singtel and an M1-StarHub consortium boosted their 5G spectrum holdings in a 2.1GHz auction in which TPG Telecom won 10MHz, positioning it to start deploying a nationwide standalone (SA) network.

TPG Telecom has two years to reach 50 per cent coverage with an SA 5G network and five years for nationwide. It holds spectrum in the 900MHz and 2.3GHz bands won as part of its market entry in 2016.

Singtel and the M1-StarHub consortium were each allocated 25MHz in the 2.1GHz band, which they will use to increase coverage and capacity of their existing SA 5G networks deployed on 3.5GHz spectrum.

Both are required to achieve 50 per cent coverage by end-2022 and fully by end-2025.

The 2.1GHz spectrum will be allocated at the beginning of 2022.

Singapore’s Infocomm Media Authority stated the latest auction is a “milestone in Singapore’s 5G journey to have a world-class, secure and resilient infrastructure”.

Anna Yip, Singtel Consumer CEO, cited benefits to the operator’s ability to “support the nation’s smart city ambitions” in a brief statement.

StarHub-M1 paid SGD52.5 million ($38.3 million) to secure five 5MHZ lots.