Singapore generated SDG1.15 billion ($822 million) in a general spectrum auction of three frequency bands, with the country’s two largest operators – Singtel and StarHub – acquiring the lion’s share of the sale.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) auctioned off a total of 175MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 2.5GHz bands, including spectrum to be refarmed from 2G services, which were shut down on 1 April.

Market leader Singtel spent SGD563.7 million for 75MHz of spectrum in all three bands, while number two StarHub acquired 60MHz in three bands for SGD349.6 million. M1 picked up 30MHz in the 700MHz and 900MHz bands for SGD208 million, and mobile newcomer TPG Telecom purchased 10MHz in the 2.5GHz band for SGD23.8 million.

In December Australia-based fixed line operator TPG beat out Singapore-headquartered rival MyRepublic to win the city-state’s fourth mobile licence, in a spectrum auction open only to new entrants.

“The strong interest in the radio spectrum is testament to the mobile network operators’ confidence in the mobile market moving forward,” said Tan Kiat How, IMDA CEO. “Similar to past spectrum auction proceeds, IMDA plans to reinvest the monies received to help our infocomm media companies and workforce develop their capabilities, strengthen digital infrastructure, and ready themselves for the digital economy.”

Winning bidders can begin using the spectrum on 1 July.

The three incumbent operators each acquired 10MHz in the 900MHz band and at least two lots in the 700MHz band (Singtel 40MHz, StarHub 30MHz and M1 20MHz). StarHub picked up 20MHz in the 2.5GHz band, while Singtel acquired 15MHz in the band.